Are you feeling the weight of your decisions when it comes to office snacking?
Two-thirds of Australian workers gain an average 3.3kgs per year due to unhealthy snacking.
Bondi Beauty talks with Australian Dietian Kara Landau about her favourite nutrition tips and the do’s and dont’s of office dieting.
71% of office workers are more likely to snack if they see a colleague doing so. “This doesn’t suprise me at all” Landau says. She explains that “snack envy” can lead to “impulsive and mindless” snack choices. Let’s face it, not many of us can “think twice about what is nutritionally beneficial” like Landau would prefer, when faced with birthday cake. She suggests avoiding “snack envy” by planning ahead so that wise snack choices are always close by. “This will enable you to enjoy the social company of your colleagues without caving into snacks that you wouldn’t normally eat”.
Have a plan
If you’re mornings are anything like the one’s here at Bondi Beauty, packing a healthy snack can be the last thing on your mind when you’re rushing out the door. However, one in four office women are less likely to resist a snacking temptation if they haven’t packed a healthy alternative. “In today’s modern age where most of us have a smartphone, a good idea is to set a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget to pack your wise snack choices with you” says Landau. Keeping a stash of nuts in your desk draw is also a healthy and time saving tip. Having your nuts there and rationing them out each day will save you forgetting things from home.
“Snacking in itself isn’t bad, but it’s all about the choices we make” says Landau. Studies show that almost 2 in 5 women can’t help but choose a sneaky treat during special office occasions. “Making smart food choices, at both lunch time and mid afternoon, will directly impact how energized you feel throughout the afternoon, and your ability to withstand unhealthy temptations.” Landau says. She suggests choosing foods with a low glycemic index that will provide a steady release of energy to the brain to help break through that afternoon haze.
39% of employees confess to keeping a “snack stash” in their office drawer. Landau recommends hiding unhealthy snacks in lower drawers and communal cupboards to reduce the risk of temptation. “Wise snacks can be part of a balanced diet, and keeping smart snack choices readily available to avoid hunger, and storing the junk snacks out of sight so visual temptation is minimised, is a great idea!” she says. Thinking twice about why you’re reaching for a snack could also save you from unhealthy snacking. Figuring out whether you’re genuinely hungry or looking for distraction “can make all the difference in your ability to stop yourself from making poorer food choices” says Landau.
For those with a sweet tooth, Landau has some healthy alternatives. “I often take a high fibre wrap and fill it with a couple of spoons full of ricotta cheese, mixed with cinnamon, coconut and a dash of stevia, this tastes like a creamy sweet cannelloni, but is actually very low in kilojoules, and high in fibre and protein”. She also pairs dark chocolate with pistachios for a mid morning snack and adds chopped up high fibre bars to the combination to make her own trail mix. “These snack options are high in protein and fibre, and are low glycemic index, ensuring that I feel full and energized throughout the day” she says.
Kara Landau’s snack alternatives
Swap a Packet of potato chips:
For a handful of pistachios. “A 30-gram serving equals about 49 pistachios, compared to 23 almonds, 18 cashews or 14 walnut halves.”
Swap Sweet Biscuits (e.g. chocolate coated):
For one piece of dark chocolate – my favourite!
Swap flavored yoghurt:
For Some plain Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of blueberries and desiccated coconut.
*research conducted by Wonderful Pistachios
By BB Intern Dominique Tait