How to Prevent Mindless Snacking While Working from Home
Being confined to home more than usual can create a recipe for diet inconsistency that makes it hard to stick to our healthy eating goals. But with a few tips, we can get ourselves back on track--and actually take advantage of our newfound schedule flexibility to create new healthy eating habits.
During the work week we have a structured day, making it a little easier to stick to our nutrition habits. As we’re sure many of you have experienced, the weekend lacks structure and therefore can be more challenging in terms of adhering to our eating habits. COVID-19 has forced many of us to operate on an extended weekend. Here are a few steps you can take to strategize during this time and proactively plan for any road bumps you might encounter.
1. Plan Your Day
Make a schedule! This is why the work week is easier than the weekends. Avoid lounging around the house in your PJs all day (no matter how cozy it may feel). If you're working from home, you'll be much more productive if you get dressed just as you would for a day in the office.
2. Schedule Your Meal Times
Research has shown that if we stick close to the same sleep/eat schedule everyday, fat loss is much more predictable and consistent. Try your best to schedule meal times just as you would in normal circumstances.
3. Portion! Portion! Portion!
Do your best to avoid eating out of boxes and bags. Portion your meals and eat them undistracted if possible (no Facebook or Instagram surfing).
4. Get Your Water
Gym time may be limited these days, which means we’re not sweating as much. This can lead to an underconsumption of water. Don’t let it happen! Keep a container of water by your work space. A really good habit to instill is drinking 20-30 ounces before consuming any coffee in the morning. After that, try to get 20-30 ounces every hour or two and you should be good to go!
5. Keep “Trigger” Snacks Out of Eyesight
We all have them, those foods that beckon us to eat them. It’s ok! Try to keep them out of sight. Store them in opaque containers on the top shelf of the pantry or place them in the garage fridge.
6. Take Walk Breaks
Research shows that we are most productive when we work in blocks. Use this time to try this out. Set a timer for 45-90 minutes and get some focused work completed. When the timer goes off, take a walk for 15-20 minutes. Repeat this throughout your day and measure your productivity. Bonus, you’ve probably walked your 10,000 steps for the day without noticing! Bet you don’t do that at the office.
7. Snacking is OK!
Look, snacking isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually totally fine if you use this time to restructure your eating schedule. You can make meals smaller to accommodate some snacking throughout the day. You may find this works better for you. At the end of the day it’s caloric intake that matters. So feel free to play around with your schedule.
We’ll get through this! As my dad likes to say, “Nothing lasts forever, not even your troubles”. All the best to you, and remember, if you can handle habit/lifestyle change when things are tough, just imagine what you’re capable of when things are easy!