Do you work to live, or live to work? Either way, your job requires that you don’t just meet expectations, but that you fly high above them, and frequently perform at super hero levels. So, what’s eating you? If you’re munching on candy, chips or cookies from your office’s vending machine, you most likely are packing on pounds, and finding it hard to concentrate all day. Working in an office, and spending 40 or more hours a week sitting down (and stressing out!) won’t just weigh heavily on your waistline. It will weigh heavily on your mental and emotional well-being, your attitude, and on your overall physical health as well. You spend most of your time at your job. It’s the place where perhaps you shine your brightest, do your best ‘life’s work’, and act like a super star. By the same token, it can quite possibly be the place where you have developed high sugar and high fat eating habits, which today, has likely taken a toll on your health and well-being. The time has come to put as much of an emphasis on smart snacking habits as you do on your motivation to get the job done and get ahead in life. Trade in cookies for hummus, strawberry cupcakes for fresh strawberries, and as a result you won’t just fit into your pants better – You’ll have the energy to tackle whatever your job throws at you.
Here are eight of the healthiest, and easiest to prepare, snacks to bring to the office, munch on through your lunch hour, and keep your metabolism and your good mood burning until it’s time to clock out!
The most important meal of your day is and always will be breakfast. How do you think you can go full force all day if you’re depleted of energy? Get into the habit of cooking some homemade oatmeal the night before, and grab it to go in the morning. Add some antioxidants to the mix, such as fresh blueberries, dried cranberries, or raisins and finish it off with a light drizzle of maple syrup, or honey. Oatmeal is a smart way to get your good carbs, so don’t skip it just because you want to lose weight. Oatmeal will give you the ‘good carbs’ you need to become focused, articulate and productive while you’re at work, and for the rest of your day. You need carbs, and while a donut or bagel may be tempting to your palate, oatmeal will fuel your body and mind up with complex carbs that release slowly into your bloodstream. For the busy day that lies ahead, it’s just what you need to keep your mind and body at its best.
- Celery and Peanut Butter
Ants on a log may be the perfect snack food to keep your performance at its highest! Ants on a log – celery, peanut butter and raisins – may have been your favorite childhood snack, but as an adult, it gives you a good source of complex carbs, fat (which your body needs in moderation), calcium and zinc. Prepare some ants on a log before leaving your house in the morning and seal it in an easy-to-go air tight container. Enjoy it as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack before your blood sugar has a chance to crash. If you prefer dried cranberries or cherries to raisins, they taste great in this dish too.
- Rice Cakes
Rice cakes are once again making a comeback in the snack aisle of the grocery store. Whether you choose cheddar, apple cinnamon or even caramel corn, you can grab a pack of your favorite rice cakes and eat them at your desk, virtually guilt-free. Depending on the brand, a single serving of rice cakes typically only amounts to about 50 calories, so have a few and fill yourself up with something that is low in carbs, sugar and fat.
- Delicious (and Low Fat) Mini Cheeses
Mini cheeses, like string cheese or creamy wedges, are another smart way to get your daily intake of good fat and calcium, without feeling bad about it. By the time it’s 10am, (and assuming you ate breakfast within an hour of waking up, which is recommended for boosting your metabolism), you’re probably hungry for a snack. enjoy a piece of mini cheese and a few whole wheat crackers, or a piece of string cheese with a small amount of fruit. You’ll feel perked up and have enough energy to plow into your next project with enthusiasm and focus.
Movie theater or microwave popcorn isn’t a very healthy choice for on-the-job snacking, but a 100 calorie portion size of a low-butter variety is. Most of the time, when you want to snack on something at the office, it has more to do with your stress level than hunger. If this is the case for you, a few handfuls of popcorn are the perfect choice to ease your distress and pressure. Take a few minutes away from your computer screen and sit in silence while eating a guilt-free snack. Look for portion controlled packages of popcorn with as little sodium as possible. You can sprinkle in some cinnamon to add a pleasing flavor without adding calories as well.
- Greek Yogurt
Do you want to limit your calorie intake in the afternoon, but aren’t quite sure how to kick your candy addiction? Give just one serving of Greek yogurt a try. You’ll limit your consumption to just 300 calories a serving, and it will make you feel satisfied (as opposed to vending machine candy that doesn’t do a thing to help you feel full). Greek yogurt comes in a variety of flavors to choose from – raspberry, vanilla, and even chocolate, so eat up, and eat to your heart’s content. You can also get plain Greek yogurt and add your own favorite fruit for an even healthier option.
- Nuts, Berries and Dark Chocolate
Trail mix is often a snack that’s forgotten in the workplace, but it can give you all the essentials you need to thrive, and will keep well at your desk all week long. Peanuts, dried fruit and even some dark chocolate will fuel your body up with antioxidants, protein, calcium, and ‘good fats’. Enjoy, but just don’t eat more than a few handfuls at one sitting, since this stuff is loaded with calories, and again, beware of extra added salt in the pre-packaged varieties.
- Pita Bread and Hummus
Just as rice cakes, Greek yogurt and portion-controlled sizes of popcorn have hit the supermarket as the latest snacking trends, so has individually portioned and pre-packaged servings of hummus. Take a container with you to work, and spread it in a whole wheat pita, on crackers, or even eat it with your favorite fresh vegetables, like bell peppers, celery or cucumbers. These combinations will give you the perfect late afternoon snack. It’ll feel great going down, and supercharge you with essential nutrients that will have you looking great and feeling satisfied and full until dinnertime.
You don’t need to feel controlled by every co-worker’s birthday cake that stares you in the face anymore. You don’t have to give in to muffins, brownies or sugar cookies that your co-worker would love to share with you. Instead, think one step ahead and fill your body up with healthy snacks so you’ll be equipped to resist unhealthy office treats. When you do, you’ll impress yourself with a new and improved attitude for healthy work-life habits, and perhaps set the tone for your co-workers to follow!
It’s curious how the foods you think are ‘healthy’ are actually the ones that are making you fat. This free video from Fat Loss Factor will show you which foods to avoid immediately and which ones to eat more. When we first saw this information it completely blew us away.
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