It happens to the best of us.
You walk into the breakroom at work, maybe looking for a cup of coffee or to enjoy your nutritious lunch, and there it is – a box of donuts, a tray of cookies, or birthday cake that someone brought in for that nice guy in the accounting department. You stare at it for a while; maybe you even lean in and take a deep whiff and hope that will be enough.
Fifteen minutes later, as you’re trying to discreetly wipe the icing from the corner of your mouth and the guilt from your eyes, you wonder if this could have been avoided.
Healthy office snacking is possible. Depending on what your health goals and dietary restrictions are, there are plenty of ways to arm yourself with everything you need to resist the inevitable mid-afternoon craving for something.
Don’t skip breakfast
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The first thing you eat in the morning can set the tone for the rest of your eating choices for the day. Yes, sometimes it seems simpler to skip breakfast to cut time out of your morning routine, but by preparing something the night before or taking something quick and healthy with you, you could preemptively cut cravings in the mid-morning. Try a yogurt with granola, a hearty oatmeal with some dried fruit mixed in, or a whole grain English muffin with mashed avocado on it.
Keep your healthy snacks accessible
You know what they say “out of sight out of mind.” Keep your healthy snack options nearby where it won’t be easy to forget they’re available. Try keeping nuts in small mason jars on your desk, when your snack time craving hits, it will be the first thing you see. You’d be surprised how much a small handful of raw almonds can satisfy your hunger.
Prepare in advance
The scout motto of being prepared is true in a lot of cases. If you know that several office birthdays (and therefore several office birthday cakes) are going to be happening in the same week, make sure that you have something on hand, like dried mango slices, to satisfy a craving for something sweet but help you avoid the cupcake’s siren song while everyone else is singing “Happy Birthday.”
Pack a good lunch
Even though breakfast is called the most important meal of the day, that doesn’t mean we want to snub lunch. Packing (or ordering, if that’s what you prefer) a substantial and well-balanced meal will help you cut down on the mid-afternoon cravings and also help you feel energized so you can fight off the inevitable 2pm slump.
Don’t let it feel like a punishment
The most important golden rule for healthy snacking is that it should feel rewarding, not like deprivation. Sometimes too many processed junk foods make us feel sluggish, whereas eating healthier can be a satisfying feeling inside and out. But don’t make it feel like you can never indulge. If there are four birthdays in a week, grab a slice of cake on one of those days, or keep some chocolate covered goodies in your snack drawer for when the craving strikes. If you make healthy choices for your snacking, it makes those little splurges taste even sweeter.
What’s your go to snack during the day? How do you avoid caving to the temptation of brownies in the breakroom? Let us know in the comments!