Loads of us start the New Year with a resolution to eat better and generally be more healthy. But it’s 3PM again, and the vending machine is calling your name — that packet of crisps has never looked better. Even though you know that it’s not the healthiest choice, somehow you end up going for it every day.

If that sounds (maybe uncomfortably) familiar, you’re definitely not alone. Lots of people have eating habits at work that aren’t the greatest … making it hard to stay focused and productive. But actually, it’s really easy to incorporate better foods into your work snacking.

When you’re craving something savoury…

Lightly salted nuts can be a great source of energy (not to mention healthy fats). Pumpkin seeds, rice cakes, and edamame are great too, as is popcorn, but skip the microwave stuff if you can and go for all natural. If you’re really craving crisps, then try seaweed crisps or veggie crisps instead of the regular potato ones. They’re still crunchy and salty, but they’ve got extra nutrients in them that you’d otherwise miss out on.


When you’re dying for something sweet…

Fresh fruit can help with the sugar craving, especially quick-energy fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. Trail mix and granola can also be good, but be sure to read the labels if you’re eating shop-bought versions, because some are loaded with fat and salt. Chocolate’s fine too, in moderation — just go for dark chocolate so you can get all the extra antioxidants and you won’t get the same type of sugar crash as you would with milk chocolate.


When you need to power up…

There’s nothing wrong with having a morning coffee or the occasional energy drink, but neither’s a great choice to get you through the afternoon slump. Instead, try substituting fizzy drinks with flavoured sparkling water, or bring your own water bottle to work and throw in some lemon or lime slices in the morning. It tastes great and is a good source of electrolytes, a bit like a natural energy drink.


When you need energy for endurance…

If you’re working long hours or you’ve just found out you’ve got to stay late for a project, don’t try to see it through with energy drinks — you’ll just end up crashing. Instead, think protein or fibre-rich foods like hummus, oatmeal, salmon, or beans: they’ll all keep you going for hours. If you’ve got time to cook, try making a curry. The spices in the sauce can give you an instant lift, and the protein in the meat can help keep you going long term.


Your turn — what’s your favourite work snack? Tell us below in the comments!

Posted by Rachel Allen