Finding healthy workplace snacks is a challenge for pretty much everyone, but it can be particularly daunting if you’re focused on losing or maintaining your weight. The best way to avoid the temptation of sugary treats and the allure of the vending machine is to keep snacks on-hand. Depending on where you are in your weight loss journey, try some of the following to keep away the munchies and that mid-afternoon energy crash.
Protein is your friend
Foods high in protein are not only great for lean calories, but they also keep you full for longer. Protein is also a great energy booster, so instead of sauntering by the breakroom in search of leftover donuts, try keeping some of these handy for your mid-morning and afternoon slumps:
Almonds and walnuts are chock full of heart-healthy fats, as well as protein. Try either for an energy boost. The trick is to buy single-serving packets, or buy in bulk and make pre-measured servings and store in plastic baggies. Look for raw or unsalted nuts, and avoid “smoked” or flavored varieties, as these are often full of added sugar.
Dried Meats and Jerky
Meat is obviously a great source of protein, and dried meats are usually pretty low in saturated fats. Be wary of “flavored” jerky such as teriyaki, which usually means it contains loads of added sugar. Always check ingredients for added sugar, as well as potential allergens if you have sensitivities to wheat or soy (common additives in jerky).
Chicken and Fish
Pouches or cans of pre-cooked chicken breast, salmon, or tuna make great snacks or meals if you forget your lunch. Look for chicken and fish packed “in water” rather than oil, and skip the flavored versions—”flavor” tends to mean “added sugar.” Use celery sticks instead of a fork, or lettuce as a wrap, for a tasty, filling, crunchy mini-meal.
Protein Bars or Shakes
While many so-called protein shakes and bars contain a meal’s worth of calories and a day’s worth of sugars, there are some great options to keep handy.
Raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) are a fantastic desk-friendly snack. Low in carbohydrates (and most of its carbs are fiber), but high in protein and healthy fats, pepitas are tasty and easy to eat. Fair warning: you should definitely pre-measure portions into plastic baggies to keep from over-indulging!
Soy nuts are slightly higher in carbs than pepitas, but they’re also full of protein, healthy fat, and fiber. Look for unsalted, roasted soy nuts, or try Ideal Protein’s flavored varieties. As always, if you buy in bulk, make pre-portioned servings to keep on-hand.
The best snacks are easy to grab, filling, and nutritious. If you have access to a refrigerator, keep sliced crisp veggies, like celery and cucumber, for low-calorie crunch. Shelf-stable, protein rich snacks are great no matter where you work, and help you stay on track with your eating goals.