The NHS recommends eating something at least once every four hours throughout the day to keep your metabolism working optimally. When you are spending around eight or more of those hours sitting stationary at a desk, it is vital to ensure that what you choose to snack on provides enough energy without being packed full of harmful fats and sugars.
It is all too easy to pop to the vending machine to grab a chocolate bar when hunger strikes, but in the long term, you will put on weight and cause all sorts of health issues if you regularly snack on sweet treats that should be eaten sparingly. There are plenty of tasty, healthy snack options available to replace these with. Eating well has a positive effect on both body and mind, makes you feel more alert and helps increase your productivity and well-being.
Fruit is cheap, available everywhere, and incredibly useful for you. The natural sugars in fruit give you an energy boost when you need it, and choosing slow-release energy snacks such as bananas or avocados keeps you going for longer. Check out your local greengrocer or supermarket to see what is in season, and vary what you eat according to the time of year. This will provide you with a variety of vitamins and nutrients, and prevent you from getting bored with eating the same thing over and over.
Barring the pre-flavored, sugar, and toffee covered variety, popcorn is an incredibly healthy snack, and it’s versatile too. Pop your kernels at home or buy the plain or lightly salted versions, and you can add almost any flavoring you desire. For a savory snack, sprinkle with cheese and black pepper, Cajun spice mix, or paprika. If you prefer sweetness, mix in a handful of raisins or dust with cinnamon, cocoa powder, or nutmeg.
Crudités/Breadsticks and Dip
A selection of raw vegetables cut into strips, and a small pack of low-fat breadsticks provides energy and nutrients. Liven them up by bringing a pot of dip, such as low-fat cream cheese, sour cream with chives, or salsa. Hummus is especially useful, as the chickpeas give the slow-release energy required to get through the afternoon.
Whole-wheat crackers give essential whole grains, carbohydrates, and fiber. Top them with peanut butter, low-fat cream cheese, or guacamole for a tasty yet nutritious low-calorie snack.
Pre-bought snack bars are handy if you are in a rush or forgot to prepare a snack the night before. Choose wisely, and you will be getting everything you need to get through the day without any of the harmful additives. Shop at health food shops for them and choose the additive free or all natural versions.