Ask Bob: How do I eat healthy on the job?


Bob mate,

Since I started my apprenticeship, I’ve noticed the old belt going up a few notches. We’re really busy all day so, when it comes to lunch, we need something quick, which usually means drive thru. And don’t even get me started on Fast Food Fridays! It’s a free for all. How do I make sure I’m not the size of a house before I finish my time?

Guide me wise one,


Tyler mate,

Good to hear from you. What you’re talking about is a common concern, particularly among young blokes who have come from school where they played a lot of sport or from labouring jobs where they were carrying things around all day. Long story short buddy, you’re eating too much.

There are loads of different theories on how human beings put on weight and loads of different diets out there to help you lose it, but I am a subscriber to the energy in/energy out philosophy. Basically what this means is you need to burn more energy than you consume to lose weight and, likewise, if you consume more than you burn, you’re going to stack it on.

You seem to know that already though, since you’ve asked about healthy lunch options, so let’s talk about those. There are a few ways you can make sure your lunch isn’t going to split your work trousers eventually, and here they are:

  • Know your stuff. This means knowing how many calories, carbs and grams of fat you should be eating per day and sticking to it. Cheat days are great but if you’re cheating every day the only one that loses is you (and your split pants, of course). Apps like My Fitness Pal are great measurers and counters, but have a google and find one that works for you. Knowledge is power, my friend.
  • Don’t forget your veggies. Vegetables are good for you. They are packed with vitamins, they are low calorie and often low carb and they fill you up. Eat them.
  • Bring lunch from home. There are a lot of great lunchboxes and little eskies on the market these days (easily found at Bunnings and the like) that will keep your lunch cool on hot days and fresh even if you leave it in the ute all day. Google is great for recipes for salads and other such things, but I’m a big fan of the good old sandwich. Just keep an eye on what you’re putting on there as spreads like mayo can really beef up your sammie (and your waistline). If you can’t do that, then…
  • Choose healthy stuff from the shops. The easiest way to do this is to get your lunch stuff from the supermarket so you can choose some salad and a quarter roast chook for example, but if you can’t do that, try to choose sushi (not the one with the crumbed chicken and mayo though mate) or rice paper rolls, or even a packaged sandwich from the convenience store or servo can be good (but check that nutritional info). And if that’s not an option, then…
  • Choose healthy stuff from takeaway places. I know this sounds like it can’t be real, but it is. Even Maccas and KFC can be somewhat healthy if you know how to hack those meals. Say no to fries, mate. And while you’re at it, nix the cheese and mayo (there it is again, the white death) off your burger in favour of extra salad. Speaking of those, not all salads are created equal, so make sure you check out the calorie, carbohydrate and fat levels on your salads before you start tucking in.

So there you go, Tyler. The Bob rules to making sure you’re not putting the ‘FF’ in FF Friday, if you get my drift.

Best of luck, mate.