Some of the oldest excuses in the book exist for not eating right at work:
“I travel too much;” “I have too many lunch meetings;” “It’s a stressful time of the year;” “I sit all day;” you’ve heard them all, right? I have been known to use some of them myself.
Last summer, after a not-so-great report from my doctor, I decided it was time for no more excuses.
After all, I am a professional chef, trained in culinary composition, menus and nutrition and I know how to make food that’s good for you taste good too.
I even train other Sodexo chefs in our operations on how to implement our wellness programs, incorporate seasonal ingredients into their menus, etc.
As a company, Sodexo knows the importance of wellness in the workplace, not just in the onsite café, but as a strategy for the health and happiness of employees.
Why was I not able to put this into practice for myself? Oh, right, enter any of the above excuses [here].
Once I made the decision to make changes in my life, I decided to start tracking what I ate with MyFitnessPal.
It was about the time Sodexo was entering a partnership to add all of our recipes into the MyFitnessPal database, helping our customers easily track what they are eating at work.
What I actually found was way more valuable than any so-called calorie counter or fitness tracker—this simple tool was actually a secret weapon of information to help me understand what I needed to do activity-wise to help me account for what I was eating or not eating.
As someone who knows the textbook applications for food as fuel for the body, I was still eating the wrong things at the wrong times and not adjusting my activity to account for it.
I wasn’t conscious of what I was doing to my own body.
Sixty-one-pounds GONE—and still counting! I am feeling great. All from simple adjustments and being conscious of the decisions I am making.
After I get past the fact that I feel younger, have more energy and am enjoying life, I really had to take a minute and think about the impact this could have on our entire organization. What I experienced fits perfectly with our Mindful approach to wellness. It’s about helping our customers make healthy lifestyle choices second nature, and that even the smallest change can have a big impact – one of the missions of our Better Tomorrow plan. My advice: get started today!
Now for the myth-busting moment: this works, I promise. Even at work! Don’t just take my word for it. In the first six months of Sodexo’s partnership with MyFitnessPal, 275,000+ unique users scanned Sodexo items in the workplace.
Of those customers, MyFitnessPal reports the average weight loss for those users is 9.2 lbs. This simple tool and this Mindful approach are changing the way we eat and work – no more excuses!
Russell DeCesare is a certified executive chef and senior director of culinary services and training for Sodexo’s Corporate client segment.