You’re at work and your mind is working on overdrive. Your eyes start to feel heavy and a low grumble starts to sound in your stomach. To combat the mid-day slump, sometimes a snack is just what you need to boost your energy level and concentration while keeping your hunger at bay. Don’t give in to the temptation to run off to the nearest vending machine for a high calorie snack that will ultimately leave you feeling unsatisfied. Impulsive and mindless snacking may cause you to exceed your recommended daily calorie intake and can lead to overeating. Instead, choose healthier options that are calorie controlled, nutrient dense, and appetizing, allowing you to feel full for longer periods of time and finish out the work day strong.
Here are five sensible snacks that you can keep at your desk or in the office refrigerator to help you avoid that mid-afternoon snack attack.
- 1 oz. cocoa roasted almonds
Almonds not only deliver nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, vitamin B2, calcium, and protein, but they also provide you with energy and will keep you feeling full until your next meal.
- Apple with 2 tsp. natural peanut butter
Natural peanut butter is a great source of protein while an apple contain approximately 3 grams of fiber, making this snack an excellent way to add more protein and fiber to your diet. Natural peanut butter should contain only peanuts and salt – not sugar, corn syrup or any other fillers.
- Raw vegetables with 2 Tbsp. of hummus
Vegetables dipped in hummus is a high protein and fiber snack that will help keep you feeling full and healthy.
- ½ protein bar
Protein bars do not need to be refrigerated which makes them a convenient grab-and-go snack. If you decide to include them in your meal plan, be sure to select protein bars that use high-quality protein as the primary ingredient and are low in sugar, fat and sodium.
- ½ cup rinsed, low sodium chickpeas with 1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fiber, are rich in vitamins and minerals and are naturally low in fat. Sprinkle your ½ cup of chickpeas with 1 Tbsp. of parmesan cheese for some extra protein, calcium and a boost of flavor.
“When choosing your snacks, the focus should be on fiber and protein with minimal sugar and processed ingredients, providing you with more nutrition with fewer calories” said Nicole Drepaniotis, MS, RD, of the Medical Weight Management Program at Mather Hospital. “For convenient snacks at work, make sure you plan ahead. Use smaller portioned reusable containers or snack sized plastic bags to make your own portable snacks that compliment your meal plan and help you feel full between meals.”