Burgers. Pizza. Delivery. These are the champions (but not-so-healthy) staples of a work-from-home diet. But as delicious as they are, they don’t deliver the nutrition (or lower calories) that a remote worker needs. So before you pack on a few pounds through your flexible virtual job, try a few of these snacks—and avoid the others. Not only will these healthy snacks give you the nutrition you need, but you’ll be feeling ready to take on the world—which is just what you need to become the trim, fit idol of the telecommuting realm.
If your carnivorous side is setting in, don’t phone Burger King. Instead, opt for the jerky. Oddly enough, humankind has figured out how to dry meats with amazing results. Turkey, beef, and buffalo are just a few of the rewarding treats—and they come in a variety of flavors for the broad palate. Whether you like original, teriyaki, spicy, or something else, you can find a delicious, chewy, full-flavored option. Plus, a 1-ounce serving provides about 10 grams of protein with only 80 to 110 calories.
Say what you want about the American breakfast staple. Oatmeal will fuel your day—regardless if you can hear your mother or grandmother in your ear. Rich in fiber and antioxidants, a bowl of oatmeal will propel you to greatness. If you’re frugal, buy the giant tin. Or if you need a bit of flavor, purchase the single-serving packets that come in a multitude of flavors. Health and deliciousness await.
Do you feel the urge to nosh on something constantly? Instead of high-calorie foods, grab a bag of sunflower seeds. These low-calorie treats have protein and tons of flavor without all the additives. With innovative companies such as BIGS, Spitz, and David, you have an endless amount of options to get your craving. Choose from flavors such as dill pickle, ranch, black pepper, barbecue, or even Taco Bell taco. And just a handful gives you gobs of protein without the massive amount of calories from the eponymous food flavors.
Take a break from the American food offerings with a bit of hummus. This mashed chickpea, tahini, and garlic concoction from the Middle East makes one of the best dips you’ve ever had. Yet it doesn’t pack in additives and other garbage that puts your scale on edge. Dip in a carrot, celery stick, or whatever vegetable hits your flavor buds. So much so, you might feel a cool Mediterranean breeze flow through your hair.
Speaking of hummus, carrots are a staple of the healthy remote worker. With minimal calories, you can slam your insides with nutrients and get a vigor for working. Fiber, potassium, and vitamin K1 are just a few of the upsides of a small orange morsel. Plus, experts say they can make you see better in the dark—a huge plus when you have to nuzzle into bed next to your partner after a long day of remote work.
Tomatoes are a fruit. But unlike their fruit brethren, they never took over as a hand fruit. That’s what makes cherry tomatoes such an alluring, healthy snack for the voracious remote worker. With just a few calories per handful, you get protein, vitamin A, and vitamin C. That’s enough to fuel the day behind your computer. Or at least supercharge your zest for tiny tomatoes.
George Washington may have tried to chop down the tree, but cherries are still abundant throughout the United States. Naturally, one of the most beautiful trees on the planet also produces some of the juiciest and ultra-poppable-as-a-snack fruits you’ll find. These delectable little fruits not only get your taste buds popping, but they also have vitamins and minerals to keep you alert throughout the day. Plus, experts say they have anti-aging properties, prevent cardiovascular diseases, and facilitate weight loss. That’s a trio of upsides that even Ronald McDonald can get behind.
Okay, so maybe water isn’t a snack. But it’s crucial to your health. According to the CDC, 43% of adults don’t get enough H2O in their daily routine. That’s alarming. Not only does water provide adequate hydration, but it lessens your lust for food—a great bonus when you’re craving large portions or a Whopper. So when you’re lusting for a soda or other high-calorie beverage, grab for nature’s greatest gift.
Tuna consumption is a far-fetched idea for some. It doesn’t smell all that great, and it doesn’t always cure the craving you have. But these giant fish are some of the healthiest snacks on the planet. With tons of protein and only a scant amount of calories, you can get the energy and nutrition you need with just a small tin or a pouch. Plus, tuna pairs ideally with vegetables for a healthy concoction that gives you a boost of energy.
It’s delicious. It’s convenient. But fast food is the worst snack you can shovel into your mouth. While many fast-food restaurants have started to put calories on their menu, you probably ignore them. So just for your convenience, here’s a compilation of some of the most famous fast-food staples, and how they can wreck a perfectly good diet:
- Big Mac: 550 calories, 33 grams of fat, 1010 grams of sodium
- Whopper: 630 calories, 34 grams of fat, 911 grams of sodium
- Baconator: 950 calories, 62 grams of fat, 1630 grams of sodium
- Chalupa: 350 calories, 18 grams of fat, 1010 grams of sodium
- Dairy Queen Blizzard (medium): 700 calories, 26 grams of fat
And just for good measure, if you’re keen to White Castle:
- Large chocolate shake: 1230 calories
So whenever that craving for fast food hits you, just ignore it. You’re only packing on the pounds. And to put it all in perspective, you’d have to walk for 256 minutes just to offset the calories from a Baconator. So as much as Wendy beckons, ignore the impulse.
Whether you love the citrus tinge of Mountain Dew or the crisp taste of Coca-Cola, soda can be a refreshing treat. But these drinks can destroy a healthy diet and turn your smile into a disaster zone. Not only are these drinks high in calories, but they also eat away at the enamel of your teeth. Unless you have a great dental plan, you should probably avoid these. Treat soda as such—a treat every once in a while.
Much akin to soda, juice has a massive amount of calories and sugar. It masquerades as a healthy alternative, but in reality, it’s nothing of the sort. Just one cup (8 ounces) of juice yields an average of 136 calories, which is the same as a Pepsi. You might get some nutrients out of a glass, but try to keep your consumption to a minimum.
Doritos. Lays. Fritos. Tostitos. The list of delicious potato chips is endless. And while they won’t hurt you in moderation, these crispy beasts will contribute to dehydration and a gut. So before you grab a bag, just think of how much water you’ll have to drink to offset the sodium. Or at least grab a gallon of water on your way out of the grocery store.
You might remember when the U.S. government put ketchup on the food pyramid as a vegetable. And pizza sauce probably fits the role. So while pizza (even veggie pizza) has all of the seemingly healthy foods on top, it’s not exactly a cornerstone of a great diet. The average slice of pizza has 285 calories, and while that may not seem like a ton, no one ever stops at one slice (barring the New York slice). If you must snack on this pseudo-Italian delight, make it yourself. You’ll cut calories and put something at least mildly nutritious on top.
Pretty Much Any Pastry
Cops aren’t alone. Who doesn’t love a good donut or pastry? Pretty much everyone. But these baked or fried morsels can put a serious dent in your diet or nutrition plan. Ignore the Homer Simpson inside yourself. Put the donut down and find a healthy snack.
Yogurt is a staple of a healthy diet in moderation. But when you glob up spoonful after spoonful, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. While non-flavored yogurt is a decent snack, flavored yogurts add tons of sugar to put that strawberry tinge in each bite. If you can’t live without this dairy delight, buy the single-serving cups. Your scale, conscience, and body will thank you.
Candy bars are a delicious treat, regardless of what’s in them. Nougat, peanuts, and chocolate lead an assault on your tastes. But this dense treat comes packed with loads of sugars and calories. So instead of eating a Snickers, opt for a protein bar or something else.
High in protein, processed meats are the staple of diets around the country. But within that slice of meat lies endless sodium, which can contribute to colon cancer and diabetes. Everyone loves a good sandwich. So if you get the craving for the best between two slices, go with a veggie sandwich or at least fresh, deli-sliced options.
Being a remote worker doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste for health. It’s a careful balance. So the next time you want to rip into a Big Mac or call Uber Eats, remember that there’s a tasty, healthy option within reach.
What’s your favorite healthy snack as a remote worker? What’s a snack that you can’t live without? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to share your advice. We’d love to hear from you!
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