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Healthy afternoon snacks?

Discussion in 'Food Forum' started by jthuang, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. jthuang

    jthuang On The Jazz

    Jan 17, 2000
    Pennsylvania, USA
    In light of all the health and fitness threads here, I thought it would be a good opportunity to ask the cognoscenti at GT about the above topic.


    I am trying to be more healthy (new year's resolution). I'm doing okay so far but I can do better. I am 5'7", 145 lbs, 28" waist. At last measurement by electro-impedance (1 year ago) I was 16% body fat. Cholesterol in the low 140s. I work out 2-5x per week with weights and cardio -- typically 1 hour weights and 30 mins cardio. But I should be able to do better.

    I always get hungry around 4-5 PM in the afternoon. I eat a healthy and rather sizeable lunch but I always get hungry around 4-5 PM. My job does not permit me to get home for dinner until around 7-8 PM.

    The result is that I'm usually raiding the snack machines around 4 PM daily. Needless to say, there isn't much that's healthy in those machines. The healthiest option in our machines are baggies of Herr's sourdough pretzel nibblets. They're lowfat but I'm sure there are healthier options.

    I'm looking for something I can buy and keep in my desk for the afternoon snack. I don't need something with the survivability of a MRE (although I did keep some MREs in my desk at one time) but I don't want something that will spoil if left there overnight.

    So what do you guys do when you get hungry at work and want to avoid snacking on the junk food that typically populates the nearest vending machine?

    Here's what I've tried so far:

    1. Buy an extra bit of fruit at lunch. I've bought bananas from our company cafeteria and let them sit on my desk until 4 PM. I'd get other fruit besides bananas but all the other fruits are pre-peeled and sliced. So they're a bit harder to keep fresh during the afternoon.

    Problem: I'm still hungry after I eat them, so I go raid the snack machine.

    Problem #2: our company cafeteria doesn't do a good job with fruit. On Monday the bananas are nice and green. But as the week goes on, those bananas get very bruised and overripe. It's like they take a baseball bat to them in the night. So later in the week, the bananas are so beat up that they're not worth buying.

    2. Buy a soft pretzel at lunch. Low fat but pretty much empty calories as soft pretzels are just processed white flour and salt.

    3. Pop Tarts. Not healthy. Too much fat (10% RDA saturated fat in each one).

    4. (Best candidate so far): Clif Bars. I buy a box of twelve bars and leave them in my desk. They're relatively low-fat (not fat-free). The natural ingredients are a nice pick-me-up during the afternoon.

    5. MREs. Yes, before y2k and MREs were plentiful I would buy cases of the MRE entrees from CDNN and stash them in my desk. These are definitely not healthy so they're out.

    6. Rice/popcorn cakes. Problem is that I can eat an entire bag in one sitting and still be hungry.

    7. Plain dinner rolls. Prolly too many empty calories/carbs.

    8. "The Second Lunch". I typically pack my sandwich and supplement it with soup and salad from the cafeteria. My normal sandwich is lean turkey or ham on whole wheat bread with some lettuce and maybe a slice of onion. For a while I would pack a second turkey sandwich for the afternoon snack. But it got boring after a while.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. This is really becoming a problem for me b/c I generally eat a very healthy diet except for some weekend meals and the daily afternoon snack.
  2. G30Jack

    G30Jack .88 Magnum

    Apr 17, 2002
    Shoots through schools
    I would eat more fat and protien if I were you. I'm on Atkins and the fat in the meats and cheeses keeps you fuller longer. Just my $0.02 :)

  3. Douglas in CT

    Douglas in CT Millennium Member

    Pack a snack. :)

    A small bowl of:
    ~ Cottage Cheese
    ~ A few sliced grapes
    ~ A few sliced almonds

    That should tide you over.

    Oh yes! And drink a glass of water first. ;)
  4. elsolo


    Aug 4, 2003
    Apples, they last longer than bananas.
    They don't fill me up, but they do take the edge off the hunger.
    Throw in a handfull of wheat thins (or similar) and I am no longer really hungry. Dry cereal works well too.
  5. jthuang

    jthuang On The Jazz

    Jan 17, 2000
    Pennsylvania, USA
    That's not a bad idea. I kept ~4 lbs of beef jerky in my desk up until a few months ago when my favorite jerky supplier ( changed their jerky (I can't eat the stuff any more). I gotta find a new supplier.
  6. jthuang

    jthuang On The Jazz

    Jan 17, 2000
    Pennsylvania, USA

    Can't do the cheese due to lactose intolerance but the other stuff sounds like a good idea. I like almonds (and almost any other type of nut).
  7. Douglas in CT

    Douglas in CT Millennium Member

    Another option then is my wife's "Mighty Muffin" :)

    This is a well balanced (Fat,Protein,Carb) muffin.
    I'll ask her tonight for the instructions.
  8. Ghosty

    Ghosty Free American

    Dec 19, 2002
    Get those little snack packs of natural applesause. ;f
  9. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

    How about a protean shake? Dry poweder and a shaker cup and you're good to go.
  10. Soujurn

    Soujurn Deus Diligo USA

    Jul 4, 2001
    Las Cruces, N.M.
    Add some extra lean protein and complex carb at lunch to keep your blood sugar level from spiking and then dropping.
  11. Liberty_MI

    Liberty_MI Was CWard

    Jan 30, 2003
    I thought MRE's had a full days calories?

    I make air popped popcorn at work, use the i cant believe its not butter spray (0 calories) and put some of that shakeon cheddar or salt and vinegar topping.. great, low calories, and takes some time to make..
  12. axel

    axel Nov. 11, 1918

    Oct 19, 2003
    The few weeks, I've eaten breakfast and a good size lunch and then skip dinner or just have fruit. Have lost 6 pounds and I really wasn't trying to.
  13. I used to hit the snack machines around 2:30 - 3:00 when the munchies would kick in. Used to snack on chips or candy.

    I've since been snacking on Balance Energy bars (Honey Peanut or Yogurt Honey Peanut). That way I don't feel as guilty :)
  14. okie

    okie GT Mayor

    Oct 28, 2001
    Muskogee Ok.
    Apples and Monkey meat;f
  15. Toml


    Jan 1, 2003
    Apple. Apple and Clif Bar (or Luna bar). Dried dates and almonds (or cashews).
  16. VinniefromNY

    VinniefromNY MyOhMy

    Jul 18, 2003
    Latah County, Idaho
    You could try Nature Valley granola bars...low cal and a good afternoon snack, maybe with a banana....

    and plenty of water is right. Drink as much as you can!!!
  17. Some suggestions (corroborating what others have said)

    - Tupperware full of dry cereal (mix with lowfat yoghurt if you can find some at the cafeteria)
    - protein shakes/protein bars
    - small portions of sugarless dryed fruit (figs, apricots)
    - Acai berry pulp, preferrably beaten with a banana (that may be hard to find in the US and has lots of calories)
    - Crackers and whatnot

    Combine some of the above when lunch wasn't enough

    I think that a little bit of fat is good in keeping the hunger away for a little longer
  18. Lots of great ideas above.

    If you are still hungry after you eat a banana, I see no reason why you can't eat another one or a Clif bar with it. ;)

    Also, drink lots of water after a snack, especially if you are still feeling hungry. The water helps cut your appetite. :)
  19. jthuang

    jthuang On The Jazz

    Jan 17, 2000
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Thanks to everyone who replied.

    Protein shakes: most of these have some sort of dairy or whey which is bad for me b/c I'm lactose intolerant. However, I understand that some whey products may be ok for me. I'll have to check them out.

    Popcorn: I'm a popcorn addict. I go through 3-4 boxes of Orville Reddenbacher's Natural Light microwave popcorn per week. Not a bad idea to bring them to work.

    Dry cereal: also not a bad idea. I can go through Puffed Rice or Puffed Wheat like nobody's business.

    Water: I do not drink enough water. At my last job I was able to keep a 3L Camelbak unit in my desk and sip through the tube but my current office ... no way. Need to figure out a way to drink more water.

    Today I didn't do so well. I ran out of Clif Bars so I saved some sushi from lunch (about 4 pcs) and a banana. Ate them around 4 PM. Got hungry again around 4:30 so I went down to the snax machines and got some peanut butter crackers. Ugh. Gotta be more disciplined tomorrow. I am definitely stopping by the store and getting another box of Clif Bars.

  20. There are plenty of non-dairy proteins on the market, including soy and egg proteins.