Healthy Snacking at Work—Why do it and How!

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You spend anywhere from 8-12 hours at work, some of you, even more than that. And majority of us have only one meal during those hours, which is lunch. While some may also have breakfast or evening snacks, most of us rely on just one meal while working, to pull us through the day. Do you think that is fair?

And what happens when you do get hungry at work? Control the hunger till lunch or till you leave work, rush to the office cafeteria and grab whatever you find, or end up ordering something delicious (read high calories)? And then you wonder why you haven’t achieved your fitness and health goals!

The problem is you will get hungry between the main meals and the best way to deal with it is to prepare for it. Enter – Healthy Snacking!

 

Why is healthy snacking at work important?

  • It helps prevent overeating during meal times.
  • It helps sustain your energy levels throughout the day.
  • It provides your body with all the nutrition it requires, that is, if you plan your snacks accordingly.
  • It keeps your mind and body focused. Have you seen some anger in people when they’re hungry? Yes, “hanger” is real and you don’t really want that side of yours to show, definitely not at work.
  • It helps you stay happy and guilt-free as you have not indulged in any unhealthy food from the cafeteria nor did you order any pizza. (By the way, it is totally ok to do that once in a while!)

 

What kind of snacks qualify as healthy snacks?

Foods that are light, have good nutritional value and are not rich in saturated fats could be called healthy snacks. When you talk about having snacks at work, an added advantage goes to foods that can be stored easily and have a longer shelf-life. Here are some examples to get you started…

  • Fruits and Raw Nuts – All kinds of fruits and nuts work great as snacks. While nuts last long, the shelf-life of some fruits (example, bananas, peaches, plums) is shorter than others (apples, pears, oranges). Take that into consideration while packing them.
  • Dried fruits – Dried apricots, dates or raisins can be combined with nuts or even had by themselves to satisfy hunger between meals.
  • Popcorn – Grab a pack of ready-to-cook popcorn kernels and give it two minutes in a microwave, and your hot plate of fresh popcorn will be ready! But how you plan to hide it from your colleagues, is for you to figure out…
  • Yogurt (low-sugar) – Yogurt is rich in calcium and protein, but comes with a high volume of added sugar, so keep a check on that.
  • Oatmeal – For this one, you’ll have to go to the pantry. Add some nuts too!
  • Shakes – Fruit shakes, milk shakes or protein shakes are a great source of energy to keep you going, especially during the summers.
  • Nutrition bars / snack bars / protein bars / granola bars – You can have as much as you want depending on how hungry you are. These are easy maintenance and can stay in your shelf for a long time.
  • Seeds – Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, etc. are rich sources of protein and come with hassle-free storage requirements.

 

Some bonus tips!

  • Have fixed times in a day when you’d like to have snacks. That way, you can avoid hunger pangs when stuck in a long meeting or while on an important call.
  • Check the size of the snack – it shouldn’t be too little or too much, just enough to satisfy you.
  • Add variety, mix’n’match so that you aren’t bored of the same kinds of snacks day after day.
  • Check the nutritional content of the snacks you pack. For example, a combination of protein and carbohydrates will keep you full for a long time, which you’d find when combining yogurt with a fresh fruit.

 

Happy Healthy Snacking!

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