Struggling to avoid the carb and sugar-filled oasis that is the breakroom at work? Whether those tasty contributions are brought from home by well-meaning coworkers, or store-bought treats dropped off by hopeful sales representatives, there seem to be tempting treats on the table every day!
Making the right snack choices can be difficult, but for diabetics it is absolutely paramount to stay focused on your health. Think about it – snacks give us permission to eat at non-traditional mealtimes. We all know breakfast is in the morning, lunch is in the afternoon, and dinner is at night… snacks however, have become any time free-for-all opportunities to chow down.
Snacking is not evil, and does not have to negatively affect blood sugar. A snack’s purpose is to prevent excessive hunger, give the body an energy boost, and even help to regulate blood sugar.
It’s important to listen to your body; when it needs a little boost, you’ll know. Some people are ravenous first thing in the morning, and after eating a large breakfast may not need a snack before lunch. Others may eat something small when they wake up, and need a little boost mid-morning.
Don’t let yourself get hungry. This is especially important for diabetics. When you skip a meal, your blood sugar will drop. As soon as you put the first bite of anything in your mouth, your
It’s important to choose a snack that will give you the energy you need without spiking your blood sugar. Combine protein, fats, and carbohydrates to get the most out of your snacks. This creates a feeling of satiety and will prevent energy crashes caused by unstable blood sugar.
So, which snacks are a good representation of this combination?
Trade in that whole banana for a bowl of berries and Greek yogurt. Or apple slices over cottage cheese with a sprinkle of cinnamon. (When it comes to yogurt and cottage cheese, be sure to choose the full-fat versions to increase the good fats and decrease the sugar.)
It may be difficult to give up your afternoon coffee, but try a small smoothie instead. This is a snack idea you can make at home ahead of time. Just toss some berries, Greek yogurt, ice, and a touch of honey into your blender. Then, pour into a cup and stow in the freezer at work until snack time.
How about some no-bake energy bites instead of that granola bar? Packaged granola bars and muffins are usually hiding a lot of sugar under the wrapper.
Instead of a bag of potato chips from the vending machine, try air-popped popcorn or a few kale chips. If a kale chip isn’t your thing, how about this recipe for pepperoni chips!
Some thinly sliced veggies accompanied by a nice hummus or pesto dip won’t weigh you down as the afternoon drags on. You can dip pretty much anything into this cool and creamy avocado dip.
An easy grab-on-the-go snack is string cheese with a handful of nuts. Choose full-fat string cheese and some pistachios, cashews, or almonds (or mix them together for variety.) For even more ideas, check out this link to Diabetic Kitchen’s Quick Snack Ideas for Diabetics.
Now that you’re fueled by the right snacks, stay focused on avoiding the less desirable ones. With a little planning, by thinking ahead you can set yourself up for success. Create a workspace that encourages productivity, not mindless snacking.
For example, that bowl of candies on your desk is probably enjoyed far more often by you than by anyone who visits your office. When foods are visible and easily available, you are more likely to indulge.
Simply keep your lunch (and any healthy snacks needing to stay cold) in the breakroom fridge, and any dry healthy snacks in a drawer or cabinet out of sight at your desk. When your body tells you that you are hungry, grab the snack bag of kale chips, an apple, or the bag of nuts you brought from home and you’re good to go!
This strategy will help to keep you out of the breakroom and away from temptation more often. While it may be difficult to break your breakroom snacking habits at first, don’t forget that achieving goals takes hard work and focus. Your health is worth it – you can do this!