Working eight or more hours a day can make it difficult to eat healthfully unless you plan ahead. Research shows that eating every two to four hours helps to keep your metabolism charged and your energy level high. Before you dig in your drawer for spare change and head to the vending machine, plan ahead and stash low-calorie, nutritious snacks in a cabinet, drawer, or your briefcase.
I often recommend two snacks per day to help folks keep their energy levels up and blood sugar steady during the day. But more important is to become intimately familiar with your bodies own hunger queues.
Remember: An ideal snack consists of protein, healthy fat and fiber.
Here are some tips and healthy snack ideas that are sure to satisfy when the 3 p.m. cravings hit!
Smart Portion Packing
Instead of toting the entire package of almonds to the office, keep between-meal munching in check by measuring out snacks into bags or containers before you're ready to devour them.
Savvy packing can help:
- Use 'snack-size' plastic bags for crackers, pita chips or other addictively salty/crunchy items.
- Layer yogurt, fruit and nuts into 8 oz. jars with screw-top lids for parfaits to go. I love to use a plain ol' mason jar.
- Reach for muffin cup liners for portioning items that call for a "small handful" serving size like nuts and dried fruit. Use these until you learn what this portion size looks and feels like in your tummy.
10 Snack Ideas for Home and the Desktop
- Banana - Grahams: 1/2 medium banana + 2 honey graham cracker sticks + 1 tablespoon almond butter.
- Balsamic Tomato or Avocado Toast: 1 (1-ounce) slice whole grain toast + 2 tomato slices OR 1/2 an avocado+1/2 ounce fresh mozzarella (optional and best paired with the tomato)+1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar.
- Berry-Pistachio Yogurt: 1/2 cup full fat and unsweetened Greek yogurt + 2 tablespoons blueberries+1 tablespoon chopped unsalted pistachios + 1/2 teaspoon honey.
- Chocolate -Almond Strawberries: 1/3 cup strawberries + 5 almonds + 1/2 ounce dark chocolate.
- Cheesy Popcorn- take your regular bagged popcorn (PLAIN) and sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast or shredded parmesan.
- Whole Grain Instant Oatmeal: When you're in a rush at work and want something warm and comforting, heat a packet of plain instant oatmeal in the microwave for a quick and satisfying treat. Choose plain oatmeal and add your own flavorings to control the calorie and sugar content. Top with a mini box of raisins for a sweet flavor or sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Raw Veggies + Hummus or Salsa: Assorted chopped veggies with 1/3 cup salsa or hummus for dipping.
- Cucumber-Feta Bites: cucumbers are a wonderful alternative to crackers during snack time. Top them off with a little cream cheese, nonfat Greek yogurt, feta cheese, and walnuts for a protein-packed crunch.
- Egg with a Kick: Make a batch of hardboiled eggs on Sunday to have on hand throughout the week. Slice the egg in half and drizzle ½ teaspoon of Sriracha or my favorite local brand Chili Beak chili oil.
- Maple-Ricotta Waffle: 1 toasted multigrain waffle+1 tablespoon part-skim ricotta cheese + 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup + cinnamon.
What are you snacking on?
Share with us in the comments below! I can't wait to hear from you!