Unlock Your Diet Recommendation, Join Today
One of the most important keys to making wise food choices and avoiding an emergency trip to the vending machine is to be prepared before you are hungry. Even if you pack snacks with your lunch each day there will be days when you may forget breakfast, have somewhere to go directly after work, or feel extra hungry. For others the vending machine is used out of convenience or habit. Frequenting the vending machine is neither kind to your wallet or your waistline. Instead, one trip to the grocery store over the weekend can solve your snack problem for an entire week.
Buy fruit that can be kept in the drawer of your desk, such as apples, oranges, pears, and bananas. Wash them all before taking them to the office to save time and effort at the office. If you like, bring a plate and knife on which to cut your fruit.
2. Nuts and nut butter
Keeping a can of nuts, such as almonds or cashews will add some protein, fat, and fiber to your snack of fresh fruit for a balance. A serving of nuts is usually considered a small handful or 1 oz. This will keep you feeling fuller longer, as well as stabilize your energy throughout the day. Another option is to keep a spoon and a jar of peanut or almond butter in your desk to spread on crackers or fruit. A serving of nut butter has around 200 calories and is about two scoops. Both of these are high fat options, but do not let that scare you away. Just be mindful of how much you eat.
Buy a box of whole grain crackers with real ingredients to eat on all week. Note the serving size listed on the side of the box and take out the number of crackers that fit your desired calorie intake. If you munch straight from the box you will likely eat more crackers than you planned on eating.
4. Dark chocolate
Inevitably, you will want some chocolate. Especially for women, the chocolate craving shows up almost daily. Having dark chocolate in your desk can solve your mid-afternoon craving for chocolate without sending you to the vending machines. Instead of buying a larger bar, buy individually wrapped pieces. Determine ahead of time how much you will be eating, or you may get carried away.
5. Granola bars
There are many excellent brands of granola and protein bars that offer less than two hundred calories that are excellent options for a snack. Look for bars that are lower in sugar, and preferably made from real food ingredients. Avoid bars where sugar is the first ingredient and aim for all of the sugar to be from dried fruits. If the bars you buy exceed your calories needed for that snack, consider cutting or breaking it into pieces and placing the pieces in a small plastic bag to keep it fresh.
Lizzie Watters is a writer and cook. She enjoys writing about recipes, cooking tips, dieting and kitchen safety. Lizzie recently wrote about her favorite spiced nuts recipes.