Snacking at work – a dietitian’s experience

Blog by Elaine Anderson, Work Ready Dietitian

There is no denying it, most offices have a constant chocolate line. I work in healthcare, based in a community office and a hospice base. In both places there is never a day I won’t be tempted to have some chocolate, sugary bite or tray bake. Whether it’s birthdays, returns from holiday or a leaving party my sweet tooth can always be satisfied.

Last year I challenged myself to reduce my sugar intake to see how productive I would be and how this would make me feel. Normally I get the end of week slump on a Friday afternoon, however this experiment made a world of difference to me. Within the first week I could see that I was much more productive especially on Friday and my client contacts increased.

I bounced out the door once the clock struck 4pm ready for the weekend ahead instead of dragging myself to the car park and the usual grumpy call to my better half. Many a time he would say- ‘it’s the weekend- cheer up!’….. much to my annoyance!

But wait, I hear you say – what did you eat instead? The key, I found was to substitute the treats for snacks I still enjoyed e.g. dried fruit and nut bars or packets of unsalted cashew nuts (my favourite). These snacks provided protein and fibre which helped fill me up whilst satisfying my sweet or savoury craving. In the correct portions they are a perfect snack.

Unfortunately, I have recently slipped back in to my old ways and I wondered why? I realised for me, I snack when I am busy and feel overwhelmed with work. I realised I cannot be mindful about what I am eating when I feel like this. If I don’t have a healthy treat with me then I will reach for the sugar fix therefore I now ensure to always bring at least two snacks per day to munch on. Think about why you snack and how you can opt for healthier choices to help improve your productivity and working day.

See below for some healthy snack ideas:

• a small handful of unsalted nuts

• a boiled egg

• a tablespoon of nut and seed mix on top of low-fat yogurt

• hummus (look for lower-fat versions) with carrot and celery sticks

• low-fat yogurt or fromage frais

• cottage cheese and plain crackers

Bring a bag of fresh fruit to work each week to help you keep on track.

 

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