Although 57% of organizations view employee retention as a problem, having certain office perks can be enough to keep workers engaged. Traditionally, these perks might include health insurance benefits or vacation time, but many employers are turning to free food as a means of encouraging their staff to stick around. That said, this isn’t always the healthiest way to improve culture. According to a recent report, those who engage in unhealthy eating habits while at work are more likely to opt for less healthy foods when they’re off the clock, as well. That might sound like an obvious correlation, but it does reveal the importance of taking a closer look at what you eat when you’re at work — and how it might influence your overall health.
Less than 5% of adults receive 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and when you’re stuck at the office for eight hours at a stretch, it can be hard to embrace a healthy lifestyle. But by starting with the snacks you consume, you might be able to make some lifestyle changes without having to sacrifice on taste. Here are just some of the delicious and healthy snacks you might want to consider keeping in your desk drawer or in the communal kitchen at all times.
When you hit that 3 pm slump, you’ll probably get a craving for something salty, spicy, or crunchy. Instead of hitting the vending machine for overpriced potato chips, you should have some roasted chickpeas on hand. They’re packed with protein, fiber, and flavor, particularly if you sprinkle them with seasonings. Simply open up a can of garbanzo beans, pat them dry, and toss them in olive oil, salt, and spices of your choice. Place them on a lined baking sheet and stick them in a 350-degree oven for 40 minutes to attain an irresistibly nutritious snack.
Approximately 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate are consumed each year throughout the United States. And while this candy does get a bit of a bad rap, you shouldn’t eliminate it completely from your office snacking regimen. If you opt for dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage, you’ll get your fix without devoting an overwhelming amount of calories to the cause. All you’ll really need is a square or two to bring satiation. Paired with a more savory snack, you’ll have a perfect combination to get you through a slow afternoon or a stressful phone call. And a clean, cavity-free mouth to show your dentist every six months.
Although Americans consumed 6.6 gallons of juice per capita in 2015, whole fruit is definitely the healthier (and more portable) option. Apples, oranges, and bananas are commonplace in the office, but frozen grapes, tangerines, and berries can provide you with a more interesting boost when you need it most. Plus, they pair beautifully with other snacks like pretzels, nuts, and yogurt — so they’re a must-have to keep away hunger pangs. They’ll provide natural energy, fiber, and nutrients that you just won’t get from a donut or a bag of cheese doodles.
All Of The Above
During the summer months, 48% of Americans prefer to eat out. However, that’s not always a practical option during the workday. However, you can still sample a broad range of flavors, if you plan accordingly. Instead of choosing between chocolate, fruit, chickpeas, and similar snacks, combine all of your favorite foods into a heart-healthy trail mix. You can easily combine your favorite snacks into a satisfying, healthy trail mix at home, then much away during the work day to your heart’s content.
If you could use some extra protein and want something super easy and mobile, you can’t go wrong with a hard-boiled egg. They contain a ton of nutrients and healthy fats, which means they’ll also stabilize your blood sugar and keep you from feeling dizzy from hunger throughout the day. They’re also a heart-healthy snack. Whether you add one to your salad at lunch or bring one out in the afternoon, they’re a fast and easy way to stave off hunger and enjoy something delicious, guilt-free.
Homemade Protein Treats
Store-bought granola bars can be loaded with sugar and ingredients you don’t necessarily need. But if you put in a little effort to make your own and keep your supply well-stocked, you’ll probably save money and will be physically healthier for it. You can easily make some homemade protein bars with seeds, nuts, dried fruits, coconuts, honey, and nut butters, while energy balls (typically made with peanut butter, dried oats, flax seeds, honey, and even dark chocolate) can be a real crowd pleaser. Because they can be refrigerated or even frozen and thawed, you can make them ahead of time and keep them in sealed containers at your desk for when you really need a pick-me-up.
It’s not always easy to resist the urge of the candy bar or the processed snack at the office, but preparation will ensure you always have a healthy option at your disposal. Just like you can choose work that fits your skillsets, you can choose snacks that fit your work style. Instead of assuming you’ll be able to have enough willpower, always have delicious alternatives at the ready to ensure you won’t ever be forced to give in to temptation due to overwhelming hunger.