When polled by Gallup in 2015, nearly half of all Americans reported that they didn’t have enough time to do the things they wanted to do. When people feel pressed for time, they prioritize the essentials such as work and childcare. Eating breakfast and preparing a healthy lunch before work probably feels like a luxury to be postponed until another day.
The problem, though, is that more time doesn’t materialize magically — and the temptation to eat convenience foods at work is often too strong to overcome. Every burger, bag of chips and can of soda that you consume at work harms your health in a small way. It’s time to reverse that trend and improve your health by snacking smarter.
The good news is that snacking smart at work doesn’t have to be difficult at all. In fact, all it takes is a little planning. If you plan ahead and make it easy for yourself to make the right decisions, you’ll feel better and accomplish more at work.
Bring Your Snacks
What do you see when you look inside the vending machines at work — chips, candy bars and sodas? It’s hard to make smart snacking choices when there are no smart choices available, so bring your own snacks to work. Make sure that you keep a few “emergency” snacks in your desk drawer, too, for those days when you forget.
Foods containing lots of sugars and simple carbohydrates raise your blood sugar quickly. When the sugar rush fades, though, you’ll feel sleepy and have trouble getting through the rest of the work day. In addition, the body quickly metabolizes simple carbohydrates, giving off carbon dioxide as a byproduct — which can also make you feel sleepy. If you do eat something containing sugar or a starchy food like pasta or white bread, combine it with plenty of fiber to minimize the negative effects.
Drink Plenty of Water
Everyone loves their morning coffee or tea. Caffeine is a diuretic, though, so you should drink plenty of water at work to make up for the slight deficit in fluids. Water also contributes to a general feeling of fullness, helping to prevent those urges to snack throughout the day. Drinking more water can help you lose weight, too. The results of a 2010 study suggested that, if you’re already on a reduced-calorie diet, drinking 16 ounces of water before each meal can help you lose weight more quickly.
Mix Snack Types
When you snack at work, try to eat a healthy mix of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. For example, you could get some carbohydrates and fiber from a serving of Hippeas chickpea snacks and some protein and fat from some nuts or low-fat cheese. The carbohydrates provide the raw energy that your body needs, and the fiber prevents your body from absorbing the carbohydrates too quickly. The body breaks protein down more slowly, so the nuts or cheese can help you feel full longer. Remember, though, that you need to minimize the amount of fat in your snack for it to be truly healthy.