Work might be the hardest place in the world to snack healthily. There aren’t always refrigerators at every turn, plus junk food abounds and the stress of cubicle life often gives us a need for stress-eating. But bad snacking can be a huge contributor to an unhealthy lifestyle, as sugar and excess carbs often found in snack foods can wreak havoc on your body and require a huge amount of exercise to counteract. The best healthy life changes are a combination of increased fitness activity and improved diet.
Here are a few tips for making sure your snacking isn’t derailing your fitness progress:
Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail
If you find yourself snacking often throughout the day, don’t keep trying to abstain—plan to snack. Making the right choices in your snacking can actually improve your productivity throughout the day instead of hijacking it with sugar rush/crash cycles. Having snack foods sitting around can be tempting, so a lot of times we avoid bringing snack foods to work. Unfortunately, that leads to making poor spur-of-the-moment food choices. Instead, next time you’re at the grocery store, pick snacks that fit your nutrition goals and your work/life pace, like fruit, or even better, nuts.
Avoid Sugar Like the Plague
For decades, Big Medicine told us to avoid fat. But in the last few years more and more science has found that sugar is the real lurking danger, and snack foods are in special danger of being sugar laden. It’s not just about the calories that sugar brings (although that’s important too), it’s also about the way that too much sugar affects your blood chemistry and causes your body to use an inefficient energy source. Next time you’re picking a snack, don’t just look at its calories—look at how much sugar it has, too. Yogurt can often masquerade as a healthy snack, for example, but many brands have more sugar than a candy bar.
Think in One-Hundred Calorie Increments
Trying to turn your diet around overnight is a recipe for frustration. Instead, focus on making 100-calorie decisions. Instead of the whole bag of chips, for example, let yourself eat half of them, but then quit. Instead of eating that whole 200-calorie candy bar, eat half of it, and save the rest for tomorrow. Think of it like this—a pound of body fat is about 3,500 calories. So if you cut out 100 calories every day, you could potentially lose a pound a month. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but neither is 100 calories a day. You can do that! And how would you like to be 10 pounds lighter by this year just by making one small decision each day?
Get Up and Move
One of the reasons our bodies tell us that we need a snack is a lack of energy. You feel like you need a boost, and your brain knows that sugar gives it to you. But adding sugary fuel into your brainpower furnace only works for an hour or two if you’re lucky. Then the insulin that your body uses to balance out the sugar is likely to swing the sugary pendulum too far the other way. A much better way to boost your body’s energy is exercise. Taking a quick walk around the parking lot or up and down the stairwell will get your blood flowing, increase the amount of oxygen to your brain, and provide that energy boost you need. And you might not think of ergonomic office furniture when you’re thinking healthy office culture, but it just so happens that sit to stand desks are a great way to get those benefits too!
Take the First Step Toward a Healthier Workplace Today
TrueNorth has some of the finest standing desks and height-adjustable desks on the market. Find out today how our products can help put you on the path toward a healthier office environment.