We would (most days, at least) choose or prepare a healthy office snack to eat at work, but it can be challenging. There might be a vending machine down the hall, a kitchen filled with biscuits in close proximity to our desk and then there is always the indulgent coffee shop at the end of the street. To make matter’s worse, large offices host mini mid-day birthday celebrations every week of the year! We may not want to develop the reputation as being the guy/girl who never joins in. We feel obliged to eat decoratively-iced cupcakes with our team each time word of one of these occasions reaches us.
If preserving your reputation at the office is on your agenda, we also need to consider that snacks must not offend those sharing our work space. Whilst various local and large branded eateries now serve “high-protein snacks/pots”, tucking in to hard-boiled eggs and tuna at your desk may cause you to lose favour with colleagues.
All this considered, how do you find healthy, non-offensive snacks and avoid the traditional office trappings that expand your waistline? After all, enjoying a snacking can be a great idea to promote weight loss and your performance in the work place. A healthy office snack mid-morning or in the afternoon will keep your blood sugar stable, increase energy levels and curb your appetite until your next meal.
Your best bet is to arm yourself by always having smarter snacks to hand! Take the extra time and plan ahead. There might be unused draw space or a compartment your bag that will fit the bill. Be proactive and raise the suggestion to your team or boss to provide various healthy snack foods in the office kitchen. In our experience, our clients quickly learn that they were not alone in wanting easier access to healthier options.
Healthy Office Snacks to Prepare in Advance
• Reduced-fat trail mix.
• Thin-skinned fruits and berries (pears, blueberries etc.)
• Natural peanut or cahsew butter spread an apple, rice cake or celery.
• Nuts (natural or roasted without salt)
• Unsweetened cocoa hot chocolate with almond milk.
If your office has a fridge, consider some of the following healthy snacks:
• Flavoured yogurt or Greek yogurt (Tip: Flavour unsweetened plain yogurt with fruit or honey)
• Deli meat for “roll-up” breadless sandwiches.
• Humus with crudite.
Be Aware of the Least Healthy Office Snacks
In effort to keep your nutrition plan on-track at work, we must consider not only what you eat but also what you should actively avoid. There is confusion, clever marketing and temptation everywhere. It’s important to be aware of the many common pitfalls to avoid.
Firstly, the snack counter in the office kitchen always seems more appealing when stressed or in need of respite. Further, it always seems well stocked every time you walk by! If you regularly help yourself, you may assume a simple lack of willpower is to blame. However, have you considered that maybe it’s not just the biscuits that draw you toward the staff kitchen? You may be craving the social time and rest, not snacks. If mindful of this possibility, and trialling a swap from biscuits to short and regular mental breaks, you may find that mid-afternoon hunger was not underlying original issue.
Tips to Help Choose A Great Office Snack
“Fruit and something with protein” is one of the most simple and effective suggestions for your healthy office snack. Most fruits provide a variety of B-vitamins (essential in energy production); fructose gives a quick energy boost combined with gut-healthy fibres. Pair your choice of fruit with a modest amount of protein (a frequent suggestion to clients is approximately 20g), such as yogurt, a bar or shake to give the snack extra “staying power” until dinner.
Nuts are a filling snack food thanks to their protein and fibre content. Try enjoying walnuts or almonds in moderation (a small handful or less) to lessen your appetite and provide heart healthy, monounsaturated fatty acids. Our word of warning with regard to eating nuts as a snack is always the same: be very aware of portion size. Nuts have the same kcal density as chocolate per 100g. Whilst they are perhaps the healthier choice, over consuming nuts is a common reason behind many people’s challenge with fat amid with an otherwise healthy nutrition plan.
Our final (and slightly philosophical) note, do not allow common stress-inducers like an approaching deadline or an upcoming meeting to drive you to reach for food to manage the experience. Hunger and appetite are two very different experiences. The first is driven by a biological need or readiness for food. The later is thought to be constructed by our experiences: habits, feeding schedules, coping strategies and social patterns.
Thank you for reading.
To learn more on this subject, try: London’s Healthiest Breakfast