FOOD & FITNESS / AUG. 04, 2014
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How to Snack Right at Work

If your workplace is like most, there seems to be a never-ending smorgasbord of treats, brought in by one well-meaning co-worker or another. And don’t they always seem to be the fattiest, most high-calorie foods imaginable? No doubt, your workplace also boasts one of those evilly-tempting snack machines, complete with chips, candy, soda and more.

Even if you partake rather sparingly, the calories can really add up.

And that’s not to mention the effect those sugary, starchy snacks are having on your energy levels throughout the workday. If you’re ready to turn over a new leaf, here are some tips to snacking right.

Outfit yourself with small containers. First step: making it easy to pack a good snack. Start a collection of yogurt, cottage cheese or sour cream containers by recycling old containers as you go, or get yourself one of those plastic or glass sets, complete with containers of varying small and medium sizes. This will make it easier to stash away a healthy snack of things like nuts, yogurt or fruit, while also keeping your portion sizes realistic.

Place the good snacks nearby, so you won’t have to leave your work area. That way you’ll be able to reach for healthy food first. If you need to keep things cool, bring a small, soft-sided cooler you can keep near your work area. Because you’re using those small containers, you should have plenty of room for a single cold pack as well as containers with foods such as dollops of egg or tuna salad with veggies, salmon, cheese and crackers, hummus with cucumbers and carrots, or even a yogurt parfait you fashion yourself with nuts, fruit and granola. The same goes if you have a job that requires you to be on the road. Keep that cooler nearby and you won’t have to make stops at fast food restaurants or convenience stores.

Pack the night before. You’re more likely to reach for the junky snacks or not pack a snack at all if you leave it to the last minute. Packing your snack well ahead of time, on the other hand, will allow you time for planning and food prep.

Out of sight, out of mind. If your co-workers insist on bringing in treats all the time, your best bet for resisting them may be to keep them where you can’t see them. If you’re in the close vicinity of the snack area, you might even consider turning your workspace around to face away from it.

Make a workmate pact. You could have more success in packing healthy snacks by enlisting the help of a friend. Offer to make the snacks half of the days of the week, and ask your buddy to cover the rest. You might also agree to remind each other to stay away from the high-calorie junk that other people bring in. You could even go so far as to team up to bring in healthy snacks for the group, to counter the regular donut-and-sweets fare.

By following these guidelines, you’re likely to reap rewards such as more energy, fewer afternoon slumps, and maybe even weight loss.


Image courtesy Richard Giles, Flickr

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