You’re at home more than ever right now. Jobs, athletic training, social interactions and food intake have been relegated to your own personal living space. At first this was a nice treat for many and a chance to rest, change up training and give your body a break—including worrying about adhering to sports nutrition and health eating goals. But you shouldn’t take a break from healthy eating for too long. It’s time to learn how to best deal with the new reality of working from home before your health goals are completely derailed.
If you were often tempted by break room treats or desk drawer snacks at your office, working from home, in close proximity to your kitchen, might be a big problem. You may have seen the memes illustrating extreme ways to keep yourself from eating: hanging a bikini on the fridge, locking cupboards, hiding food, etc. While these examples are funny, they aren’t all that practical in the long run.
Additional situational stress, anxiety and loneliness can lead to grabbing snacks your body doesn’t need just because the food is there. Filling the void with snacking won’t lead to a great outcome, so correcting the behavior and creating good habits will ensure you’re better off once things are back to normal.
If it’s an option, do your work as far away from the kitchen as possible. If you have a multi-level house or apartment, put a flight of stairs between your laptop and the fridge. If you are in a smaller space, try to get at least one room away.
Stick to a Routine
The timeline might be different than it was when commuting to your office, and that’s OK. Defining meal times and breaks on a calendar or app will help you adhere to a schedule of productivity and food intake.
Stock Your Place With Healthy Foods
This is the most obvious solution; if you don’t have it around, you can’t eat it! Try hummus and carrots or frozen grapes as nutritious snack alternatives if you just can’t stop munching throughout the day.
Order Meal Delivery
If you were used to having lunch at the office or out at a cafe, replicate that by signing up for a nutritious meal delivery option.
Pack Your Own Lunch
You don’t need to bring it anywhere, but making a nourishing meal ahead of time will help motivate you to stick to your goals.
Log Your Intake
There’s no need to log your intake constantly, but in times of change it can be a valuable practice to check in with yourself and see if there is room for improvement.
Have a Virtual Lunch Meeting
You’re more likely to enjoy your food, feel satisfied and eat a healthier meal when you share it with someone.
Tackle a Nutrition Downfall
Did you use to binge on break room treats? Were you always rushed out the door and grabbing junk or even nothing for breakfast? Did dinners happen way too late and feel like a chore to get food on the table? Use this time to think positively and change a habit that wasn’t so great. This way when life returns to the way things were, you are in a better nutritional space.
Ask Yourself If You’re Really Hungry
There’s a lot going on right now, and emotions can cause us to eat when we aren’t actually hungry. Have a cup of water or tea and call a friend to chat for a while, then revisit your food intake.
Jot Down Your Long-term Goals
Having your habits turned upside down for a short period isn’t the worst thing that can happen, even if it leaves you a couple pounds heavier. But checking in with your long-term goals will help you to remember that this will end one day, and you can still take some current measures to stay on track.