Spending long hours at the workplace means less time eating healthy meals and more time trying to find unhealthy snacks to satisfy your hunger. Unhealthy snacks are high in calories and make us pile on the pounds. The key to breaking this habit is to stock healthy items to snack on at your desk.
The first and foremost step towards healthy eating is to make sure you eat full meals. This will help you stay healthy. If you can’t get a full meal, munch on healthy snacks that provide energy in the middle of the day and prevent tiredness and fatigue. Eating small and nutritious snacks every 2-3 hours is also a great way to avoid overeating at meal time. The key benefits of healthy snacking at the workplace are:
- More focus and productivity during the workday
- Increased energy levels and less bloating
- Less sick days from work
- Reduced risk of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease
Here are some simple and healthy snack ideas for your desk:
- Nuts: Being a perfect food to beat hunger pangs, plain nuts deliver a great combination of protein, fat and dietary fiber. This snack boosts energy levels, protects the heart, and improves brain health. Healthy options include almonds, walnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, cashew nuts and macadamia nuts. Roast a variety of these nuts and keep them in a handy jar on your desktop. However, as they calorie-dense, take care to snack on nuts in moderation.
- Fruits and Dried fruits: You can either keep fresh fruits or dried fruits at your desk. Fruits such as bananas, apples, oranges, peaches, grapes, and any other fruit do not require peeling and cutting. A single serving of any of these fruits is high on fiber and vitamins.You can also keep dried fruits at your desk. A good source of energy, vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber and antioxidants, dried fruit is a great alternative to sugar-rich foods. Healthy options include dates, raisins, dried apricots and prunes.
- Protein bars: Protein-packed bars supply energy boosting protein that keeps you active through the day. They are available in different flavors.
- Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt fills up the stomach with good bacteria and stocks up high on protein, probiotics, calcium and magnesium. Sodium content is much lower than normal yogurt.
- Popcorn: Munching popcorn, especially air-popped, is a great snackable option. Popcorn is a whole grain and a great source of fiber, which helps to fill your palate. An air-popped 100-calorie bag of popcorn or three cups of air-popped popcorn can satisfy your hunger in a much healthier way than salty chips.
- Roasted chickpeas: Replace your unhealthy store-bought chips with roasted chickpeas. Power-packed with dietary fiber and plant protein, chickpeas are a crunchy, low-fat and low GI (glycemic index) snack option. You can store them in an airtight container in your office drawer for almost a week.
- Dark chocolate: Rich in antioxidants, eating dark chocolate in moderation helps keep you fresh and energized. The magnesium present in it act as a natural stress-reliever, as it lowers the level of cortisol, a stress hormone and induces a feeling of relaxation. Treat yourself to good quality dark chocolate that has 98% cocoa content and the least milk and sugar.
Always keep always a bottle of water near you and drink lot of water. Sometimes, hunger could just be your body telling you are dehydrated.