Are Office Snacks Making You Gain Weight?

We all feel it on either a daily basis or just once and a while, that mid-afternoon “slump”.  That time of day where you start to feel tired, hungry (possibly “hangry”), and you begin to crave office snacks like sugary carbohydrates food. If you are getting this feeling on a daily basis, there are a few things you need to ask yourself:

1.Are you drinking enough water throughout the day?

Consuming enough water (by 3-4 pm you should be at at least 1.5 -2 liters consumed) will keep you feeling energized and keep your body functioning properly.  Remember if you drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages, these act as a diuretic which means you will need even more water to keep your body functioning.

How Do We Fix This?

Always have a water bottle with you, in your car, or a cup of water at your desk.  If you always have water around you it is more likely that you will continue sipping throughout the day.

2. Did you eat enough earlier in the day?

Sometimes when people go on a health kick and decide they want to lose weight, the common plan looks like this: skip breakfast, have a small lunch (healthy) lunch, and then a few small office snacks; however, by late afternoon or dinner time they are starving, which will lead to unhealthy decisions and the “whatever I’ll try again tomorrow” mentality.  It’s a horrible cycle to get wrapped into both mentally and physically towards your weight loss goals.

How Do We Fix This?

Eat more earlier in the day when your willpower is at it’s highest!  It is important to get your metabolism and brain kick started in the morning with a healthy protein packed breakfast, then follow that with small snacks and meals every 3.5 to 4 hours.  Try to get some protein every time you eat as this will help keep you feeling full for longer and keep energy levels high.  As the day goes on our willpower seems to dwindle, but if you are still full from your last meal you will be less likely to go for those doughnuts sitting in the office lunch room or the cookies you hid in the back of the cupboard, but never forgot about.

3. Did you get enough sleep?

If you are not sleeping at least 7-8 hours in a night you might feel fine in the early hours of the day, but as the day goes on the body (if not fueled properly by good food) will begin to feel tired both mentally and physically.

How Do We Fix This?

Getting on a regular sleep schedule will work wonders in helping you fall asleep, wake up with energy, and sleep more hours throughout the night.

4. Have you been sitting or in-active all day?

The brain needs oxygen and to be stimulated to stay awake and alert.  If you have a desk job and have been sitting staring at a computer screen all day without getting up and moving around the body will start to get tired and this is when people try and tell themselves the fix is a big cup of afternoon coffee and sugar (normally in the form of cookies and doughnuts); however, do you know what happens when you do this? Your blood sugar will spike instantly and yes the coffee will give you a temporary boost, BUT, this sugar boost will only be a very temporary fix before guilt of eating all of that sugar kicks in while you are trying to stay on track.

How Do We Fix This?

Set an alarm on  your phone to get up from your desk and go for a 5 minute walk every 1 to 1/2 hours, if your job does not allow this, perhaps try just standing up while you are on the phone (sit to stand desks are great!).  If you have a stairwell at work or in the house, walk up and down a few flights of stairs 3-5 times every hour to get your heart rate pumping and blood flowing or perform a few stretches.

5. Do you have an ammo of healthy snacks in your purse, car, or desk drawer?

“Failing to plan is planning to fail” – as cliche as this quote sounds, it’s true! If you are not prepared to hunger pains or cravings later in the afternoon you are more likely to stop at a drive through, raid the cupboards for cookies or chips, or head into the staff room for those doughnuts that have been calling your name all day.

How Do We Fix This?

When hunger strikes, instead of bee-lining to the office snacks drawer, vending machine, or local Starbucks, opt for one of these six wholesome, natural snacks that have less than 200 calories and are rich in protein and/or fiber.

Medium Apple With 1 Tablespoon Nut Butter

185 calories, 4 grams protein, 6 grams fiber

In one study, eating an apple before a meal was found to slash 187 calories from the meal, compared to meals when no apple was eaten beforehand. An apple on its own is about 100 calories, but to make it even more filling, partner with a nut butter.

1/2 Cup 1.5-2 Percent Low-Fat Cottage Cheese With 1 Cup Strawberries

150 calories, 12 grams protein, 3.5 grams fiber

Compared to Greek yogurt, plain cottage cheese has less naturally occurring sugar, no added sugars, and more protein. What’s more, it’s one of the best sources of the amino acid leucine, which is considered the most important amino acid for muscle-building and recovery post exercise, according to several studies. Partner with fresh fruit to add filling fiber to your mini meal.

4-6 Prunes

100-150 calories, 4-6 grams fiber

Most offices have a candy bowl, but why not a bowl of naturally sweet prunes for office snacks. Individually wrapped prunes will satisfy cravings for sweet, and they have just 25 calories each and are a good source of fiber, essential nutrients, and beneficial antioxidants.

1 Cup Organic Lentil Soup

180 calories, 8 grams protein, 6 grams fiber

Lentils are among the one of the most nutritious, protein-packed foods available. A serving of lentils daily can help tip the scale in the right direction. A cup of this protein- and fiber-packed soup will crush your craving and keep you satisfied for hours.

3 Halos Mandarins

150 calories, 6 grams fiber

Sweet, juicy, and easy-to-peel mandarin oranges make perfect office snacks. Bring a bag of them with you to work on Monday and make sure you’ve eaten them all by Friday. Loaded with vitamin C, and with just 50 calories and 2 grams of fiber each, they won’t blow your daily calorie budget.

1 Cup Baby Carrots (or any fresh-cut veggies) with 2 Tablespoons Dip/Dressing

170 calories, 3.5 grams fiber

Nearly 90 percent of women don’t eat at least (the recommended minimum of) three servings of veggies every day. Snacking on fresh-cut veggies and dip will help you reach your produce target. The satisfying crunch of carrots, sugar snap peas, and bell peppers is a great sub for chips. And, studies show, serving fresh veggies with a dressing or dip that contains fat boosts the absorption of the beneficial carotenoids and other antioxidants.

Request a complimentary first session at Vertex Fitness, Voted the BEST Personal Training Studio on the Main Line
Click HERE and we will schedule a session to try it yourself

Complimentary First Workout Session

Vertex Fitness call to action