Take our quiz and rate your snack smarts, then read on for tips that can help you make the most of your between-meal somethin' somethin's.
Pick the most appropriate response to the questions below, and then tally up your score.
1. I consider snacks:
a. A yummy opportunity to stay fueled up between meals.
b. A temptation that has to be resisted. Giving in means you lack the willpower to stay focused on your diet.
c. A good mid-day pick-me-up. At work, break times allow me to grab a treat while hanging out with my work pals.
2. What I look for in an everyday snack is:
a. Satisfying flavour in a low-fat, low-in-refined sugar, low-sodium package. But I know the odd splurge in calories or sugar (hello, maple dip donut!), isn't going to ruin my diet.
b. No snack at all. But if I let myself slide, I might eat some carrot sticks or broccoli with lemon squeezed on them, or half an apple or orange.
c. Something relatively affordable and convenient I can pick up from the office vending machine or local coffee shop.
3. Caffeine is an acceptable mid-morning snack when:
a. My latte is made from 2 per cent or skim milk instead of Homo, and hey, why not round things out with a low-fat muffin shared with my best office bud?
b. The coffee has a splash of skim milk and a sugar-substitute packet to sweeten it up so it tastes "naughty" yet remains low-cal.
c. It's a delicious Vente moccaccino with double the whipped cream so it's more filling and has extra dairy.
4. Do you pack a work snack each morning? (Or have a stash at the office?)
c. No, I don't have to pack a snack because our office has a great cafeteria, nearby cafés and a vending machine.
5. A bump in the night woke you up at 4 a.m. Now your stomach is rumbling and you can't get back to sleep. You:
a. Fix yourself a bowl of cereal, or nibble on a banana with a chaser of milk.
b. Ignore the rumbling – "No food after 8 p.m.!"– and have a cup of herbal tea.
c. Make yourself a big sandwich, plate it with a cookie and wash it down with a glass of pop.
Page 1 of 2 - Tally up your results on page 2
6. Your 2009 New Year's resolution is to be more social at work. To encourage coworkers to stop by your desk to chit chat, you're going to have:
a. A big bowl of clementines to share with coworkers.
b. A sign-up sheet for an intra-office Weight Watchers club.
c. A dish of Hershey Kisses to share with colleagues.
7. Quick: if you wanted a snack right now – whether you're reading this at home or at work – you could find a tasty, under-200 calorie treat right this instant.
b. I don't buy snacks because I refuse to "plan" to sabotage my diet.
c. Sure, if you count that I keep coins handy in my desk, and can get to the office snack machine and back in less than 5 minutes!
If you chose mostly As, you're a:
You have a knack for snackin'. You know that snacks help you stick to a healthy diet and that they're an opportunity to keep your metabolism chugging along while reaching towards your daily nutritional goals.
• We don't need to tell you what to do: just keep doing what you do best.
• Sometimes, a little role modeling can cause ripple effects through an entire office culture. Consider taking charge of the next at-work birthday party or fundraiser and nix the pastries and chips for a healthy change.
If you chose mostly Bs, you're:
You're too good. Seriously, you are.
Snacking is healthy, especially if you're on a weight-loss plan. Snacks help keep energy levels even – just try making it through a spinning class when you're running on empty.
If you tell yourself that snacking is verboten, you may find yourself distractingly hungry between meals, not meeting your daily nutritional needs, going overboard at dinner and, um, really annoying your buddies.
• Make time to snack. If you have difficulty listening to your body's hunger cues (a trait longtime dieters may exhibit), pencil snack time into your workday planner.
• Keep your metabolism humming along by feeding yourself between meals. A handful of almonds, an apple and a small piece of cheddar, an afternoon cuppa and a banana – these snacks are virtuous enough to keep you happy even if equate happiness with dietary restraint.
If you chose mostly Cs, you're a:
Your unplanned, make-it-up-as-you-go approach may make for an irreverent approach to the workday, but unfortunately, may cause you plenty of worry when you start packing on the pounds.
By not planning out your snacks, you tend to find yourself reaching for less-than-ideal choices from the variety store or office cafeteria, where high-fat, refined flours and sugars, and deep-fried temptations abound.
• Pre-plan a little: Stock your desk with nonperishable goodies that you can dip into when the urge strikes. Snack-size tuna tins, protein bars, 100-calorie snack pack cookies or chips, and fruit leather are all acceptable choices.
• Make a list of smart on-the-go snacks: If you're a sucker for convenience treats, write down what's acceptable so you don't forget. Starbucks Vivanno smoothies, Jamba Juice's Omega-3 oatmeal cookies, a couple Tim Horton's apple fritter Timbits and a small-regular (not double-double!), for instance.
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