Working from home leading you to the fridge more? Totally relating to “You are not hungry, you are just bored”? Well, we all do! Read on to find how you can reduce your trips to the kitchen and keep your munching on the healthy side while working from home.
1. Keep healthy snacks ready
Trust me, it’s so easy to fall into the habit of mindless snacking when you work from home. And if you’re surrounded by sweet treats and unhealthy munchies all day, it’s much more tempting to grab those! If you have healthy snacks like fruit, protein bars, and energy bites, it’s much more likely that you’ll be inspired to reach for those instead. Some of my favorite healthy snacks: veggies and hummus, protein balls, chia pudding, and/or smoothies.
2. Do not work near the kitchen
Create a designated work area like your office cubicle, in your home. When choosing an area of your home to work in, consider factors like location, lighting, noise level, and physical comfort. Pick a clean, quiet spot with minimal distractions. Make sure your chair is comfortable, turn your desk to face the window, organize your work materials, display framed photos, and add some greenery. Try to set up your desk in an area that’s not near the kitchen. You might be tempted to wander over and check the fridge (for the tenth time) if it’s constantly in your line of vision. If this is hard to follow, hang a sign on your fridge and pantry to remind you that the kitchen is closed until the next scheduled meal or snack.
3. Stick to a schedule
When you work from home, your day may be slightly less dictated by routine than when you’re in the office, and everyone takes lunch breaks around the same time, and even leaves for the day around the same time.If you’re worried about your schedule while working from home, make a meal schedule that coincides with your work schedule.
4. Drink a lot of water
Dehydration can lead to headaches and fatigue, which are both not good for your productivity. Just as you’d fill up a water bottle at the office to keep at your desk, keep water next to your work station at home too. If you have water readily available, chances are you’re more likely to drink it. Drinking water throughout the workday can help your body feel full. Frequently drinking water gives your mind and body something to do that doesn’t involve consuming unnecessary calories.
5. Be prepared
Have a list of breakfast, lunch, and snack ideas. It’s one thing to know when to eat, and it’s another to have the best foods to choose from. Having a list of healthy ideas and the ingredients for the same will help you to keep you eating healthy and not resort to a last-minute quick (but unhealthy)substitute. Below are some sample ideas you could consider.
Breakfast Ideas: A bowl of oatmeal made with nonfat milk, high-fiber cereal, and berries; scrambled eggs on whole-wheat toast with sliced tomatoes.
Lunch Ideas: Grilled chicken with quinoa rice and a salad, tuna salad made with low-fat mayonnaise and mustard on whole-wheat bread and topped with lettuce and tomato; scrambled egg whites with avocado and tomato on whole-wheat toast and smeared with black bean hummus, a quick and easy salad from dinner leftovers.
6. Count calories
There are several Apps available in the market which will help you set a calorie limit, create a record of your meals, and count your calorie intake. This will really help you, in the long run, to stay healthy and fit.
7. Set caffeine boundaries
Excessive intake of caffeine is known to be detrimental to health. Just because everyone is at home, you don't have to join whoever is drinking a cup. Also, if you drink caffeine, have your coffee between 9 and 11 a.m. This is the best time to have caffeine so that it doesn’t interrupt your natural sleep and wake cycle.
8. Keep a simple recipe journal
With busy work schedules, whilst still working from home, it is simply impossible to cook for hours every single day. To make your cooking easier, set up a Simple Recipe Journal and collect recipes you tried over the weekends so you can dig them out when most needed. Look for meals which preparation takes less time or those with 5 ingredients or less. Consider cooking en masse over the weekend or in the evening, to enjoy it as lunches or dinners during the week.
9. When you eat, just eat – Mindful eating
Mindful eating is about being present when we eat – paying attention to what you eat, how you eat it whenever you eat it’s about noticing the textures of the food on your tongue, it’s taste, and noticing your thoughts, reactions, and feelings when eating. You might be tempted to continue working through your lunch break since you are at home. Being distracted during a meal can lead to over-eating and decreased satisfaction and fullness from the meal. So avoid eating at your desk and take a break to have a peaceful meal.
10. Differentiate between hunger and craving
Most of the time when you are work from home, we are always chomping away on something or the other. The fact that snacks are readily available or the fridge is just a few feet away makes us feel we are hungry. However, learn to distinguish actual hunger from craving. Hunger comes when you haven’t eaten for a few hours. The sensation will not pass with time. You will feel a growling stomach, weakness, and perhaps even a headache. When you are hungry, you would eat anything. A craving may appear even when you have just eaten. These appetites are usually for comfort foods, like having cookies or a piece of chocolate with your coffee or another protein ball.
Let us all stay healthy and happy during these times when the world is going through an unprecedented change.