The 3.00pm slump when the chocolate calls your name. Colleagues' birthday celebrations with cake. Friday afternoon drinks and nibbles. Vending machine temptations. Stress snacking before a deadline. There are so many snack temptations in the office which can be a minefield for the war on your waistline. Is snacking on the job derailing your healthy eating habits?
More often than not snacks consumed in the office are high in sugar or carbs, just the things you should be trying to reduce in your journey to weight wellness. The original low-carb living experts Atkins is here to help, and has pulled together some handy hints on how to avoid the pitfalls on unhealthy office eating, and some idea on what to choose as a snack on the job.
Start the day right
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so to avoid temptation at morning tea break, be sure to eat a low-carb, high-protein breakfast such as eggs with ham or spinach. If the morning get-of-the-house rush is all too much, grab an Atkins bar or shake to get you through the morning.
Deadline looming? A Kit-Kat will help. Tough client meeting? Feel better with a cupcake. Sound familiar? You bet….and it's a habit that's super easy to start, and a little tougher to kick, but it can be done.
Vice President of Nutrition and Education at Atkins Nutritionals, the original low-carb living experts, Ms Colette Heimowitz, explains: 'Sugar retrains our tastebuds. When we eat it, our bodies release feel-good hormones so the more sugary foods we eat, the more we think we need to get that same happy hit. With good preparation – have a healthier option to hand on days when you know you'll be working late, carrying a hefty load or feeling the heat, and you'll find it easier to resist temptation."
Nuts and seeds, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and blackberries are great options, as are dips such as peanut butter and hummus with veggie sticks, or delicious Atkins bars which taste like a forbidden chocolate bar – but without the nasty consequences.
Temptation around every (desk) corner
Someone's birthday? Have some cake! Promotion? Celebrate with cake and cookies. Long work lunch – you know the drill. With temptation around every corner in most workplaces, the same rules apply as for stress eating. Eat a healthy lunch before that tempting afternoon tea so that you're feeling sated when the time comes. Offer to be the one to bring in baked goods and make your own healthier versions or get the office in the habit of having a low-GI fruit bowl in the kitchen/boardroom to share rather than a cookie jar and cake tin. As for the vending machine – unless it's dispensing nuts, don't bring change to work to resist temptation!
Eating on the run
Grabbing a snack on the go tends to be fraught with danger – a packet of chips from the servo, muffin from the train station. But by having your own supplies of nuts, seeds, low-carb Atkins bars or ready-to-drink shakes, homemade popcorn or berries you'll find it much easier to fill up on the run without feeling guilty, or heavy, afterwards.
Hungry or thirsty?
Mistaking hunger for thirst is a classic error for those trying to watch their weight. Before every meal – or any snack – drink a full glass of water first (flavour it with freshly-cut fruit if you fancy), wait five minutes and then see how hungry you really are. Just don't make the mistake of drinking sugary sports drinks, fruit juice or soda as these are some of the worst culprits when it comes to hidden sugars.
Work snacks – smart swaps
Fresh options to bring to work to help avoid high-carb temptation include individually-wrapped cheese portions, hard-boiled eggs, ham, cheese and avocado wraps (using the ham as the wrap), celery sticks filled with cream cheese, chicken or tuna salads – and handy Atkins bars for when you're really on the run.
Scientifically formulated for safe and effective weight loss, weight management and healthy lifelong eating, Atkins is an easy to follow, flexible four-phased program (start at the phase that best suits you) that helps you build a diet around whole foods rich in vitamins and -good carbohydrates' including low sugar fruits, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, dairy, good fats, and protein (fish, poultry, meat and tofu) – while at the same time helping you eliminate highly processed carbs such as white flour and sugar. For further information visit atkins.com