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Help me plan snacks/mini meals for work

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I'm kicking off my first Whole30 November 1st, and I know that work will be a minefield. I'm a creative at an advertising agency and typically work long, erratic hours. We have loads of cheese, bread and fruit in the kitchen at all times, but obviously that's out of bounds.

 

I'm already in the habit of bringing lunch to work - typically leftovers from dinner. What I'm after are well-balanced, make ahead snacks/mini meals to keep on hand for when hanger strikes.

 

As an aside I can see avoiding snacking being a major, major issue because I am hungry all. The. Goddamn. Time. Seriously, my fiance jokes that I have a bottomless stomach. This wasn't such an issue when I was younger and my weight hovered around 50-52kg at all times, but now I'm 30 and my weight has crept up to 61. Still a 'technically' healthy BMI, but a totally unacceptable weight gain regardless. I'm actually super anxious about dealing with my endless hunger during the Whole30.

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Hopefully, by adhering to the meal template, as you progress with the Whole30 you won't be hungry between meals.

If you are hungry between meals (hungry = you could eat steamed fish and brocolli) that's usually a sign to increase your portions at your meals.

 

Snacks should be a mini-meal, including a protein and fat. 

 

Here are some options:

- hard boiled egg, sliced peppers, 1-2 handfuls of olives

- tuna, chicken, salmon or egg salad made with paleo mayo, sweet potato

- sardines, sauerkraut, and an avocado

- compliant prosciutto, carrots and a closed handful of cashews

 

Also be sure to stay sufficiently hydrated during the day. Drink water, in the amount of at least half your body weight in ounces, daily.

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I'm a creative too, and I know the atmosphere, but honestly: three meals per day, no snacks is the way to go. It does take a little while, but eventually you can tune your meals such that you don't need snacks. It is worth it to try to do this. When I first started doing whole30, I would bring snacks "just in case" but always eat them because they were there. Now I don't plan for snacks and usually don't need them. My backup plan is to purchase a single-serve pack of almonds, a couple hard boiled eggs and/or a banana, all available near my office. The inconvienence of walking out to get these snacks is enough to make it an occasional vs. everyday occurance.

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You are going to find that you aren't hungry all day, when you lower your insulin (and then your weight drops too)

 

You could do an intro week or two before you even start when you cut down all excess insulin production and see what happens with your hunger first. (cut out grains, sugars, dairy) I am a big one in favor of many small steps, going gently.

 

http://primalpacs.com/

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I'm a creative too, and I know the atmosphere, but honestly: three meals per day, no snacks is the way to go. It does take a little while, but eventually you can tune your meals such that you don't need snacks. It is worth it to try to do this. When I first started doing whole30, I would bring snacks "just in case" but always eat them because they were there. Now I don't plan for snacks and usually don't need them. My backup plan is to purchase a single-serve pack of almonds, a couple hard boiled eggs and/or a banana, all available near my office. The inconvienence of walking out to get these snacks is enough to make it an occasional vs. everyday occurance.

This! I was in the habit of having 6-7 meals a day when I started my whole 30. I'd done that for 2-3 years religiously. I thought I was going to starve, but wanted to stick to the rules so didn't give myself the opportunity to stray by planning snacks in to my day. Like missmary said, if I'd planned them and brought food, it would have been eaten!

Sticking to three meals plus pre/postWO for exercise was/is surprisingly easy when you're eating plenty of protein, good fats and vegies at each meal :)

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Thanks for the helpful responses! I appreciate those who suggest not snacking at all, but I typically don't eat dinner until 10 or 11. I'm either working until then, or I'm squeezing into the 8pm WOD at my Crossfit box. If I have to wait that long to eat I think I'll go insane.

 

Thanks again!

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One of the biggest benefits for me in doing a Whole30, and continuing to eat mostly Paleo since, is that I don't get hangry anymore! And I used to be hungry all the time as well. I was used to a "eat every X hours to keep your blood sugar even" approach, and always packed an afternoon snack in addition to my lunch for work. No more!

 

That said, the first two weeks of my Whole30 were rough, and I was hungry a lot of the time while my body transitioned. For that time frame, I would always be prepared with a good mini-meal so you won't be tempted to off-road and undo your hard work. And don't forget the fat! I was so used to eating low-fat everything - making sure I get enough fat has been a revelation for me. That's what really keeps me satisfied. I do a lot of veggies dunked generously in homemade mayo (or a mayo-based dip).

 

Can you pack dinner to work with you as well for those late nights? Not eating till ten or 11 sounds pretty rough. It's a lot of prep, but there were several days during my Whole30 when I ate two or three times at my desk, because of working late or socializing after work where there wouldn't be compliant food.

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Can you pack dinner to work with you as well for those late nights? Not eating till ten or 11 sounds pretty rough. It's a lot of prep, but there were several days during my Whole30 when I ate two or three times at my desk, because of working late or socializing after work where there wouldn't be compliant food.

 

 THIS. If I'm working that late, I try to pack meal #3 to eat at work. It takes extra effort, but it is worth it to keep my energy and concentration sharp during the evening hours.

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I'd also recommend packing all meals on long days, including pre/postWO on training days.

It'd be more beneficial to try and eat at work earlier instead of waiting til you get home and eating late and close to bed time. You'll probably find you're more productive at work as well as getting better sleep.

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