We’ve all had good and bad days at work, and it’s natural to have days when we feel stressed or tired. Food can help us be kinder to ourselves in a positive way - what we eat and when we eat it can influence our mood, energy levels, concentration and even how we deal with stress.
Tips for a regular, healthy eating pattern at work
Our environment matters too. We can’t always be in the right place to make optimal choices, but the good news is that aiming for small changes - not perfection - can make a difference that we can benefit from now and in the longer term.
Adapting this pattern for shift work
You’ll be able to adapt this to your own working routines if, for example, you work shift, irregular patterns or work out in the community. But it can be harder due to disruptions in the body’s internal clock that regulates sleep, digestion and metabolism.
If you’re working night shifts then it’s a good idea to eat your larger meal before you start, perhaps socially with family or other members of your household.
When you get home, a large, spicy, or fatty meal can make it harder to get to sleep. Again, the composition of the meal is key, and a mix of wholegrains, fruit, vegetables and lean protein is ideal. Try planning ahead for that time by leaving yourself a pre-prepared meal that you really like or have something defrosting in the fridge.
Our One Pot Wonders for winter could be a great place to start – and check out our freezer advice in the Eating Well for You and Your Family section. Adding some tinned or frozen veg on the side can boost the nutritional value of these meals too, and it takes minutes.