How to Kick Your Unhealthy Vending Machine Snacking Habit
Anything can happen on a regular workday. It doesn’t matter if you come prepared, there will always be surprises along the way. It could be a demanding boss, a colleague who missed work or unexpected deadlines. How do you manage when you are having a rough day at work? Like most people, do you spend your break times drinking coffee or having a smoke? Or do you hit the cafeteria to get a short burst of energy by getting something from the vending machine?
Many of us are guilty of work habits that are not good for our health. Take the vending machine for example. It is the go-to solution when you miss breakfast and rush off to avoid being late to work or at times a saviour when you need a boost of energy in the middle of the day. We think of the vending machine as this convenient access to cheap snacks enough to fuel us for a few more hours until it is finally time to clock out and head home.
However, it is likely that you’ve never thought about the effects of vending machine snacks on your body. Cheap snacks like a candy bar, a bag of chips, a bottle of soda, and a pack of cookies are not exactly nutritious. If anything, what you are getting from these snacks is a high dose of sugar. The problem with a sugar rush is that you will feel the energy for a few hours, and suffer a slump after. It is counterproductive and affects your ability to work when you’ve lost that initial burst of adrenaline. The result? You will feel sleepy, tired, or at times even cranky.
How do you avoid the vending machine trap?
Snacking in the office is normal, and at times can be good for you depending on the food you choose to eat. However, there is a direct correlation between unhealthy snacks and obesity in adults. A recent study by the US Department of Agriculture found that out of 5,222 working adults, 22% of them got food from workplace vending machines at least once during a 7-day period. If you belong in the 22% who buy vending machine snacks at least once a week, that’s roughly 1,277 added calories!
I’m sure like many others who have tried to avoid vending machines in the past; you might have succeeded for a time but eventually relapsed. That is understandable considering how easy it is to put some cash in and get a quick snack. What can you do to kick the habit once and for all?
Reach for a glass of water
Nutritionists and fitness experts often advise that we tend to mistake thirst for hunger. Sometimes, you can avoid the hunger pangs with a cool glass of water. Staying hydrated is one of the best ways you can prevent yourself from snacking unnecessarily.
Bring healthy snack substitutes
If you put in a little effort to replacing unhealthy sugary snacks with healthier alternatives, you’ll be surprised how much better you will feel later on, not to mention saving money by avoiding unnecessary spending. When you do your regular weekly grocery shopping, include some snack options you can bring to work such as fruits and nuts.
Plan your workday
We often look for something to snack on when there is not much to do. Instead of using your free time to eat, fill up your workday with simple to do lists. You can talk to a colleague about work, or you can clean out your office drawer and organize your files. Better yet, why not take a few minutes to walk up and down the stairs or get some fresh air outside. These activities will take your mind off unhealthy snacking.
The pull of a vending machine is tough to resist at times. If you fall off the wagon, don’t stress too much and try again. Consistency is key if you want to kick your “vending machine” habit. Think about the tips mentioned above and find what works best for you.