28 foods you shouldn't eat at your desk

If you're one of those people who eats at your desk (guilty!), it's important that you be mindful of what you're consuming.

Not only do you want to stick to foods that will minimize blood sugar swings and optimize brainpower and mental focus — but you'll also want to think about whether what you're eating is in any way offensive to those who sit around you ... especially if you sit in an open office.

Foods that are messy, crumby, smelly, noisy, or sugary can have a serious impact on both yours and your coworkers' productivity.

Check out the list below:

Foods you should never eat at your desk
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Foods you should never eat at your desk
Anything smelly, such as ...
1. Reheated fish
2. Hard-boiled eggs
3. Brussels sprouts
4. Raw onions
5. Garlic
6. Pungent spices
7. Tuna salad
8. Smelly cheese
Anything messy, such as ...
9. Burritos 
10. Spaghetti with red sauce
11. Ribs
12. Wings
13. Tacos
Anything too crunchy or loud, such as... 
14. Soup
15. Potato or tortilla chips
16. Pretzels
17. Nuts
Anything too greasy, such as...
18. French fries
19. Burger
Anything your coworkers are allergic to, such as...
20. Peanuts/peanut butter
21. Tree nuts
22. Shellfish
Anything distracting to your coworkers, such as...
23. Candy
24. Cupcakes
25. Brownies
Anything that will hurt your productivity, such as... 
26. Doughnuts
27. Cookies
28. Ice cream

Anything smelly

There's nothing worse than sitting next to someone who eats hard boiled eggs for breakfast.

Well, maybe there is: Sitting next to a coworker who eats reheated fish for lunch.

Smelly foods like the following should stay out of the office:

• Reheated fish

Hard boiled eggs

Brussels sprouts

Raw onions


Pungent spices

Tuna salad

Stinky cheese

Anything messy

Would you really want your CEO to walk by as you're licking the bone of the rib you just scarfed down? I'm guessing you wouldn't. Eating messy foods at your desk is unprofessional. It can be visually offensive to those around you. Plus, if anything happens to drip on your nice white shirt, you'll be stuck sporting a nasty stain the rest of the work day.

Here are a few messy foods to avoid:


Spaghetti with red sauce




Anything too crunchy or loud

If the sound of your crunching or slurping is even giving you a headache, imagine how your desk neighbors feel!

If you're not sure how loud you're being when you eat a particular food, ask someone around you if it's distracting. Or, try eating that food at home and ask your partner or a friend to be honest about whether the crunch or slurp is annoying.

Here are some noisy foods to avoid (if you can't figure out how to eat it quietly):


Potato or tortilla chips



Anything too greasy

Similarly to messy foods, greasy foods aren't a great idea at work for a few reasons.

One:Your keyboard, computer mouse, and anything else on your desk will be shiny for days. And two: Greasy foods often smell, well, greasy, which may be offensive to those around you.

French fries


Anything your coworkers are allergic to

You need to be aware of and sensitive to your coworkers' food allergies.

Try not to bring these foods in to work — but if you do, eat them away from the people who have allergies, and always wash your hands once you're finished.

Here are some common allergens:

• Peanuts/peanut butter

• Tree nuts

• Shellfish

Anything distracting to your coworkers

Okay, so anything noisy or smelly or gross-looking will be distracting — but candy and cupcakes can be, too ... for different reasons.

Bringing in the occasional treat for a coworker's birthday or a holiday is a nice thing to do and will be appreciated by all, but constantly offering your desk mates candy or brownies, day after day, can get a bit distracting.




Anything that will hurt your productivity

High-fat, high-sugar meals and snacks make us sleepy and have low energy, Lisa De Fazio, a healthy-lifestyle expert and registered dietitian, previously told Business Insider.

If you want to maintain a high level of productivity throughout the day, stay away from these foods:



Ice cream

Now check out 19 natural ways to boost your energy:

19 natural ways to boost energy
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19 natural ways to boost energy

Take a walk.

When people think of exercise they often envision high-intensity, calorie-busting, sweat-pouring workouts. But to boost energy you don't need to go to that extreme. A brisk 10-minute walk will zap the flat feeling, especially if you aim for three 10-minute walks a day.

Ride a bike.

Like walking, riding a bike for a short 10 minutes can really get the heart pumping and energy levels up. Again, as little as three 10-minute sessions can do the trick. Biking (or walking) is also a great way to soak up some sunlight and increase the body's level of vitamin D, which can also boost energy levels.

Exercise at the right time of day.

While many people squeeze in a workout first thing in the morning, a better time to boost energy is in the early afternoon, when fatigue really sinks in. A lunchtime trip to the gym could be just the thing to get back on track.

Sit up straight or stand up.

Holding a hunched-over pose in front of the computer can cause blood vessels to close off and blood flow to slow. Stand up or even sit up straight to loosen the neck and shoulders, and bring circulation into those narrowed blood vessels.

Practice deep breathing.

Breathing patterns used in yoga relax the mind and boost energy. This one can be done seated at your desk: When fatigue strikes, sit up straight, close your eyes, and take a deep breath in. Place your hand on your belly and, as you exhale, push on your belly nine or 10 times to help release all the air from your chest. Repeat several times to get oxygen flowing.

Cut back on sugar and white flour.

Sugar and white flour are deceiving. When consumed, they give a quick energy burst, followed by a lower low. The spike and drop of blood sugar levels does nothing but zap more energy. Avoid snacks and meals loaded with these energy saboteurs.

Eat the right foods.

Instead of sugar and white flour, eat meals and snacks consisting of various plant-based antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, iron, vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc, which can do wonders to boost your energy levels and keep blood sugar spikes to a minimum.

Blink often.

It sounds silly, but instead of staring at a screen without blinking for hours on end, try blinking 10 to 20 times a minute while getting your screen time. It allows the brain to take mini breaks and stay engaged.

Drink plenty of water.

Dehydration is a huge culprit of fatigue. Even if you don't realize it, your flagging may be due to a lack of water. Aim to drink enough that your urine is pale yellow.

Eat breakfast daily.

Start the day off right with breakfast, and not just a small meal. Make sure it contains a complex carbohydrate, a protein, and a little healthy fat.

Have regular snacks.

Protein helps keep blood sugar level, so adding in a protein snack a few times a day is a good way to combat fatigue before it even starts.

Sip on green tea.

While coffee is the main go-to for many, green tea can have the same or even better benefits, especially when sipped in the afternoon. Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, found in green tea is associated with weight loss, while the small amounts of caffeine in green tea provide an energy boost without interrupting sleep patterns at night.

Snack on fruit.

Pair that green tea with an apple to get lots of energy. Apples are a great source of plant-based antioxidants, vitamin C, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. All work together to keep blood sugar in check. Berries are a good choice too. They pack a big dose of anthocyanins, which naturally boost energy.

Monitor your blood pressure.

This is especially important for men. A University of Wisconsin study found that 60 percent of Americans 18 to 39 have high blood pressure and don't know how to control it. High blood pressure is a major source of fatigue, and a health condition that needs attention and treatment.

Get your sinuses in check.

Suffer from allergies? It could be stealing your energy. Sinus issues can contribute to a lower level of oxygen and less circulating through your body, plus greater effort with every breath. Try an over-the-counter sinus pill to combat sinus allergies and improve energy levels. Savings tip: Generic allergy pills are just as effective as brand name and a fraction of the cost.

Hang out with energetic people.

Have friends who are always full of energy and motivation? Hang out with them more often; their enthusiasm will rub off, improving your mood and energy levels.


Laughter is good for the soul -- and, as it turns out, the body, too. Laughing boosts your heart rate and blood pressure enough to add some energy when you're dragging.

Lose the extra pounds.

Being overweight by even 5 pounds takes a toll on your energy. The closer you are to your ideal weight, the more energy you'll have.

Tap your chest.

A practitioner of emotional freedom techniques, a form of acupressure therapy commonly known as tapping, tells Shape that the thymus can play a role in energy levels. This gland is located on the chest below the collarbone. Tapping this area for 20 seconds while taking some deep breaths stimulates T-cell production, relieves stress, and boosts energy.


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SEE ALSO: 15 things successful people do during their lunch break

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