At 11 in the morning, your stomach starts growling. And you start looking around for something to munch on. Cut to 5 in the evening – the same story again.
So what’s the solution? How can you stop yourself from eating a samosa or a packet of chips at this time?
The keywords, of course, are – right snacks. So to make sure you eat something right, keep them close at hand — right in your desk drawer (or nearby office fridge)! We give you nine easy options.
Try to have at least one to two fruits during your work hours. They are perfect because the fructose gives you a quick energy boost. Keep the finger fruits like oranges, guava, apples etc. handy, and if you have access to a fridge then an airtight container full of cut chilled papaya or watermelon will be great too. Grab a different fruit every day (change with the seasons) and try to pair it with a little protein (low-fat cheese, yogurt, or peanut butter) to boost the snack’s satiety power.
Take a hardboiled egg with you every day and have it when you need a quick pick-me-up. It’s a perfectly satisfying snack and is high protein, so it helps curb hunger. Have it with salt, pepper or mustard. You can even take an egg salad (simply chop up one whole egg and mix with a tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise. Add some sunflower or flax seeds and you are set.
The Old Favourite
Crackers and cheese or peanut butter. This old standby always works. The combination of complex carbs and protein helps to keep your blood sugar stable and keeps you feeling full longer. You could also try apple butter, hummus or salsa.
Perk Up Food — Salmon!
Feeling really grumpy? Eating more cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna or sardines may help. In fact, they are perfect for tucking in right before the meetings. Antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids (good fats) in them can enhance cognitive function. So keep their cans handy if you want to stay in a good mood. If you are vegetarian baked beans are a good option here.
Also Read: Eating Fish May Help Prevent Asthma: Study
Some baby carrots, kheera or kakri. Time-consuming and delicious, these will help you pass the urge to munch very efficiently. Pair them with tomato juice. Wow!
Dried fruits are an excellent snack choice. Try dried apples, strawberries, apricots, tropical mixes (they often include peaches, pineapple and banana), figs, dates, raisins and prunes.
Try these Combinations
Often a combination works even better – both for taste as well as health. Keep combinations like almonds and dates or apricots, walnuts and raisins in airtight containers or zipper bags so that you can grab easily and chomp. Better than chips any day! Choose dry-roasted, unsalted varieties. Nuts are a filling food thanks to their protein and fat content; plus this is a good way to get in some healthy fats.
Just like nuts, seeds such as flax seeds and sunflower seeds are a good idea as they contain heart-healthy fats, magnesium, fiber and potassium. Just don’t get carried away as nuts and seeds tend to be calorific. A healthy snack serving is about 2 tablespoons. Again, pick dry-roasted, unsalted seeds.
Get Choco Cheer
Now finally the best for the last. Keep some chocolate handy too to tide over those really low times (yes, works for the guys too). Plus chocolate actually has health benefits, especially dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa or higher), which is loaded with antioxidants. But since it is high in calories, reach for chocolate in moderation — two or three small squares of dark chocolate – and only sometimes.
(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).)
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