Frequent pangs of hunger at work are common, especially before lunch. The dip in blood sugars after breakfast energy has been consumed makes our cells crave food and glucose being the quickest energy source, we are bound to look for something sweet! Survey results from a British Heart Foundation study showed that office workers refuel themselves with sweetened beverages like tea or coffee or chocolates and cookies. We must realize that it is important to feed the body cells at this time instead of trying to starve. Starving is counterproductive to weight management and in fact sets your body up for fat storage. Eating at every 2 hour interval with emphasis on appropriate quality and quantity of food remains the key to successful management of body weight as well as blood sugars.
Sometimes, simple modifications can impact calorific value drastically. Here are a few tips for healthy snacking at work :
Choose the right food group: We consume enough carbohydrates through cereals at main meals in the form of roti, rice, etc. It is important to include other food groups such as dairy , nuts and fruits at snack time.
- Among dairy, curd or buttermilk is the best mid morning snack because it has probiotic effect and provides satiety too.
- Fruits or dried fruits are ideal to manage the sweet cravings.
- Nuts are energy dense, nutrient dense and also filling without causing weight gain
Keep it small : It is easy to overindulge in packaged snacks such as cookies or cupcakes, but we do not hear about excess consumption of dates, raisins or even roasted chana often. Choosing the right type of food itself aids in portion control
Set snack reminder : Initially you may be required to set a reminder for snack time. As discussed earlier we don’t want to get to the extreme hunger state as damage control becomes difficult. A snack time reminder between 10.30-11.00 am is ideal as this is time usually blood sugars begin to drop. Remind yourself for 21 consecutive days (include weekends) and then it will become a habit.
Hungry mind turns into a junk yard! Extreme hunger hampers our ability to think straight and leads to bingeing on all kinds of unhealthy snacks. If you nail the art of smart snacking then you have won half the battle !