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Counting Calories at Work: Brown Bag, Cafeteria, or Fast Food?

A more common problem is what to eat for lunch on a daily basis. Whether you bring your own, swing by the office cafeteria, or pick from the fast food joints near your office, you can still be successful with counting calories:

• Brown bag for more control. If you pack your own lunch, you can know exactly how many calories are in it, whether you make a salad or heat up a frozen meal in the office microwave. But, she admits, planning your brown bag can be a hassle and there will be days when it doesn’t work out.

• Be selective in the cafeteria line. With a little practice, you will be able to find choices that are filling and tasty but don’t break your diet, such as salad (skip the cheese, nuts, and dressing), baked chicken and veggies, or yogurt and fruit. Some cafeterias will make nutritional information available if you ask.

• Get smart about fast food. Look at the nutritional analysis online or at the restaurant to find out which items offer you the best options for calorie counting before you order. If you can’t do the research, stick with foods that are not fried (like baked chicken sandwiches) or are fresh (like salad, hold the dressing).

Counting Calories at Work: Creating a Healthier Workplace

The easiest way to affect your immediate team may be to bring in healthy snacks such as a fruit or veggie platter occasionally.

Employers are increasingly aware that it is in their interest to help prevent costly health conditions such as diabetes and obesity, which means there may be opportunities for you to help make your office a healthier workplace.

If you work at a large company, talk to your human resources director, building management, or facilities services about how to get involved with decisions about vending machines and the cafeteria menu. Chances are you aren’t the only one who would like to see a baked fish option and multi-grain bread sandwiches on the menu, along with healthier options in the vending machine.

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