Oz Style: Keeping a Healthy Afternoon

Woman meditating on the desk

Earlier, I discussed my healthy morning routine. If you want to make a new you this New Year, remember that repeating healthy habits on a daily basis gives you a better chance of sticking with the program. Try my regular routines to get healthy and stay healthy at work. It’s easier than you think!

There are many who struggle with weight loss, yet buy heavy-calorie fast foods for lunch in a busy huff during the day. It’s not entirely their fault; studies show that stress increases your cravings for carbs and salty foods; insomnia does as well. Everyone responds to stress differently, of course. Some lose their appetite and forget to eat, while others shift their attention to the bag of chips or stack of cookies in the vending machines down the hall.

This stress-eat cycle is hard to avoid if it’s hardwired into our brains. But with a few brain-tricking tips for keeping you satisfied during the day, you can stick to your diet and weight-loss plan.

  • Pack a Lunch: Bringing your own lunch puts a cap on the number of calories you consume and keeps you from buying food when your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Make sure to pack a lunch that has the right number of calories, but will be filling. That requires ensuring your lunch includes fiber, protein, grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep Fruit Around: Hunger attacking at your desk? Be careful! Before you know it, you’re at the local corner store buying a bag of chips or chocolates. Avoid this at all costs. It’s okay to snack; just bring a bunch of bananas or apples with you to snack on. I keep pears in my desk for this reason. Pears are a good source of vitamin C and fiber.
  • Go for a Walk: You may think you’re hungry, when you’re actually bored or looking for a distraction. Take a walk in the neighborhood or around the building. You can even run quick errands. Walking builds up your endorphins, which energizes you and boosts your mood. If possible, you can go to the gym. A research study on mice suggests that the best time for a workout is the afternoon. It not only energizes you for the rest of the work day, it can promote a healthy circadian rhythm. If you can’t step out of the office, there should be no harm in trying one of Donovan Green’s no-excuse workouts, which can be done right at your desk.

Every afternoon, my staff and I also take some time to meditate. In fact, many in our office participates in the Transcendental Meditation (TM) Program. It’s a specific type of mantra meditation that promotes a feeling of “pure consciousness” amidst “fields of awareness.” Many champion this form of meditation, including Deepak Chopra, Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow, and my friend and mentor, Oprah Winfrey. Several medical studies on TM have shown that this technique reduces stress and anxiety and improves brain function. One interesting study suggested that this form of meditation can actually slow the aging process. Visit their website to learn more about the program.