The office can be the first place our valuable nutritional intentions fail us based on the array of unhealthy snack options that are constantly available. No wonder why our energy falls and work performance takes a hit (typically in the afternoon). After we snack our way through the pounds in a package, blood sugar drops and we crave even more. All the while, we are envisioning happy hour.
Liquid calories are the easiest to pack on in the shortest amount of time. Diet soda and “all natural” fruit juices are absolutely no exception to this rule. Diet sodas contain harmful chemicals we can’t even pronounce and hidden sugars masked by artificial sweetener labels. Fruit juices seem healthy, but really aren’t much better. The fiber is completely removed from the fruit in order to make the juice, and the concentrated versions spike blood sugar, causing our bodies to hold onto fat. Though you may feel an initial energy boost, you will quickly crash and burn - not ideal for a productive day at the office! (Same applies to cocktails)
The best alternative to these drinks is green tea. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants that have an array of benefits for the body. One cup contains a high amount of polyphenols, which have an anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory effect (ideal for glowing skin). In addition, green tea aids in weight loss - it has been found to boost metabolism and help burn fat. The other major benefit is a steady and sustained energy boost without the crash. You will feel alert and awake, but won’t crash and burn afterward. Sipping on a cup of green tea not only helps to protect your health, but also aids in fat burning and weight loss. It could very well be the perfect beverage!
The other workplace temptations are foods like chips, cookies, pretzels, and crackers, which are usually loaded with sugar and simple carbs. Sure, they’re an easy option when your stomach is growling and you know you still have two hours of work left. But these foods are going to pack on unwanted pounds without even providing the sufficient nutrients. In order to eat snacks that give you the energy you really need, it is important to be prepared with great substitutions and avoid ingredients that demolish our healthy efforts.
1. Swap White and Whole Wheat Bread for Ezekial Bread
Why: Bread spikes blood sugar, causing the body to hold onto fat. Ezekial bread is the exception to this rule because it is made of sprouted flours that do not digest as fast in the body. It’s also packed with seeds that provide an array of nutrients and will not cause you to crave a few more pieces.
2. Swap Boxed Cookies for Almond Flour Cookies
Why: Store bought cookies are usually high in sugar and contain many processed ingredients that can sabotage weight loss. Almond flour based cookies will allow you to indulge without the bulge! Almond flour is just ground almonds, which are high in vitamin E, fiber and protein. These promote clear skin and a fit body. Try this recipe for a delicious treat without the negative results.
3. Swap Traditional Crackers for Mary’s Seed Crackers
Why: The pesky flour in crackers raises blood sugar and leaves you with a major energy crash. It also makes you crave more crackers, and can leave you eating the entire box. No good for a fit, healthy body! A seed based cracker delivers healthy fats that will keep you satisfied without the crash.
4. Swap standard American cheese for artisanal (high quality) hard cheese
Why: The cheese produced in massive quantities is loaded with ingredients that can negatively affect hormones. Balanced hormones are crucial to stay healthy and slim. Opt for a high quality cheese that is made locally or at a small sustainable farm. These contain less sugar and antibiotics while containing more healthy fats. The taste is usually more rich so you need less to be satisfied.
5. Swap juice/soda for green tea
Why: Juices and soda provide a quick boost of energy followed by an major crash. They are filled with simple sugars that do nothing good for your health or figure. Making the switch to green tea will actually help you burn fat throughout the day, provide a steady stream of energy and deliver powerful beauty boosting antioxidants. In addition, green tea does not contain as much caffeine as a cup of coffee so it will not raise your cortisol levels (stress hormone).
6. Swap traditional meat for grass-fed meat (stir fry and eat as leftovers @ the office)
Why: Cows that are not strictly on a grass-fed diet are fed a combination of grains, corn and antibiotics. This is to fatten up the cow as much as possible. Unfortunately, by consuming non grass-fed meat we are consuming high amounts of these ingredients. This has poor implications on our hormones, weight and chronic inflammation. Grass-fed meat is definitely pricey, but well worth it. You do not need much to get the benefits, which include iron, b vitamins, healthy fats and muscle building protein.
7. Swap dried fruit for fresh fruit
Why: Dried fruit has very low nutritional value. All the healthy fiber has been removed as well as the water. These important components have been replaced by sugar. You are so much better off enjoying a nice piece of fresh fruit that contains important phytochemicals that reduce inflammation and satiate you.
8. Swap French fries with sweet potato chips
Why: French fries are usually made with hydrogenated oils, which can lead to a whole slew of problems including chronic disease and diabetes. The white potatoes do not have much to offer in the way of nutrient density and do not promote a healthy gut (important for weight regulation). Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants that reduce inflammation. In addition, they serve as a prebiotic, which contributes to a healthy gut.
9. Swap candy for dark chocolate
Why: We all know that candy sticks to our thighs and offers absolutely nothing in the way of nutritional value. Dark chocolate not only cures sweet cravings, but also boost sex drive, increases serotonin (feel good hormone) and does not spike blood sugar. It’s the perfect solution for a sweet craving!
10. Swap pretzels for nuts
Why: Pretzels are one of those sneaky snacks that seem ok for you since they are low in calories but in fact can be costly to your weight loss efforts. The main ingredient flour digests quickly in your system and turns into sugar in your body. We know this leads to extra pounds. Not to mention, pretzels do not contain any ingredients that will hold keep you satiated. Nuts on the other hand are packed with healthy fats that will cure cravings, improve skin complexion and support a healthy immune system.