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Published on September 27, 2018

25 Healthy Snacks for Work: Decrease Hunger and Increase Productivity

25 Healthy Snacks for Work: Decrease Hunger and Increase Productivity

Snacks are awesome. They bridge the gaps between our meals, provide us a little mental reset, and can oftentimes lead to a healthier weight.

How does this magic work exactly? Well, let me tell you:

Incorporating snacks into your mid-morning and mid-afternoon can balance out your blood sugar, preventing those dreaded spikes and crashes. A proper snack can also lead to sustained energy by providing you with energy all day long.

Remember, food is fuel. So without adding gas to your tank, you will quickly run out leading to decreased productivity and a crabby mood.

What about the healthy weight you may ask? When you provide your body with proper fuel throughout the day, you don’t meet meal time with starvation. You have more control when you dinner plate lands on the table, leading to decreased portions and less chance of over-eating. In fact, oftentimes I recommend snacks to most of my nutrition clientele.

The perfect snack follows a simple formula: Protein + Produce. This will give you carbs for a quick energy bump combined with fiber and protein for sustaining that energy. This snack duo also lends itself to be quite portable. A no fuss approach to feeling better throughout the day is always welcome.

Here are some healthy snacks for work to sustain your energy, keep your focus locked in, and promote that healthy weight:

1. Cucumber Sandwiches

    Cucumber sandwiches follow that perfect snack combo of protein + produce. The light and refreshing cucumber “buns” are a great delivery system for the protein-rich turkey slices.

    Cucumbers are also a great source of hydration as they are made up of mostly water! And, yes, you can eat your water.

    ~ Get the recipe here!

    2. Tuna Salad Cucumbers

      Cucumbers again?! Yup, these little fruits (not even a veg) are so easy and friendly for all snackers.

      Creating open-faced tuna salad sandwiches is a great way to have snack that will keep you going until your next meal. The tuna provides you with healthy fats that pairs nicely with the crunch of the fibrous cucumber.

      ~ Get the recipe here!

      3. The Classic: Trail Mix

        This classic combination is a tried and true method of snacking for a reason. It’s super easy, fun to mix up, and provides a nutritious punch.

        Check out this list of some great trail mix variations and ideas! Be sure to go for low-sodium nuts and no sugar added dried fruits to keep unwanted empty calories at bay.

        ~ Get the recipe here!

        4. Apple Cookies

          You can call these dessert nachos or apple cookies. But either way they make one heck of a snack!

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          Easy to pack and prepare, these apple cookies are loaded with delicious fuel for your mid-morning pick-me-up. And as a bonus, these are very simple to customize to whatever flavor combinations you fancy!

          ~ Get the recipe here!

          5. Banana Hemp Seed Sushi

            Hemp seeds are great! In case you don’t know why, hemp seeds are loaded with vitamin E, iron, and healthy fats.

            Pair these little powerhouse seeds with the power of peanut butter and a nutrient dense banana, you have the perfect combination for a snack! Thinking back on perfect snack formula of protein + produce, this snack follows that to a T!

            ~ Get the recipe here!

            6. Almond Butter and Banana Open Sandwich

              Another classic as it should be; but with a twist. In order to save time and shave off a few extra calories, use your banana as your delivery system. Top it with extra goodies and eat with a fork and knife or dive in to make it finger food!

              This recipe is great to have all the ingredients for in your desk drawer!

              ~ Get the recipe here!

              7. Baba Ganoush

                Baba Ganoush is like hummus’s forgotten cousin. It’s delicious and in my book, doesn’t get enough recognition! This eggplant based dip is a great source of fiber, copper, and vitamin B. You can use carrot sticks or seeded crackers to much this perfect snack down!

                ~ Get the recipe here!

                8. Blueberry Pudding

                  Chia seeds are little protein packets. And when soaked, they make a delicious pudding.

                  Bump up that pudding with fresh fruit and you have the perfect sweet treat to keep you going until lunch-time!

                  ~ Get the recipe here!

                  9. Cowboy Caviar

                    Cowboy caviar is a typical Sunday football food, however, have you ever thought of making a little extra for the week’s snacks? With all the beans and veggies, it is loaded with sustaining energy.

                    Pack this in a small to-go container with your favorite chips and you are all set from lunch to dinner!

                    ~ Get the recipe here!

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                    10. Greek Yogurt & Crushed Almond Banana Popsicles

                      Greek yogurt and crushed almond banana popsicles are the perfect snack swap for when you are feeling something sweet. Much better for you than the vending machine but they are just as indulgent!

                      In this snack recipe, the Greek yogurt and almonds provide the protein that covers the banana (aka produce of course).

                      ~ Get the recipe here!

                      11. Roasted Garlic Kale Hummus

                        Hummus alone should be on everyones list of superfoods! And this one is blended with kale for an extra nutrition bump. The roasted garlic provides a great flavor without making it too spicy.

                        I highly recommend this hummus with your favorite whole grain crackers or cut veggies!

                        ~ Get the recipe here!

                        12. Avocado Deviled Eggs

                          Deviled eggs always feel so fancy to eat. Now add whipped avocado into the mixture and they are indulgent! Another great example of creating a snack that follows the winning formula of protein + produce.

                          As a bonus, the avocados provide a hearty dense of good for you fats and flavor!

                          ~ Get the recipe here!

                          13. Peach Caprese Skewers

                            This snack couldn’t be simpler to make and take! You can keep them in skewer form or throw all the ingredients into your Tupperware container to eat as a salad.

                            Be sure to slice a ripe peach as the sweetness of the peach pairs wonderfully with the creamy mozzarella, fresh basil, and the acidity of the tomatoes!

                            ~ Get the recipe here!

                            14. Hard Boiled Egg and Avocado Bowl

                              Eggs are an excellent source of protein, packing 6 grams in each large one. This seasoned snack bowl is great for an afternoon break or morning nosh. Plus the red bell peppers not only add flavor but also a great dose of vitamin A, C, and B!

                              ~ Get the recipe here!

                              15. Protein Packed Oatmeal Cups

                                You can probably go ahead and call these muffins, but they are healthy muffins!

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                                Using your favorite protein powder, these protein packed oatmeal cups are fully customizable to your liking. You can add fruit (yes, please!), nuts, spices, and a bit of sweetener.

                                The oatmeal base gives you a nice dosing of fiber that will help these muffins last you until you get to sit down for your next meals.

                                ~ Get the recipe here!

                                16. Salmon Avocado Toast

                                  One man’s Sunday brunch order is another’s power snack. To keep from getting too out of control with the calories, opt for a thin slice of toast and 1/4 of an avocado. Top it with high-quality smoked salmon to bask in the Omega 3 healthy fats!

                                  ~ Get the recipe here!

                                  17. Kale Berry and Acai Power Smoothie

                                    Smoothies are a wonderful invention. No time to eat? No worries, drink your snack!

                                    This kale berry and acai power smoothie is chockfull of nutrients, fiber, and protein creating a winning combination!

                                    ~ Get the recipe here!

                                    18. Vegetable Quinoa Chickpea Salad

                                      This is a great snack that can be made in bulk for the whole week. With the chickpeas and quinoa paired with the cucumber and other veggies, this is a light salad that does a wonderful job of bridging the gap between meals.

                                      ~ Get the recipe here!

                                      19. Apple Chai Energy Balls

                                        These are so perfect for those cozy days when you are stuck inside working. These apple chai energy balls are packed with fiber, antioxidants and protein.

                                        Be sure to use old-fashioned oats for more nutrient dense energy balls.

                                        ~ Get the recipe here!

                                        20. Peanut Butter Smoothie

                                          Everyone loves peanut butter. This peanut butter smoothie is the perfect combination to make it a great snack! Pour yourself a small glass and sip away the hanger!

                                          ~ Get the recipe here!

                                          21. Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

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                                            Is this permission to eat brownies for a healthy snack? When they are made of black beans it is!

                                            The best part about these brownies is that you can’t tell they are healthy at all. The beans provide the protein that compliments the antioxidants of the chocolate and nuts.

                                            ~ Get the recipe here!

                                            22. Chipotle Lime Edamame

                                              Edamame are whole soy pods that are excellent covered in any flavor combination you can think of! You can make these little guys right at the office with a bag of frozen edamame heated in the company microwave and then topped with all the ingredients.

                                              Simple, easy, and beats that weird buttery popcorn smell that floats down the hallway on Friday afternoons.

                                              ~ Get the recipe here!

                                              23. Cheesy Spinach Quinoa Cups

                                                These are great for on the go and freeze really well! That means you can make them in batches to last you weeks at a time!

                                                The spinach and cheese creates an indulgent snack that won’t cost you tons of calories and hold you over to make it to that 4 o’clock meeting.

                                                ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                24. No Bake Sweet and Salty Granola Bars

                                                  These bars are loaded with good-for-you nuts and seeds. Keeping these in your desk drawer will help curb those hunger pains and afternoon 3 pm slump we all know so well.

                                                  ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                  25. Fancy Rice Cakes

                                                    Rice cakes can be bland on their own, but when you top them like this they are anything but!

                                                    These rice cakes are transformed into delicious snacks that will have you rushing to the break room!

                                                    ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                    Final thoughts

                                                    Snacks are an essential part of balanced eating! It is so important to keep our bodies fueled with good ingredients to keep them working as proficiently as we need them to.

                                                    Adding snacks to your day will help you meet deadlines, improve productivity, and not fall asleep on your keyboard each afternoon.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Roman Rodriguez via unsplash.com

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                                                    Julia Whelan

                                                    Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist

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                                                    Last Updated on August 9, 2019

                                                    17 Healthy Late Night Snacks for When Midnight Cravings Hit

                                                    17 Healthy Late Night Snacks for When Midnight Cravings Hit

                                                    You look at the clock glaring the numbers 12:15 back at you in bright red. You can feel your stomach grumbling. You reach for your phone trying to distract you, but you just can’t seem to ignore the overwhelming urge for something to eat! Finally, frustrated, you grab your slipper and stomp to the fridge. You try to remember your diet but it’s too late. If you don’t grab something you’ll be up all night…

                                                    Does this situation sound familiar? If so, get prepared to be prepared! Late night cravings don’t have to mean the pitfall of every diet you’ve ever tried. Instead, with a little knowledge and planning you can avoid those dreaded midnight munchies!

                                                    Are you ready? Here are the top 17 late night snacks for when your cravings hit.

                                                    1. Blood Sugar Balancing Lemonade or Soda

                                                    When cravings hit, there’s a good chance our blood sugar might just be out of balance.[1] When you find yourself craving food in the middle of the night, start off with this balancing lemonade. You might find that you don’t even need anything else!

                                                    The power is in the blend of lemon (a detoxifier), Cinnamon (a craving buster) and chromium (a mineral that is necessary for us to balance our blood sugar). Of course, the water in itself will help fill you up and destroy cravings. So, before reaching for the cookies, fill up on some of this lemonade and see if the problem takes care of itself.

                                                    2. Edamame

                                                    If you are looking for something to occupy your tastebuds, edamame might just be the way to go! This tasty snack is extremely clean and high in protein.

                                                    Late at night, your body’s metabolism slows down to prepare you for sleep. So of course, if you are munching on high calorie snacks, there is a good chance they might turn into fat more than if you were to eat that same food in the morning of an active day.

                                                    The combination of low-calorie and high protein might help you stay full and satiated while still revving up the metabolism enough to help burn off those calories.

                                                    3. In-Shell Pistachios

                                                    Although too many might be high in calories, moderate amounts of pistachios might actually help you go back to sleep.

                                                    Though all foods contain some melatonin, a nutrient which is essential for deep sleep, pistachios are one the most nutrient dense. Just a small handful of these power snacks will punch as much melatonin as supplement!

                                                    4. Turkey

                                                    Remember how each Thanksgiving, your Dad crashes on the couch in a deep turkey-coma? Post-Thanksgiving naps are a legit thing! I’ll tell you why.

                                                    Turkey contains large amounts of tryptophan which contribute to making people feel tired. If you really want some good rest and a yummy nighttime snack, try wrapping turkey in romaine lettuce, drizzle a little dressing, and enjoy a delicious wrap.

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                                                    5. Tart Cherries

                                                    Tart cherries can actually help you boost your melatonin production making them perfect for a good night’s rest. Cherries also require mindful eating due to the stems and pits making them a perfect choice for people who want to avoid late night binges.

                                                    If you really want something sweet but need help keeping it moderate, try freezing the cherries. The extra cold will not only take longer to eat but, it might actually help you curb some cravings in the process.

                                                    6. Berries

                                                    Berries are an extremely healthy snack for anytime of the day, but at night, they are especially perfect. High amounts of carbs can make it harder for you to sleep.

                                                    However, berries are extremely low glycemic (meaning they don’t have a huge effect on your blood sugar) making them absolutely perfect to curb the sweet tooth and still have a good nights rest.

                                                    Plus they are so high in antioxidants that your also doing your body a favor!

                                                    7. Berry Slushie

                                                    As mentioned, berries are very low glycemic, meaning they don’t spike your blood sugar in the way normal fruit would.

                                                    For an especially perfect snack, blend together ice, lemon, berries, and stevia. The addition of the lemon and stevia will help you get that sweet kick without having to add too much fruit into the mix. You will feel satisfied without even budging your waistline.

                                                    8. Veggies

                                                    For those of you who feel extra ambitious, try filling up on veggies. They are so low-calorie, you don’t really have to worry about over eating them.

                                                    If you really want to add some extra flavor, try sauteing them in water or dipping them in a tablespoon of sauce. You’ll feel full and satisfied but you won’t have to worry about an overdose of calories.

                                                    9. Pumpkin Seeds

                                                    Much like pistachios, pumpkin seeds can help fill you up without disrupting your sleep. Pumpkin seeds are packed with tryptophan that might help knock you out.

                                                    If you feel like you just can’t sleep and want to avoid a sudden binge, keep in-shell pumpkin seeds on hand as well. You will stay occupied and have your cravings handled without the temptation of grabbing mouthfuls at a time.

                                                    10. Plain Yogurt and Cinnamon

                                                    Cinnamon is really a master at helping curb cravings. This makes for a power combo when you hit your body with both protein-dense Greek yogurt and balancing cinnamon simultaneously.

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                                                    If you really want to feel like you’re having a treat, just add a tablespoon or so of stevia, and dip in half an apple. You’ll almost think you were having a dessert.

                                                    11. Protein Ice Cream

                                                    Who doesn’t love a low calorie snack? This recipe uses gelatin to thicken up the rest of the ingredients into a more creamy flavor without adding the whopping calories of cream.

                                                    Late and night, our metabolism slows down to prepare for sleep. That means, low calorie snacks are ideal. They’ll fill you right up without disrupting your sleep or diet.

                                                    Check out the recipe of this ice-cream here!

                                                    12. A Tablespoon of Almond Butter

                                                    Sometimes, all you need is just one little lick of something to keep you satiated. That’s what this trick will do for you.

                                                    Although one tablespoon will pack in about 100 calories, the healthy fats might be all it takes to keep you satisfied and happy. Just be mindful of how much if you are trying to lose or maintain weight.

                                                    13. Shiritake Noodles

                                                    There’s a big difference between wanting to eat because you’re hungry or eating because.. well.. you want to eat. By all means, if you’re feeling genuinely hungry, then reach for something a bit more satiating. Most of us, however, start reaching for the pantry out of pure habit.

                                                    But, before giving in to a cup of Top Ramen, give this trick a try! Warm up Shiritake noodles and season with whatever you’re feeling most. These noodles taste great mixed in with coconut aminos for a Thai bowl topped with veggies.

                                                    Or try mixing it with almond milk, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast for something savory. These 0-calorie noodles with help solve the munchies and make you feel satisfied again!

                                                    14. Homemade Jello

                                                    Much like the Protein Ice Cream, homemade jello is a really filling way to get your sweet fix when you don’t really need the extra calories.

                                                    While most gelatin from stores is not good for you at all, moderate amounts of natural gelatin, like Great Lakes Gelatin, can actually be pretty good for you and your gut.

                                                    While healthy carbs are in no way bad, I prefer to use stevia for this recipe as well at night, since too high of carb can really disrupt sleep.

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                                                    Take a look at the recipe here to make your own healthy jello.

                                                    15. Kale Chips

                                                    When you’re craving something crunchy and salty, kale chips are the way to go. Many brands include some amounts of cashews which make them very satiating as well.

                                                    Think ahead for those days when potato chips sound tempting and keep bags of kale chips on hand instead. You will not regret it! And as a little bonus, the extra minerals will help you feel more fulfilled too.

                                                    16. Bento Box

                                                    A bento box is an amazing way to fill up your body with very satiating and fulfilling foods in a very balanced way. If you are genuinely hungry, then a balanced and portioned snack like this is hands down the way to go.

                                                    As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to fill your box with one portion; each of protein, nuts, veggies, and low-carb fruit. It’s a quick snack plate that will leave you feeling great!

                                                    17. Peanut/Sunflower Butter and Carrot sticks/Jicama

                                                    I saved the weirdest for last! This is one of my all time favorite snacks, but it makes for a truly satiating meal when you absolutely need something filling to hold you up through the night.

                                                    Jicama or carrots and nut butter provide the most amazing blend of satiating saltiness with a tang of sweet. It doesn’t take much of this meal to fill you up. You’ll be feeling awesome in no time!

                                                    Bonus Tips

                                                    1. Try to Eat 2 Hours before Bed

                                                    Because your metabolism slows down so much at night, most dieticians recommend eating at least 2 hours before bed.

                                                    Eating later at night can disrupt your sleep and add to unwanted weight gain. To really prevent this slump, try eating regularly throughout the day. You’re body loves consistency and not starving yourself during the day will prevent those late-night binges.

                                                    2. Choose Low-Carb

                                                    High amount of carbs at night are a sure-fire way to pack on unwanted pounds. To avoid this, choose lighter and lower-carb meals at night to prevent fat-gain.

                                                    There’s nothing wrong with some big chunks of bread, but eating that late at night is not going to work for you!

                                                    3. Satiate Yourself

                                                    Try adding some healthy fats to your dinner. I’m all about eating “lean and clean”, but if you find yourself starving after dinner, then there’s a chance you might not be eating the right types of foods for dinner.

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                                                    Adding lean protein and healthy fats to your meals will help keep you full longer and prevent late night hunger.

                                                    4. Know Whether You’re Craving or Hungry

                                                    When you’re stressed out or working late, it’s only natural to want to eat to get rid of the stress. However, overeating will only make things worse.

                                                    If you find yourself walking into the kitchen out of stress of habits, then I would say it’s time to learn an awesome new habit to de-stress. Whether you go for a walk or you sit down and read, making time for you in a relaxed environment is going to be the way to go

                                                    5. Invest in Good Sleep

                                                    Sometimes, late night cravings really boil down to a lack of good sleep. There are a variety of supplements out there, from melatonin to valerian root, that can help you calm down and get some rest.

                                                    I’ve found that taking CALM, a magnesium supplement drink, really helps me unwind as well. I really recommend turning off all electronics 2 hours before you go to sleep so you have some good time to unwind and rest too.

                                                    6. Be Aware of Your Blood Sugar Balance

                                                    If you have any sorts of blood sugar imbalance, then staying on top of your nutrition is extremely important.

                                                    Skipping meals shouldn’t be an option. Instead, choose meals with a good balance of healthy fats, low-glycemic carbs, and proteins to keep you satiated throughout the day. This will prevent spikes and drops in your blood sugar that could really mess with your system!

                                                    7. Try Intermittent Fasting

                                                    Lastly, if you are really starving every night, intermittent fasting might be a great option to try.

                                                    By training your body to only eat during certain time frames, you will naturally adjust and stop getting as hungry during times outside of that “feeding window.” It’s a really good option whether you’re looking to feel good, lose weight, or just regain your relationship to food.

                                                    Learn more about intermittent fasting here: Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

                                                    So here you are, your new manual for when late night cravings hit. Say goodbye to those miserable binges for good!

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                                                    Featured photo credit: Glen Carrie via unsplash.com

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