3 o’clock rolls around and the office snacks start calling your name. The unhealthier the louder, right? It’s time to banish those donuts and vending machine fat bombs and arm yourself with some healthy office snacks. A little rethinking of the snack drawer, and you’re on your way to a slimmer waistline, a healthier-feeling tummy and maybe even a more inspired office space.
The Snack Drawer
Rethink office snacks, starting now. Empty that snack drawer and ban chips, candy and chocolate. Put a bowl of fruit that lasts, like clementines and apples, on top of your desk and in your eye-line. They’ll act as a visual reminder of your intentions and those 3 o’clock calls will come from them first! Fill your drawer with individual packs of microwave popcorn, nuts, dried fruit and cereal like shredded wheat that can be eaten dry. Get cereal with a touch of sugar for days when your sweet tooth is acting up. Divide those snacks into amounts that equal a reasonable calorie quotient for the day, and stash the rest out of sight, rather than having a pound of almonds in your drawer. When they’re less accessible, you have to mentally approve your over-snacking.
The Office Kitchen
Stock the fridge with small containers of something filling like low-fat yogurt (really filling and slightly sweet). When you’re feeling the urge to snack, start with a cup of tea or good quality instant coffee. A lot of the afternoon snack session is your boredom, fatigue and need for a change of pace. Getting up from your seat to prepare a drink brings on a change of scenery, and can curb your need to eat for minimal or non-existent calorie content. That way, you won’t be feeling like you gorged yourself on greasy chips and candy all day when you leave the office.
Challenge and Inspire
Go into the staff kitchen or the place where snacks are stored, and challenge your office mates to a healthier office. Have office mates bring in a snack once a week, alternating days or have a “best tasting healthy snack” contest. Offer up some cheap office supplies as a reward, and boost morale at the same time! Make some guidelines about calories, fat content or that recipes must be a healthy version.
Tell co-workers about your desire to improve your in-office snack sessions. Simply telling other co-workers will help you stay true to your commitment, and may warn co-workers to put away their bowl of chocolates when you’re hanging around. You may even be inspiring them to join you.
Bumps in the road
Now that you’ve made the commitment, don’t derail your progress if you’re faced with an empty snack drawer and only donuts or cake in the staff room. Check out healthier options in the vending machine. Drop your coins in and grab a bag of pretzels, a granola bar, nuts, trail mix or seeds. Be sure to lobby for healthier snacks in your vending machine as well. Ask for bags of dried fruit, baked chips or 100 calorie packed snacks.
Before you snack, ask yourself if you really want that snack. Is it worth the 15 minute run that you need to do to work it off? Would you eat it if you had to walk all the way to the store to get it, even if that meant that you’d have to make up the missed work time by staying later? Then keep your progress in line with your snack drawer make-over!