Healthy Eating for a Happy Working Life

Treedom is encouraging employees in Thailand to eat well to work well and to live well; following a healthier diet and lifestyle to enjoy your working life more and be part of a strong, energized team.

A bad diet can not only negatively impact your work, it can seriously impact your health and the health of the company you work for. What you eat, how, and when is interrelated to every aspect of your life and a good diet can greatly improve your quality of life too.

 It is estimated that unhealthy eating, whether too much of the wrong foods or too little of the right foods, costs around 20% in lost productivity globally. Companies with unhealthy staff are more than 2.5 times more likely to have a high absenteeism rate through unplanned sick leave.

With today’s busy lifestyles, it is easy to skip meals, load up on sugary snacks and high-fat bites as well as binge eat at your desk. Lack of exercise with sedentary jobs only add to the problem.

The temptation to not eat healthily is huge in Thailand, with stalls selling deep-fried and sugary snacks available all day, pretty much every day on every street in Bangkok. With the climate so hot, it is also easy to fill up on sugar and calories with chilled drinks alone.

The negative effects of an unhealthy diet
You only have to take a look around to see that growth of fast foods is having a dramatic impact on the waistlines of those who overindulge in Thailand. Did you know that Thailand is ranked second in Southeast Asia for levels of obesity? The issue is not about how you look, but what is happening inside and the increased risk of diet-related illness.

At work, a bad diet can be part of many problems including performance, stress, morale and safety, not to mention your long-term health. Think about that awful sugar-crash in the afternoon and how the day slows down and work becomes more difficult.

The reality is that your attitude to food can be the solution.

Bad diet excuses – don’t use them!
It is easy to find reasons to justify, at least to yourself internally, why you cannot or do not eat more healthily. If you are using these bad diet excuses then STOP.

·         I’m too busy to eat properly!
Everyone is busy, you need to make time for meal break and don’t just sit in front of a screen and quickly eat whatever is nearby without thinking.

·         I’m young with a high metabolism so it is okay to eat junk food!
You could still be damaging your health and you are creating bad habits that may be difficult to break as you get older.

·         I’m on a diet so I prefer snacks to big meals!
Snacking can lead to weight gain, especially if you are starving your body and then binge eating.

·         Everyone else is eating the same foods!
There are also many people who choose grilled rather than deep-fried foods and who are health-conscious.

·         I don’t know what is healthy and what isn’t!
Educate yourself!

How to eat healthily

Many foods in Thailand have hidden sugars and are saturated with oil too. To kickstart your ‘eat well, work well and live well’ lifestyle for a healthier Treedom Team follow these top healthy diet tips:

·         Less sugary drinks. Stay refreshed with water and iced Chinese tea rather than iced coffees, lemon teas and red sodas that are packed with sugar. If you do want to treat yourself then ask for less sugar.

·         Say no to MSG and cut back on sugar and oil. Request foods without MSG and also ask for less oil and less sugar. Next time you order a Pad Thai look at how much sugar and oil is added. A good tip is to opt for freshly cooked foods or look for a source of healthy clean foods.

·         Healthy Team snacks only. Cut back on snacks and come to work armed with healthy goodies – fruit, nuts and raw carrot sticks. Make a rule as a Team that together you will stop snacking and create a healthier work environment.

·         Think about portion size. Remember the golden rule that vegetables should make up half your plate with protein making up a quarter and carbs the final quarter. Rice is a high GI (Glycaemic Index) food and so releases large amounts of sugar into the bloodstream – giving a sugar high. The problem with this is after a high comes a massive dip in energy!

·         Explore new foods. There is a lot of food on the streets and in small restaurants in Bangkok so don’t just stick to the same choices. Steamed fish and soups with white radish could be healthier than your usual go-to choices.

·         Look at other lifestyle choices. Other decisions you make in life can impact your diet. Be active, cut out bad habits and start to take control of what you eat, how you work and the way in which you live your life!

With clean food a real trend in Bangkok, there is a growing interest and awareness, especially amongst the city’s young workers in eating a better diet too.