If you spend most of your day in a typical office, you’re used to snacks being there to tempt you. And at this time of year, there’s usually even more unhealthy temptation from leftover Halloween candy, and heading into the holidays and all the delicious food that comes with it. There seem to be sugary, fatty foods everywhere. Here are some tips to help you stay the course and maintain a healthy weight.
“Snacking” itself is not necessarily a bad thing. Chosen wisely, snacks can be part of a healthy diet and even help you feel more energetic throughout the day.
Snacks help by:
• Taking the edge off hunger so you don’t overeat at mealtime.
• Raising your intake of fruits and vegetables.
• Contributing important vitamins, minerals and fiber.
To make the best snacking choices, think about when and where the urge to nosh usually strikes you—then plan ahead.
At work: Stash these in your bag or desk:
• Whole-grain cereal mixed with unsalted walnuts and dried apricots.
• Sliced-up fruit such as apples, pears, or try freezing some banana slices.
• Fat-free microwave popcorn.
• Instant oatmeal.
• Multigrain rice cakes and mini packets of peanut butter.
At home: Stock up on fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole-wheat items, and try to include at least two food groups in every snack. Mix and match for small but tummy-filling servings of protein and fiber like these:
• A wedge of steamed sweet potato topped with Greek yogurt.
• Almond butter and raisins on whole-wheat toast.
• Zucchini circles, broccoli spears or red pepper slices dipped in hummus.
• Frozen yogurt and sliced banana between two graham crackers.
At play: Whether you’re a soccer fan or a golf pro, these portables can stave off hunger (and help you stay hydrated):
• A fresh pear.
• Baby carrots.
• A single-serving can of low-salt vegetable juice.
• 100% fruit juice mixed with seltzer water.
Remember: The best time to snack is when you’re actually hungry. If the notion to nibble hits when you’re bored or frustrated, seek another distraction—call a friend, take a walk or read a magazine.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
American Institute for Cancer Research
Produce for Better Health Foundation