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Work can be full of unhealthy diet traps: donuts or bagels in the morning, skipped lunches, and afternoon sugar cravings can lead you straight to the vending machine. Did you know that the peak use of vending machines is between 2-5pm?
Here are 5 tips on sticking with healthy food choices and avoiding vending machine:
1. When you pack your lunch, pack the snacks! (for a few days ahead)
Snacks can be packed for a few days ahead, and you can store them in the office, so that they are within arm's reach, when you start getting cravings in the afternoon. Some ideas for snacks:
2. Drink water
Take a gulp of water every time you feel like heading towards a vending machine. Water will fill you up long enough until you can get home for dinner. Be cautious of juices, soda, or coffee. These options can be high in calories and sugar.
3. Relax you mind during a stressful day
Stress and unhealthy eating usually go together. When you get into a stressful moment at work - get up, go for a walk, talk to a colleague, or call a friend. Changing your environment and taking the mind off the situation will distract you from a desire to eat.
4. Have backup option of meal replacement shake (Example Advocare)
Always having a few packets of meal replacement or protein shakes can save you from the vending machine. The shake and meal packet option provide needed nutrition and satisfy sugar cravings with the variety of flavors.
5. Choose the lesser of the 2 evils
If all of the above options fail and your only survival option is a vending machine, you need to know which items in it are healthier than the others. According to Fitness Magazine; here are the 10 snacks from the vending machine which are comparably healthier than an average candy bar:
1. Planters Sunflower Kernels (1/4 cup)
160 calories, 14g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 4g fiber
The Bottom Line: Full of healthy fats
2. Baked! Lays Original
210 calories, 3g fat, 0g sat fat, 4g fiber
The Bottom Line: Surprisingly fiber-full
Other Smart Snacks
3. Sun Chips Original
140 calories, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 2g fiber
The Bottom Line: Made of whole grains
4. Snyder's of Hanover Mini Pretzels (20)
110 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat fat
The Bottom Line: Naturally fat-free
5. Smartfood Reduced-Fat Popcorn
120 calories, 5g fat, 1g sat fat, 2g fiber
The Bottom Line: Low fat, and has fiber!
6. Peanut M&M's
250 calories, 13g fat, 5g sat fat, 2g fiber
The Bottom Line: Just don't go nuts
7. Fig Newtons
190 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat fat, 2g fiber
The Bottom Line: It's fruit!
8. Nature Valley Granola Bar, Oats & Honey
180 calories, 6g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 2g fiber
The Bottom Line: Beats hunger
9. Planters Honey Roasted Peanuts (39)
160 calories, 13g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 6g protein
The Bottom Line: High in protein
10. Quaker Chewy Low-Fat Granola Bar, Chocolate Chunk
110 calories, 2g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 1g fiber
The Bottom Line: Guilt-free chocolate
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