Grrrowlll…hear that? It’s mid-morning, and your stomach is rumbling. If you’re like 55% of Americans in the workplace, you will go to the vending machine for a quick snack to hold you over until lunch. Unfortunately, nearly 75% of those vending machine purchases are unhealthy: candy bars, sodas, chips, salty crackers/trail mix, and pastries. These choices aren’t very good for our waistlines, and can have a negative impact on our health. Did you know that one bag of potato chips (150 calories), eaten every day for a year, adds an additional 6.5 lbs to your body weight?
Many of us know that we snack unhealthfully, but we still reach for the candy bar anyway. But it doesn't have to be that way; we can choose to make healthy choices when it comes to snacking at work.
Snacking is necessary to good health, especially if it’s going to be more than 3 – 4 hours between each meal. Here are some strategies for making good, healthy snack choices:
· Choose to snack only when you’re hungry. If you can’t decide if you’re hungry, try drinking a glass of water or unsweetened tea and waiting 20 minutes. If you’re still hungry, grab a snack.
· Chose healthier snack options. Here are some ideas for quick, convenient snacks on the go:
o Hard-boiled eggs
o String cheese
o Fresh fruit or vegetables
o Unsalted nuts: peanuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts
o Unsweetened dried fruit: apples, raisins, bananas, pineapple
o Whole-grain crackers with cheese slices
· Plan to snack, and pack it ahead of time. This saves you time, money, and is more convenient than going to the vending machine.
· Utilize pre-packaged or pre-measured snacks. This can help prevent over-snacking when you’re hungry, or mindless snacking.
- Hide the office candy bowl. If we can’t see it, most people will not reach for it when they’re hungry.