The concept of snacking has always had a negative connotation ever since mother told you not to snack before dinner. But if used properly, snacking can be healthy and beneficial. However, too large of a snack can bring you down for the entire afternoon.
Choose the right snacks
The biggest factor is what you choose to eat. Too high an intake of carbs, fats, sodium and sugar can cause drowsiness and irritability, unless you have a very physical job to burn off the excess calories.
For office positions, consider the following snacks that can boost productivity without creating a slump:
- High-fiber, low-fat crackers such as Triscuits with cheese slices
- Nuts and dried fruit
- Natural peanut butter with crackers or fruit (i.e. spread on apple slices)
- Veggies and a healthy dip, like carrot sticks with hummus or bean dip
- Cottage cheese
- Instant oatmeal packets (reduced sugar, if possible)
- A can of low-sodium soup or tuna fish, in case you regularly skip lunch or substitute unhealthy snacks for lunch (don’t forget to bring a can opener!)
If those don’t sound appealing, you can throw in the occasional guilty pleasure, just keep it in moderation.
Regulate your snacking
When you are busy at work, it is easy to snack without realizing how much you are eating. To prevent overeating and the negative results on physical and mental energy that result, carefully package your snacks ahead of time based on serving sizes. Having a box of cookies, crackers, or a candy dish at your desk will almost automatically result in overeating.
However, serving sizes can be deceiving too: for instance, one candy bar may seem like a perfect “one serving.” However, most of these tasty treats are laden with nearly half of your daily fat. Opt for a mini chocolate or two a day instead.
Vending machines aren’t always your enemy
Even vending machines offer healthier options as the trend towards better health continues. As a general rule, substitute the classic offenders with options such as:
- Water or fruit juice instead of soda
- Nuts or pretzels instead of potato chips
- Granola bars instead of candy bars
When you do choose these options, be careful: many fruit juices are 0-10% juice, eliminating any health benefits. Similarly, many chocolate granola bars aren’t much healthier than a candy bar. Consult the nutrition labels of these products to gain an understanding of what you should eat.
Don’t be afraid to snack
While it may seem a complicated process, healthier snacking just takes a little work. Better snacks can result in better productivity, improving recognition and company status. Furthermore, the occasional snack can increase your metabolism, boost your energy and help you feel better physically.
By choosing the right options, snacks can offer a small break with benefits that extend throughout the day.
To learn more tips like this, visit the PHS Mobile Health blog!