The decision to lose weight does not come easily for most individuals. But with a busy schedule and a demanding work week, it can be a challenge trying to keep your energy levels up, let alone stick to your diet. And you know it’s true- that when menial tasks start to feel as though they are killing your vibe and your will to live, we often turn to snacks not only as a means of nurturing ourselves but also to make us feel lively again.
Snacks are an essential part of healthy dieting and weight loss. As a matter of fact, healthy snacking can be the thing that makes all the difference in your weight loss journey. Like charging your phone, eating three healthy meals per day with a choice of 2 or 3 snacks in between each meal can revitalize you and help to make your metabolism more efficient.
Though the benefits of healthy snacks are well documented, apple slices and carrot sticks simply cannot lift your spirits quite like snickers, chips, and cookies can. Most of us can hardly resist digging into some decadent treats, even when we know that they are not going to do out waistlines any favors. To make it worse, when there is a vending machine situated in every hall and there is a birthday to be celebrated every year, it can be hard to eat healthy snacks in the office.
So what constitutes a healthy snack anyway?
The word healthy means varying things to different people. Generally speaking, if you intend to snack as a means of sustaining your energy levels until your next full meal, then it is best to pick a snack that is satisfying and nutritional such as protein coffee or fruits.
This means that the best snacks to eat are those that contain some form of fiber and protein as well as healthy fats so that you can be able to keep your blood sugar levels stable while warding off that horrific afternoon slump.
To avoid eating unhealthy snacks, your best bet is to stock up on healthy snacks that you can keep within easy reach such as in your desk or bag. If you are wondering which snack options are good for you, here are easy, healthy desk snacks that will not destroy your diet:
It is hard to beat the convenience offered by a protein bar when you need an energy boost and don’t really have time to sit down for a meal. Protein bars, as the name suggests, contain protein which is an essential macronutrient for every individual. Protein is necessary for not only a high metabolic rate but also for lean muscle mass.
To benefit fully from protein bars, you must pick the right ones. Unfortunately, some protein bars contain more than 30 grams of sugar and even more calories compared to a regular candy bar. As such, when buying protein bars, always check the list of ingredients to determine exactly what it is that you are putting in your body.
Hummus is made primarily with chickpeas, olive oil and a small number of sesame seeds or tahini making it a great source of minerals, healthy fats, as well as vitamins. Hummus has its origins in the Middle East but it has become widely available in many local grocery stores. You can eat hummus plain, but most people prefer to use it as a dip.
Slather some inside fluffy and freshly made pita bread or use it as a dip for your crudités and crisps. If you prefer your hummus to have a kick, there are numerous versions out there, some containing caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, beetroot, and even quinoa.
While nuts often get a bad rap, continued research has shown that nuts are a great source of healthy fats and protein. Whenever you are feeling peckish, a handful of walnuts or almonds can make you feel less hungry. Nuts have numerous benefits including diminishing your risk of heart disease and overall mortality.
It may not be immediately apparent, but popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks that you can eat. Although only a few people recognize the benefits of popcorn, it actually has more antioxidants compared to certain fruits and veggies. This is because popcorn is loaded with polyphenols, a component that is available in plants that helps to reduce inflammation.
The healthiest popcorn to snack on is the variety that is air-popped. Try and avoid the kind that you get at theaters as it may contain excess salt and saturated fat. Healthy air-popped popcorn only contains about 30 calories per cup while the type that is found in theaters may contain up to 1,200 calories for every cup.
Plain Greek yogurt is a great snack because it is choke full of protein, which is what you need for an energy boost during those boring afternoons in the office. A single serving of unsweetened Greek yogurt comes packed with nutrients. In fact, Greek yogurt contains a higher amount of protein compared to milk.
Best of all, if you suffer from lactose intolerance, you may find it a lot easier to digest Greek yogurt owing to the bacterial breakdown of the sugars found in milk. Enjoy your Greek yogurt by adding things like chia seeds to give you a much-needed fiber boost.
It is very challenging to work hard and maintain your concentration at work when you are running on fumes. You must fuel your body throughout the day. Lunch is a given but you could also stand to benefit from including a light snack in your diet during the course of a busy day.
A healthy snack at least once or twice a day can help to keep your blood sugar levels stable, which will ward off hunger pangs while making sure that your brain is operating optimally. But not all snacks are good snacks- treats such as cookies and chocolate may be sweet, but they are dangerous and can cause you to gain excess weight.
To benefit from snacking, you must select snacks that are rich in nutrients so that you can maintain healthy blood sugar levels as well as keep your metabolism revved up, which will give you the energy that you need to run the course.