6 Steps Pharmacists Can Take to Eat Healthier at Work


Working in a pharmacy is busy and not always conducive to eating well. Here are some tips for staying on the right track.

Pharmacists are busy at work, and some do not even get a lunch break. That makes it hard to eat well during the day, but that does not mean it is impossible.

Here are 6 tips for pharmacists to eat nutritiously during the work day.

1. Eat foods you like. Using someone else's nutrition plan and eating foods you do not like is a recipe for falling off the wagon. It is best to lay out a plan that includes healthy foods you actually enjoy so that you can stick to your plan for the long haul.

2. Identify go-to convenience foods. Convenience foods are not always loaded with fat or salt. There are even some excellent choices that can be bought right in the pharmacy. Learn how to make simple swaps for the most common foods found in pharmacies. Examples include deli meat, Greek yogurt, protein bars, and shakes.

3. Keep it consistent. Being consistent and keeping it simple can keep you on track to maintaining success. If you come up with a schedule that works best for you, stick to it. Having a general strategy will make eating nutritiously much easier.

4. Know your hunger triggers. Emotional or stress eating is not uncommon among pharmacists. Figure out what triggers that type of eating, and find a strategy that keeps your mind off of food. One tip is to drink a lot of water. Our brains have a hard time distinguishing between hunger and thirst. So, when you feel hungry, consider chugging a bottle of water, waiting 5 minutes, and then re-assessing how you feel.

5. Prepare foods ahead of time. Bulk cooking can save a lot of time. This means cooking just once or twice a week and meals that will be ready to go when you have 30 seconds between doctor calls, drive-thru complaints, patients who are waiting, and the technician who just called in sick.

6. Structure flexibility. Being too restrictive in terms of what you can eat can derail your nutrition plan long term. Consider the 80/20 rule: 80% of the foods you eat come from nutritious, whole food sources, and fun foods comprise the other 20% of your diet. Knowing that yes, you can have that ice cream, slice of pizza, or Twinkie, because you planned for it, will release you from the feeling of being deprived. Life is more fun with sprinkles on it!

I leave you with this quote from bodybuilder and personal trainer Dr. Layne Norton “The best diet is not always the diet which is the best diet physically, but it’s the diet that you can turn into a lifestyle that allows you to lose fat and keep it off because you learn how to incorporate all foods in healthy moderation."

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