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When you get the munchies at work, it’s easy enough to treat yourself with some time away from your desk and a vending machine goodie. We’re all guilty of it, so don’t worry. We all get that candy bar or bag of chips, and then our self-talk says, “I worked hard today. I deserve it.” The problem is that this behavior often leads to weight gain that doesn’t make us happy.
To help us all live a happier, healthier life, here are 10 healthy snack ideas that you can keep at your desk to distract you from the vending machine.
1. Almonds or Walnuts
Almonds and walnuts are brain foods, so when you need an extra pick-me-up, grab some from a small baggie you bring from home. These are loaded with fat – albeit, the good kind – and calories, so be sure to only pack yourself an ounce of it.
2. Peanut Butter and Crackers
You may not be able to have that peanut butter and chocolate in a Reese’s, but you can have peanut butter and crackers for a healthier alternative. Stick with whole wheat crackers to add another dietary requirement to your snacking.
3. Fruit – Apple, Banana, Grapes
Fruit has healthy sugars, so it’s perfect when you need that sweet fix in the midafternoon. Stick with just one piece of fruit, so you don’t get too much of a good thing.
Make your own popcorn at home with kernels, or buy those 100-calorie popcorn bags. What’s so great about popcorn is that it always looks like so much, but it’s really low in calories. Munch away!
It’s not for breakfast anymore. Oatmeal can really curb your cravings and satiate your hunger until dinner. Make it with water to save on calories, or make it with skim milk to add in some calcium.
6. Celery and Hummus
A veggie and a protein? It’s a match made in heaven. Celery is easy to pack in a small container along with hummus. You will get that crunch you usually get from chips and that creaminess you love with ice cream, whipped cream, frosting and other not-so-heathy treats.
7. Energy Bars
When you just have to have a bar, reach for a LaraBar, KIND bar or other energy bars. You’ll feel like you’re eating a candy bar without all of the fat, sugar and calories. You’ll get a lot of fiber, vitamins and minerals instead.
8. Cucumbers and Feta Cheese
Cucumbers are like free foods because they almost have no calories in them. The feta cheese has a ton of calcium. It’s really a great way to fill up and stay healthy.
9. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boil some eggs, bring them along to work and store them in the fridge. When hunger strikes, have a nice protein-rich snack. You can eat the yolk for about 78 calories in one egg or without the yolk for just 17 calories.
10. Yogurt With Granola
A half cup of yogurt and a quarter cup of granola is all you need to satisfy your hunger and sweet tooth. Some brands of yogurt have the granola already attached, or you can buy low-fat yogurt in a tub and then granola in a bag to create your own combination.
Now that you have all of these options for yummy, healthy snacks, you don’t need to visit the vending machine. You should still take a break from your desk, though. Just bring your healthy snacks with you as you walk.