Oftentimes in our workday, a lapse in concentration can stem from a bout of hunger or a small drop in energy.

In these moments, it can be easy to reach out for a bag of chips or that tub of peanut butter and some toast thinking it’s a harmless snack to accompany a cup of tea. It’s a little something to eat and perhaps even something to do. But that slice of peanut butter toast can so easily turn into two, and before you know it, two can turn into an unhealthy snacking habit.

 We all like to be achieving our goals and actively engaged in the tasks at hand, and since the invention of the potato chip in 1853, and the creation of the vending machine in 1888, office staff have relied on the snack food as a quick pick me up. It can feel like the burst of energy you need to get back into the work day, but like all swiftly begotten things it comes with a similarly swift crash and burn and we find ourselves again needing more sugar or lacking concentration. And we come to see that handful of chips which gets us through the afternoon slump every day can be costing us in long-term nutrition and energy levels.

The right snacks can also stabilise blood sugar levels and keep our energy, concentration and performance up though the workday, even preventing us from overeating at dinner. Our dietician at Transform regularly prepares a range of nutritionally dense and tasty snacks from a trail mix to vegetable chips to keep us sustained through the day.

Indeed, a sugar hit to perk back up can be the cause of an excess in daily energy requirements but contain only calories and refined carbohydrates.  So perhaps there are other options?

A wholesome, filling and nutrient dense lunch can prevent such snacking, and indeed keep energy levels up until before dinner, but in the case that you find yourself at the office for longer and needing an energetic boost, consider that actually some snacks can be very good for you.

There is the concept of mindful snacking, or snacking that is pre-planned and thought about ahead of time. When we mindfully choose pre-considered snacks we are more inclined to decide ahead of time on those that are packed with essential nutrients and which are portion controlled – in short, snacks that are good for us and which add to a balanced diet by boosting our intake of essential nutrients and fibre.

Some tips for healthy snacking would be to eat a small, nutritious snack two or three hours before lunch or dinner. The right snacks can also stabilise blood sugar levels and keep our energy, concentration and performance up though the workday, even preventing us from overeating at dinner. Our dietician at Transform regularly prepares a range of nutritionally dense and tasty snacks from a trail mix to vegetable chips to keep us sustained through the day.

It is important when snacking to have an awareness of our energy needs and daily lifestyle patterns to avoid excessive caloric consumption. Furthermore, energy from snacks ideally should be offset by exercise or eating less if we are aiming to control weight gain. It can be tricky enough to organise healthy balanced meals to take us through the 9-5 day, and often preparing snacks may seem like an unnecessary side thought, but being in control of our snacking habits is actually just as crucial to our overall nutrient intake and health program. This is why Transform believes in having a team of health experts working side by side to synchronise these smaller details of our nutritional and exercise needs so that the big picture of performing and feeling better will work for us.

So this February, swap the vending machine snack for a piece of fruit, and stop the afternoon slump the smart way.