I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that long, tedious days at work can give us all that overwhelming temptation to treat ourselves to the contents of the workplace vending machine or to reach into the desk drawer for its latest sugary offering; all in the name of getting through the day and keeping ‘hunger’ at bay.
However, these quick and easy convenient choices can be the downfall of many health goals, whether it be a body composition goal such as losing body fat or building muscle, or a performance goal such as having sufficient energy to excel in your next meeting, or to fulfil your evening gym workout or rugby training session later in the day.
Most people’s ‘go-to’ guilty pleasures, you know, the likes of a bag of crisp or a chocolate bar come fully loaded with sugars and processed fats. Even the so-called healthy snacks on the market such as granola bars, yogurts and dried fruits contain many hidden refined sugars. These have a huge impact on blood sugar levels causing them to rise very quickly. You may feel instantly great, however what goes up must come down...crashing down!
Enter an agonising feeling of lethargy and a total lack of energy.
Convenience is no excuse for not eating better and healthier and there are plenty of delicious options readily available; and if you don’t like those found in the shops, there’s loads that can be made extremely quickly.
Here are my top 5 desk snack suggestions to overcome that post lunchtime lull.
1) Nuts or Nut Butter
A handful of nuts, especially almonds, walnuts and macadamia are a fantastic quick and easy option that will provide all the healthy fats you need. They also contain some protein and carbs.
Alternatively, you may opt for the nut butter (Not Nutella!). No spoon – No problem! Use the curve of a celery stalk to scoop out the butter. Celery is low in carbs and gives you something to chew on. It will also help fill you up.
‘’An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Packed with vitamins and minerals, fresh fruit is always a great choice. Tropical fruits are particularly good. Try mangos, pineapples, kiwi and bananas.
3) 0% Greek Yoghurt
The diva of dairy goods is an incredibly smart and gratifying choice. Containing 0g of saturated fat and cholesterol it’s a perfect choice for heart health. It is also made up of 30% protein and contains more calcium than milk, making it the obvious snack for muscle building and strong bones. Try adding berries or manuka honey for their immune boosting properties.
4) Cottage Cheese
This low calorie cheese not only offers lots of protein, but is also packed with essential nutrients. It’s also a perfect weight loss snack. Intakes of protein, such as the casein in cottage cheese, have been proven to help increase feelings of fullness, preventing the urge to reach for the cookie jar.
You could also try spreading the cheese on some oatcakes or a cracker type biscuit. They are made from oats not wheat so have a lower GI and don’t cause bloating issues.
5) Homemade Protein Bars
Prioritising protein as a snack is a must. A much better option than chocolate as they can provide plenty of whey protein as well as lower GI carbs that are released more slowly.
Check out E4R’s superb chef Sabrina Gali’s homemade options, such as protein packed pancakes and healthy chocolate protein bars that can be easily prepared, stored and readily available when hunger strikes once clocked on.