When it comes to weight loss or healthy eating, snacking can be a double-edged sword: Essential to balance blood sugar and boost energy between meals, it’s often too easy to overdo it with unhealthy choices or super-sized portions. Since the office candy bowl is about 15 feet away from my office, I was happy to find the following smart tips in our sister publication, Best Health, and share them with you. (It's easy to whip up these super-simple recipes at home and pack them for work the next day).
If you crave: Sweet snacks, like candy
bars and doughnuts
We’re hardwired to love sugary treats, but added table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup can pad your waistline, sap your brainpower, and boost levels of unhealthy inflammation throughout your body.
Instead, snack on: “Banana
Spread graham crackers with vanilla fat-free Greek yogurt, then
top with a handful of banana slices and a sprinkle of ground flaxseed.The fiber and protein will keep you fuller, longer.
If you crave: Crunchy snacks, like nachos or
crackers made with white flour
Avoid picks that are calorie-dense and nutrient-poor, which your body digests quickly, leaving you ravenous soon after.
Instead, snack on: Easy salsa
You don't have to settle for boring carrots and celery sticks to get your crunch on. Chop
up tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, beans, and onions in a mini food
processor, then scoop on melba toast.
If you crave: Salty snacks, like potato chips and pretzels
Check the back of the bag. These snacks typically lack protein and fiber needed to fill you up; and even if they have 2 grams or more per serving, often the added sodium can make you feel bloated.
Instead, snack on: Cheesy kale
Stop saying yuck! Tear kale leaves into large pieces and arrange on a baking sheet.
Spritz with olive oil and bake in a 350-degree oven until crisp. While still
warm, sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan cheese.
If you crave: Creamy snacks, like a bowl of
ice cream or a velvety dip
Put down the bowl! These tend to be full of bad-for-your-heart saturated fat and not worth the risk, even if you don't care about the calories.
Instead, snack on: Simple
mashed sweet potato
Too easy: Microwave a small sweet potato, split it open, and mash a
little OJ and cinnamon into it. Eat it right out of the jacket. Packed with fiber and tons of nutritious beta carotene (which your body converts to eye-protecting vitamin A), it should kill your craving until the next meal.