3pm. It’s a difficult time of day. You can hardly recall what you ate at breakfast. Lunch was squeezed in somewhere between meetings and phone calls and now that you are finally back at your desk you realise that you still have four to five hours to wait, before you can enjoy your well-deserved dinner.
It’s quite easy at this point in the day to reach for the sweetest, naughtiest and most easily accessible foods on offer. A chocolate bar from the vending machine in your office or a packet of crisps from your nearest off-licence, actually wont abate your hunger quite like you imagined. But they do provide a moment’s enjoyment.
There is another way to satisfy your hunger at this point in the day, which won’t leave you feeling guilty and unfulfilled. At MotivatePT, we have scoured the web and spoken to our team to come up with our top five afternoon snacks. They are easy to prepare, just as easily accessible and most importantly they are good for you! Hopefully this list will inspire your afternoon choices and add a punch of nutrition to your diet to keep you going until dinner time.
1. Yoghurt and Fruit
If this combo hasn’t featured in your breakfast, then it is a great snacking option. Choose natural Greek yoghurt, rather than the sweetened yoghurt varieties and opt for natural sweet fruits to provide the sugar. The yoghurt will provide you with a dose of calcium and you can choose chopped berries, banana or more exotic fruits such as kiwi or mango which all go excellently with the creaminess of the Greek yoghurt.
2. Apple and Peanut Butter
This is an old favourite of ours here at MotivatePT. It‘s an incredibly straightforward afternoon snack, made up of two vital ingredients, both of which will help keep you full up until the end of the day. All you need to do is core and slice an apple and spread some peanut butter onto the slices. Rather than reaching for bread, the apple provides a great low calorie and fibre-rich base, which is great for your digestive health. Peanut butter is high in calories but provides you with a great source of protein and energy. Try to opt for a natural peanut butter variety, rather than a version with lots of additives.
Popcorn is a hugely neglected afternoon snack. We only seems to consider popcorn when watching a movie or in a cinema. Try to avoid the varieties made with added sugar, salt and sweeteners. The best and healthiest popcorn you can make is to make it naturally with a hot air popper, or failing that, a microwave. Depending on your work environment, we assume a microwave will be the better option for most. Full of fibre, low in calories and containing important antioxidants, popcorn is a great snack to munch on in the afternoon.
4. Rye Crackers with Hummus and Avocado
This is a brilliant afternoon snack, packed with flavour and crunch. The supermarket is flooded with cracker varieties, so try to choose a wholegrain or rye cracker. Spread the cracker with hummus rather than margarine or butter and top with a sliced avocado. Depending on the size of the avocado, half may be enough. A squeeze of lemon will add extra flavour, if you have it to hand. Prepare and plan by buying these foods in advance and there is no reason not to enjoy this tasty concoction.
We have saved the easiest snack for last! The simplest way to fight your hunger pains is to buy a large bag of mixed nuts that you can keep within easy reach. If you don’t have a microwave or fridge or even the time to store your food whilst at work then this one is for you. A handful of nuts in the morning or afternoon can go a very long way in terms of helping you to feel satiated throughout the day. Full of vitamins, fibre and healthy fats, this one is a no-brainer.