How to fend off unhealthy “snack attacks” at work

Ken Dallafior

| 2 min read

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!

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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