Why You Shouldn't Eat at Your Desk (and What to Do Instead)

healthy lifestyle habits Feb 22, 2022

Do you find yourself eating at your desk all the time? If so, you're not alone - but you may want to reconsider that habit.

A new study has found that eating at your desk can have some pretty negative consequences for your productivity and your health.

The study looked at two groups of professional women - one group who ate at their desks and one group who didn't.

They found that the women who ate at their desks were more stressed, less productive, and had worse diets than the women who didn't.

So why is eating at your desk such a bad idea?

For one thing, it's stressful. When you're busy, it's tempting to just shovel in a quick meal and get back to work, but that's actually not a good idea.

Eating at your desk can lead to increased stress levels and decreased productivity.

Eating at your desk can also have negative consequences for your health.

It can lead to poor eating habits and increased calorie intake.

Plus, when you're eating at your desk, you're not giving your body the chance to rest and recharge.

If you're finding it hard to break the habit of eating at your desk, try incorporating some mindfulness into your workday.

Take a few minutes to step away from your computer and enjoy your meal in peace.

Or, take a quick break to go for a walk or do some stretching exercises.

Whenever possible, try to schedule regular lunch breaks.

That way, you'll have a chance to relax and recharge, and you'll be less likely to eat at your desk.

If you're menopausal, eating at your desk may be an even bigger no-no.

Menopause can lead to all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms, including fatigue, stress, and anxiety.

So it's important to take some time for yourself during the day and relax your mind and body.

If your goal is to be healthy and eat like a chic woman eating at your desk isn't always a bad idea, but it's important to be mindful of the consequences.

So, if you're struggling with stress or fatigue, try taking a break from work to eat a healthy meal in peace.

And if you're menopausal like me, make sure to take some time for yourself during the day.

Which means you have to pull out your calendar and schedule in regular breaks for yourself.

It is your choice what you want to do but I typically go for a walk, or do some stretching exercises if I have been sitting for awhile. 

So what should you do instead?

One option is to take a break for lunch. When you step away from your desk and eat in a quiet, relaxing place it is good for your level of wellbeing.

Or, take a walk outside and enjoy the fresh air.

Enjoying fresh air will help to boost your energy and relieve stress.

Removing yourself from stress levels can help you to not bring any stress to your safe haven of home. Whatever you do, just make sure to avoid eating at your desk!

Eating at your desk may seem like the easy option, but it's actually not the best for you. Because your digestive system needs to focus on breaking down food, it can't do that when you're also working and focusing on something else. 

So what's the bottom line?

When you are working you are engaging the stress hormone called cortisol.

This hormone when released in large amounts over a period of time will break down muscle, bone, and lead to belly fat storage.

If you are going to eat while working try these tips:

  1. Eliminate distractions: turn off your phone, close tabs on your computer put it in sleep mode, and anything else that might be pulling your attention away from your food. So that means no "multitasking" .
  2. Sit down: eating while standing up can lead to poor digestion and increased calorie intake. 
  3. Chew your food well: this will help you to digest your food better and get the most nutrition from it.
  4. Be mindful of what you're eating: try to choose healthy, whole foods that will give you sustained energy throughout the day.
  5. Pay attention to portion sizes: oversized meals can lead to weight gain over time
  6. Take your time: eat slowly and mindfully, and savor the flavor and texture of each bite.
  7. Focus on your food: when you're focused on your food, you're less likely to eat mindlessly. Learn to focus on the taste, texture, and smell of your food.
  8. Avoid processed foods: these tend to be high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and artificial ingredients. If you are snacking on processed foods while working , you're more likely to overeat and make poor food choices.
  9. Bring your own lunch: this is the best way to ensure that you're eating healthy, balanced meals. If you bring your own lunch, you can control what's in it and how much you eat. When you do this, you'll know exactly what's in your food
  10. Take a break for lunch and eat away from your desk. This will give you a chance to relax and refuel, which will help you be more productive later on and you won't have to worry about unhealthy distractions.
  11. Pack snacks: if you don't have time for a healthy snack, you're more likely to reach for unhealthy snacks. Pack some healthy snacks like fresh fruit, nuts, or veggie sticks so you have something on hand when hunger strikes.
  12. Drink plenty of water: dehydration can often be mistaken for hunger, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  13. Create way to ensure that you have healthy, nutrient-rich options available.
  14. Invest in a good set of utensils: Never eat food from take out straight out of the box.
  15. Clean your workspace: a clean and organized desk can help reduce feelings of stress and promote better eating habits. Using proper utensils will help you eat more mindfully and reduce the amount of stress you feel while eating. 

It's always so tempting to eat at your desk when you're busy, but as you can see, that's actually not a good idea.

The bottom line is that eating at your desk can have negative consequences for your health and productivity. So try to avoid it whenever possible and find other ways to take a break during the day. Your body will thank you!

So, if you're looking to be more productive and maintain a healthy diet, it's best to avoid eating at your desk. Instead, take a break for lunch and head outside or to a nearby café.

And if you really can't resist the temptation to eat at your desk, make sure to bring healthier options with you instead of processed snacks from the vending machine.

Have you ever tried cooking healthy meals at home?

If not, now might be the time to give it a try.

Join one of our upcoming Virtual Color Me Beautiful Chicshop Cooking Classes and let us show you how easy it is to cook delicious and nutritious meals that will help improve your productivity and well-being.

About the Author

Milan Perry, HHP, MH

World-renowned wellness chef with an extensive background in nutrition, wellness and herbalism. She is the Culinary Nutrition & Wellness Chef of the Chic Women Don't Diet (CWDD) culinary + wellness coaching program. And serving a small local Chicago clients as a Gourmet Chef. Milan went from working as a commercial print model which emphasized focusing on self to reinventing herself to focusing on the inner beauty that starts with health, wellbeing and the quality of food we eat. 

**If you are looking for a new, healthy way get healthier without dieting, I hope this blog post has been helpful in helping you find that path.

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