How to fend off unhealthy “snack attacks” at work

Guess what’s replaced baseball as the national pastime? Snacking.

We all do it, most of us more often than we like. Snacks currently provide about 25% of the total daily calories adults consume.

And the workplace is no safe haven from these snack attacks. In fact, one survey found 35% of employees snack at work at least three times a day, and 43% admitted to eating less healthy snacks when at work than they would at home.

According to a WebMD article, when you eat while trying to work, you’re likely to eat fast and mindlessly. Which means you’ll probably eat more than you need.

You can start controlling your snacking urges before work by having a proper breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day. Nutritionists tell us those who skip breakfast are more likely to eat more fat and calories the rest of the day.

If you’re an employer, make sure your vending machines offer healthier snack alternatives such as baked chips, dried fruits and dark chocolate bars, which can lower the risks of heart disease.

Has eating junk food become a regular part of your work routine? Here are some ways to kick the habit.

Drink more water. Sometimes when you think you’re hungry all your body really wants is more water. Experts recommend you drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

Recognize and avoid your “trigger” foods. These are the foods you think about even when you’re not hungry. You can never get enough, because you will always want more.

Slow down. Take the time to choose what you want to eat and its portion size. Even when eating at your desk, be mindful and appreciative of the food. Also realize that you probably won’t feel “full” for at least 20 minutes, and, especially with sugary foods, you’ll have to resist strong urges to keep eating.

BYO snack bags. Fill them with fruits or veggies, or even chips, crackers and rice crisps. This way you control the portion size and calories (no more than 100 calories per bag). When the bag’s empty, you’re done.

For convenience sake, you might try ready-to-go snack bags. And speaking of snack attacks, check out this “extreme” video about – are you ready for this? – baby carrots!

About Ken Dallafior

Ken Dallafior is Senior Vice President, Group Business and Corporate Marketing at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM). Dallafior leads BCBSM's group sales force, oversees corporate marketing and product development, and develops and implements key corporate strategies. He also provides leadership to critical sales operations such as agent relations and commissions, sales incentives and complex issue resolution for group customers and sales agents. In addition to working in the insurance industry for nearly two decades, Dallafior played professional football from 1982 to 1992. He is founder and board member of the Detroit Lions Courage House.
 
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  1. Aaron Moore 2 years ago

    Something that has worked for me, especially during winter, is having hot green tea available. My two preferred beverages at work are water and hot green tea. Just as its explained above, drinking plenty of water helps keep the stomach full. It also helps hydrate the body which in turn supports our skin in these cold and windy times among other things

    I USED to start my day with a big ole coffee and some wonderfully flavored creamer before I left the house. Once I got to work, there was usually free coffee in the break room so I just dove right in, I enjoyed a lot of free coffee and cream. What I wasnt paying attention to was the calories associated with the creamer. One cup wasnt staggering information, but as I added up throughout the day, I started to see that this wasn’t the best beverage to indulge in if I was going to watch my calories. Coffee alone also can slightly dehydrate a person, which was sacking my water intake. While coffee has many “perks” (pun intended), my reasearch online and in magazines encouraged me to use in moderation.

    Enter hot green tea. While home one day, I was caught listening to a very popular television doctor whose last name sounds like a vacation spot for Dorothy and Toto, if ya know what I mean. The whole show was dedicated to green tea. The segment that really caught my attention was explaining to ther public the benefits of switching over to green tea instead of coffee. Its stains teeth far less (BONUS!) it keeps you calmer (BONUS!) it doesnt dehydrate like coffee (BONUS!), it’s far less calories (BONUS!) and green tea helps the body burf off calories (BIG BONUS!).

    I get my green tea at Big Lots, its usually cost effective there. I have one or two coffees in the morning and tea the rest of the day. I rarely find myself snacking like I used to with the water and hot tea combo. I hope this works for you.

    I NOW have

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  2. Stacey Wilcox 9 months ago

    I couldn’t agree more! I buy the large packages of green tea from Costco and have one in my office. I have found it’s a great way to fend off hunger in the afternoon and it feels clean!

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