22 March 2023
Contributor - My Muscle Chef
While we have become accustomed to the perks of working from home (like having co-workers pets make a guest appearance in meetings!), often one of the major perks of working from the office is the endless stash of snacks.
It’s not just for the sugar hit either, socially connecting with your colleagues while drooling over the latest treats to arrive in the office is the stuff solid working relationships are made of. We crave these social interactions and snacks have a beautiful way of bringing us together.
But becoming snack happy can quickly ruin all the time you committed over lockdown to home workouts, walks around the neighbourhood, and strenuous online PT sessions. The worst part is how it can creep up so quickly - one day you overindulge and weeks later you are baffled with your struggle to fit into your jeans for casual Friday.
Don’t stress, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom! Instead, by avoiding a few pitfalls, being mindful of portion sizes, and going for the good stuff, you can still participate in the time honoured tradition of office snack sharing without blowing your daily calorie intake. We’ve got some snack break inspo that will work for your team bonding AND your macros. Who knows, maybe you’ll uncover a new snack favourite that will become the new office staple!
Check out our list of the best and worst office snack options below.
You’re only fooling yourself when you say, “I am heading to the fridge for ONE Tim Tam”. Chances are the first one is so nice that you quickly devour 2-3 biscuits before you have even made your way back to your desk. While we love a classic, it is also important to look past the nostalgia, and consider a snack’s nutritional scorecard. Did you know each biscuit has 8 grams of sugar in it and 95 calories? While we aren’t saying to avoid Tim Tams at every occurrence, they shouldn’t be the everyday morning tea choice. Instead, look for something that will satisfy chocolate cravings but also delivers protein and fibre to help avoid the sugar crash an hour later.
Donuts aren’t usually in the office every day, but it is likely you will see these bad boys around every few weeks. Absence really does make the cravings stronger, so when donuts make a guest appearance you’re likely making a beeline to the kitchen counter - who knows when the opportunity will arise again? And donuts are no longer your plain jane finished with a glaze. Instead, they are decadently topped with anything from nuts, shaved coconut, rose petals, or chocolate icing, and sometimes even filled with cream, jam, or Nutella. RIP your calorie deficit when these colourful doughy bites hit the kitchen bench, as a cream filled donut will set you back approximately 221 calories and 14 grams of sugar or more depending on the size and fillings!
You think the older you become, the more likely snacking on lollies becomes a thing of childhood memories. Lolly jars are commonplace in offices these days, providing easy access to these favourites in an office setting. It’s all too easy to grab a handful of lollies whenever you pass without thinking much of it. A small 25 gram snack size serving can contain more than 12 grams of sugar, which is one third to one half of the recommended daily intake of added sugars. Repeat trips to the lolly jar to try power through the afternoon slump mean it’s all too easy to consume far more empty calories in a day without realising the impact. Plus, you will have to work harder to get your energy levels up. And you don’t want to be embarrassed when your PT is kicking your butt and you are like a flightless Emu- flapping around but unable to fly anywhere.
It’s good on toast, as a dip, or on it’s own - beyond just being the favourite food of millennials, avocado is nutritionist approved and a great addition to your workday snack menu.
Why it’s a winner:
Tastes delicious with its nutty yet earthy profile and buttery texture
Keeps you feeling full with no sugar crash, thanks to avo’s healthy fats and fibre
Boasts 20 different vitamins + minerals to fight fatigue and fuel you from workdays to workouts
Recommended serving size: ½ avocado (the remainder is best stored by removing the pit immediately, squeezing lemon over the top and storing in an airtight container in the fridge).
Pro tip: Add some excitement with a squeeze of lemon, pinch of salt and a dusting of paprika, or sprinkle some dukkah for added crunch.
This isn’t an everyday sight around the office, but with a bit of preparation you’ll be whipping up and digging into an insta-worthy snack in no time.
Why it’s a winner:
Light, but variety in the layers provide an interesting and satisfying snack experience
Good balance of macros, containing protein, good carbs, healthy fats, and fibre
Fruits provide sweetness without added sugars
Recommended serving size: 1 cup
Keep it simple with yogurt, fresh or frozen fruit (chuck some frozen blueberries in there for extra antioxidants), granola for crunch, and finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon. For the easiest (and tastiest!) parfait, grab one of our Protein Yoghurts and pair with your fave fruits - 20g of protein per serve, and the perfectly portioned toppers add texture. Try pairing a Strawberry with Almond & Cranberry Protein Yoghurt with some frozen blueberries, or Vanilla with Choc, Almond & Coconut Protein Yoghurt with sliced banana.
Pro tip: Sprinkle chia seeds on top for some extra fibre to keep you full well into the last bite.
Why it’s a winner:
Portable for when you’re in back to back meetings and only have a few minutes until the next one
Snack size packaging is perfect for portion control
Recommended serving size: Single snack sized pack
Pro tip: Avoid options with loads of chocolate bits or yogurt covered dried fruit, as these are usually higher in sugar and calories.
Why it’s a winner:
Because SCIENCE! Popcorn has a large surface area which can trick your brain into feeling like you’re eating more than you actually are
It’s a whole grain, and high in fibre
Low in kilojoules (without the added butter!)
Recommended serving size: 4-5 cups
Pro tips: Skip the butter, and lightly salt and add paprika for more flavour
When in doubt check the label. Being marketed as healthy and nutritious doesn’t necessarily mean it actually is. Sure, it might have some health benefits, but if its sugar levels are high that may outweigh any health benefits, vitamins or minerals it packs.
Avoid mindless devouring while you focus on a new project deadline, or while replying back to your never-ending inbox. Instead, focus on your task at hand which is eating to avoid overeating.
Keep your water intake up throughout the day especially as we move into the warmer months when are bodies are working hard to maintain a cool temperature.
Snacking is one of those things where failing to prepare really does mean preparing to fail.
The best way to snack smarter in the office is by stocking up on your own healthy snacks. Whether you prefer a convenient Protein Shake for those days when you’re on the go, or like to have a secret stash of healthy AND tasty Protein Bites in your top drawer, we’ve got snacks for whatever your day throws at you. Be sure to let us know what snack you are hitting up next time you are in the office.
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