How to stop reaching for the snacks while working from home

By Jane Clarke, Dietitian and Founder of Nourish 

obesity at workThe past year has upended all our routines, from the way we work and socialise to how we shop, eat and think about food.

Most of us will have instilled some positive new habits – and found ourselves enforcing some of the less helpful ones, too! Too much snacking, whether from boredom, stress, or simply proximity to the fridge, is an issue many of my clients have talked to me about. So, whether working from home is your new normal, or you’re flexi working with some time at the office and the rest within your own four walls, here’s how to take control of snacking and make these mini meals a conscious, nourishing, pleasurable part of your day.

1 Be mindful. Before you snack on anything, ask yourself: ‘Is this going to nourish me?’ It can help prevent mindless snacking and mean, if you do want to eat, you consciously choose something that will benefit your body, rather than providing a quick fix you’ll regret later.

2 Prep ahead. Pre-preparing your snacks makes taking the healthy option easy. Chop up carrots, cucumber and pepper sticks ready to dip into either some protein-rich hummus, have an omega-3 rich mackerel or salmon pate in the fridge, or one of my favourites – peanut butter on sliced apple. All these spreads are great to spread on rye crackers for a blend of crunch and smooth – having lots of tastes and textures will send a message from your taste buds to your brain so that it tells your stomach it’s had enough to eat.

3 Nix the salt and sugar. Swap out salty crisps and sugary treats for snacks that provide a healthy balance of carbs, protein and fat. For a savoury fix, try unsalted nuts, chunks of cheese, or a mug of soup (much better than a couple of biscuits as a 4pm booster). If you want something treat, have unsulphured dried fruits such as apricots or Medjool dates – have a few unsalted nuts at the same time, as the protein they contain helps to slow the absorption of sugar, so you don’t get the classic sugar high followed by a crash.

4 Have a drink. Often our urge to snack is driven by dehydration. Sip water or herbal tea and see if that hits the spot. If you do want a little more, my all-natural Nourish Drinks, made with organic ingredients, are great to sip on when you experience an energy slump, as they contain all the nourishment you need in one little bottle and the sweetness gives you the treat feel, without the guilt.

5 Get baking. This is a good way to keep a supply of healthy tasty snacks to hand, as unlike shop-bought alternatives, your fresh bakes won’t be full of artificial ingredients and you can control the amount of sugar and salt they contain. My Power Pack Cereal Bars contain a great blend of protein and slow-release energy from the oats (https://www.nourishbyjaneclarke.com/blogs/recipes/power-pack-cereal-bars). These handy sized snack bars are great for boosting your fibre, calcium and zinc intake, and providing a sweet energy hit when you need it without any nasties.

Jane ClarkeAbout the author

Jane is both a dietitian and Cordon Bleu chef with more than 30 years’ experience in the nutrition industry. She is the author of nine best-selling books, was a columnist for over a decade for The Daily Mail, Observer, The Times and The Mail on Sunday, and regularly contributes on TV. She worked with Jamie Oliver on several of his projects, including the School Meals revolution, which showed that people-power can bring about social change. It is with this same mindset and passion that she is leading Nourish by Jane Clarke, which provides a solution to the problem of undernourishment and provides empowerment and inspiration to those who are vulnerable or facing a health challenge, such as Dementia.


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