We all know what a saving grace the vending machine, office trolley or tuck shop can seem to be on a busy day! When your day is filled with business appointments, work deadlines and other commitments, keeping to healthy eating habits can be an extreme challenge.
Although the vending machine, office trolley or tuck shop may look like an attractive option to your sudden appetite at the office, the chocolates, crisps and other treats on offer are high in saturated and total fats, with high sugar and salt levels too.
These food choices are known for causing erratic blood sugar levels, robbing you of energy and concentration. As result, you may feel irritable and lethargic.
Some easy steps you can take to prevent reliance on the vending machine:
- Rather take a physical break than grabbing a vending machine snack. Going for a short walk and getting a breath of fresh air will boost your oxygen levels will leave you feeling energised, without any snacking on unhealthy foods.
- Drink a glass of water when you feel like having a snack, you may simply be thirsty and not hungry!
- Do not skip meals. Skipping meals will leave you hungry – and controlling your food choices will be much harder.
- If you do occasionally snack from the vending machine or tuck shop, choose the smallest available portion and share your snack with a colleague to avoid overindulging.
- Be in control of your own food choices. Always have your own supply of smart snacks in your desk drawer or handbag (dried fruit, trail mix, health bars, lean biltong or protein powders are a good start) and it is unlikely that you will be tempted by the tuck shop or vending machine.
- Think before you buy a snack. Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” The sight of tempting snacks or the aroma of freshly baked goods can stimulate an appetite, but it is unlikely a case of actual hunger. Sparing a thought about whether you are genuinely hungry, or simply feel like a snack because your colleague is eating one, can prevent mindless munching.
- If you do occasionally have a bar of chocolate or packet of crisps, here are two guaranteed ways to avoid overindulging: (i) choose the smallest available bar or packet size and (ii) share your snack with a colleague.
- Ask your company or workplace to provide healthier snacks. With a bit of creativity and effort, healthier food choices can be offered. For example, is your office food trolley or tuck shop offering fresh fruit? Healthy and wholesome sandwiches instead of fatty and sugary snacks?
There are many small, easy and simple steps that you can take to manage vending machine and tuck shop snacking. Healthy eating and good nutrition are habits that need to be learnt, adopted and nurtured. Start your journey to good nutrition on the run, today!