Eating healthy is a challenge in general, but being stuck at home is making it worse for many people. After all, temptations abound with some folks working in their dining room or kitchens. The fridge and pantry seem to talk…. “Come see what you can eat!”
With less structure in your work schedule, it’s far too easy to access an unlimited supply of food and snacks. This is a recipe for disaster for sure.
Don’t worry, you can overcome these challenges. So how can you eat healthy? Follow these tips.
10 Tips to Eat Healthy While Working from Home
1. avoid working in or near your kitchen
I remember the days when having a candy bowl in the office lounge was a temptation. Having the kitchen so easily accessible is so tempting. Try to set up your “office space” as far from the kitchen as possible.
I work in an upstairs room so that I have to make a mindful decision to go to the kitchen. The physical separation can help you stay on an eating schedule and avoid trips to the pantry between meals.
2. Stick to an Eating Schedule
Without a daily schedule, it’s really easy for us to make poor eating choices. While a strict schedule may not be entirely possible when working from home, try to at least stick to a flexible schedule.
If you can, stick to an eating schedule you would follow while working in your office. If you usually have lunch, a snack (even a decadent one), and dinner, continue to do so. Don’t add meals or snacks that you usually don’t have.
Also, don’t skip meals. If you were normally on the run skipping breakfast, that’s the one meal I recommend adding to your day. You can then have a lighter lunch or healthier snack later in the day.
3. Take time to Actually Eat
It’s easy to eat grab-and-go snacks and mini-meals all day when you are at home. It may seem like a waste of time to actually sit down and eat when you want to be multitasking.
It’s important to eat the way you normally would. If eating at your desk was a way of life, I recommend taking a meal break at least for lunch.
Eating consistent meals throughout your day can also help improve your mood, energy and focus.
4. Eat slowly and mindfully
Mindful eating is especially important. Eating slowly can also help you eat healthier. Why?
- Eating slowly can reduce overeating for most people.
- Slow eating also improves digestion and helps decrease heartburn.
- When you eat mindfully, your body actually senses it. Cues in your body sense the stretching of your stomach as well as your mental sense of eating.
5. Meal Prep Your Lunches
Prep a real-food lunch ahead of time to eat healthy while working from home.
Prepping your meals is one of the best ways to make sure you eat healthier. You are less likely to grab unhealthy options, when you’ve already created portion controlled meals. Leftovers from dinners work well.
If you are working hard, you may be tempted to skip lunch. Don’t! Your brain and body need the nutrients you get from a healthy lunch.
6. Focus on Real Food
How many times have grabbed a snack bar or pack of chips only to be hungry again in an hour? Even if they have some nutritional value, they are definitely not a quality meal.
Feeling truly full includes your brain “feeling” the expansion of your stomach. Did you know their is a nerve in your brain that detects not only what your stomach is doing, but even the nutrients is your digestive track? Give you brain time to get the message.
Larger volumes of whole foods sends a message to your brain that you do not need more. Foods with healthy fats, protein and fiber will also help you feel full longer.
7. Avoid Grazing
Move on to other things when you’re done eating. Treat your meals as an activity. This can help you separate meal time from other daily activities.
Grazing tends to combine activities with eating throughout your day. This limits the hormones that tell your brain that you are full. Grazing often allows you to consume higher levels of carbs and calories without realizing that you are doing it.
8. Have Healthy Snacks Ready
Similar to meal planning, it’s a good idea to pre-plan your snacks. They can be scheduled as well so that don’t fall into a grazing pattern. This helps keep you from reacting to your cravings on the spot. I’m much more likely to grab a cookie if I didn’t already have a small bowl of fruit ready to go.
Healthy, planned snacks help fuel your brain and body throughout your day. If you can, stick to the eating rules. Leave your desk to snack in your kitchen. Eat it, and then be done with it until the next meal or snack.
9. Drink lots of Water
You may feel hungry when you body is actually thirsty. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Becoming dehydrated can lead to reduced energy, headaches and brain fog.
Keep a water bottle at your work station and drink throughout the day. If plain water is not your thing, add some fresh fruit or just a spash of juice. Avoid sugary drinks that can cause an energy slump after the sugar buzz.
When working from home, you have easy access to the restroom, unlike in some work environments so drink up!
For an extra metabolism boost, consider drinking tea (green or black). Tea helps deliver antioxidants to your body and can even burn a few extra calories.
10. your hunger doesn’t mean you have to eat
Being hungry does not necessitate eating. Sure, it is a cue that you may need to eat soon, but it doesn’t mean you need to break your schedule to eat sooner. Your stomach is supposed to empty. This even helps you feel more satisfied when it’s time to eat again.
It’s a challenging time to adjust to this new normal for the majority of workers in America. In addition to transitioning to work from home, you are likely facing health scares, increased anxiety, and other issues in addition to eating healthy. You can do it!