We all know it- around 3 p.m. is when you hit a slump. You feel massive energy loss and sleeping sounds like the best thing ever. When you feel like this, it’s difficult to get your work done. There are a couple reasons for this major slump. The biggest culprit is lack of sleep followed closely by having a large meal at lunch. When you eat a large lunch at work, all of your energy goes into digesting your food. Eating smaller portions of food throughout the day are recommended to keep your energy going nonstop. Here are some healthy snacks you can eat to avoid the afternoon slump and keep working.
In case you were unaware, fruit is your friend! Bananas, apples and oranges are compact and easy to take on the go. They’re naturally packed with vitamins, minerals and good carbs to give you that energy you need to get through your day. Other fruit options that are great to snack on are berries that have lower sugar. These are somewhat more difficult to keep available at work, but it’s still worth it to try. Bring some into the office in tupperware, and leave them in the fridge during the week. Want to make your fruit snack even better? Eat your apple or banana with some peanut butter. The protein will give you a long lasting form of energy and keep your hunger satisfied.
You know vegetables are healthy, but you don’t really appreciate their “lack of flavor.” Try eating your veggies with a healthy dip like hummus. Hummus, a spread made from olive oil and garbanzo beans, has protein and fiber that will help you get through the day. Vegetables like carrots, sugar snap peas and red peppers go great with hummus and are packed with nutrients that can only better your diet.
Nuts and dried fruit mixes are easy to find at your local grocery store or pharmacy for a quick afternoon snack. Nuts like almonds and walnuts are packed with good fats to keep you from going hungry. They also have good nutrients like omega-3s and vitamin E. The dried fruit adds sweetness and fiber. Don’t go too crazy with this snack food though since it’s recommended to only have about a handful a day. Too many carbs will cause lower blood sugar, resulting in lower energy.
Yogurt lovers rejoice because yogurt is a great energy snack! Add a little cereal and granola on top of this protein snack for some added carbs to keep you energized and hunger-free for the rest of your work hours. It’s recommended to have 6 ounces of fat-free or low fat yogurt.
Protein bars are one of the most convenient snacks of choice. They’re pre-packed and ready to eat. Watch out with protein bars that are meant to be meal replacements though. Split those in half and eat the one half to avoid consuming too many calories. You’re looking for a snack here, not a meal. Look for bars that have at least 5 grams of fiber and protein and less than 15 grams of sugar. You’re not looking for a sugar rush, because that will only throw you back into a slump again.
For one last great work snack, get that movie theater feel and eat some popcorn. Popcorn is a good healthy snack because of its fiber and high volume. You’ll feel full while consuming a healthy amount of calories. Single serve low-fat popcorn bags have 100 calories. You can eat an entire bag of popcorn guilt free! So get to snacking and don’t feel bad about it.