It can be hard working from home to keep up healthy eating habits when you are constantly surrounded by food all day. Whether you are struggling with constantly snacking or grazing throughout the day or are succumbing to uber eats a little too often, we've put together some of our top tips to help you stay on track whilst you are working from home.
We are all different, so there isn't one right way for everyone when it comes to nutrition and eating well, we recommend trying and testing what sort of meal timing or snacks work to keep you satiated and then building a personalised plan from there.
Avoid fad diets during times of higher stress especially and focus on long-term, sustainable plans that will help you to feel and perform at your best.
- Remove or reduce trigger foods from the house: if there are certain treats that you have around the house that cause you to extremely overeat, we recommend not purchasing them to begin with. Whilst we may think it's a good idea to test our discipline and 'just have one', it always somehow turns into two and then five minutes later the whole packet is gone. It doesn't mean you can't ever indulge, but we recommend instead buying individually wrapped items or only buying them on special occasions and sharing them around, so you aren't left with an entire packet. If you know that certain highly palatable foods always lead you to overeat, we recommend staying away and opting for a substitute that is lower in sugar or fat and keeps you fuller for longer.
- Become a planner: We are usually most vulnerable to overeating or going for nutritionally poor food right after we've finished a hard day of work and just want to lounge in front of the television. Our inner thoughts don't usually prod us to go to the shops to pick up salad items, but instead lures us to the appeal of an UberEATS feast. To avoid this, make sure your dinner is planned in advance with all the items you need in the fridge, or to go one step beyond consider meal prepping and freezing your meals instead! This helps you become more disciplined when you already know what dinner is going to be.
- Ensure that your diet/ eating plan is sustainable in the long term. A rule of thumb is that if you can't see yourself following it in 18 months’ time, then it is not a protocol that you should be following. It's important not to follow fad diets or extreme celebrity diets but rather take a balanced approach. We understand that many people have eating preferences based around ethical or health reasons and that's perfectly fine, as long as it's enjoyable for you, gives you energy is a plan that you can adhere too in the long-term. It can be especially tempting during this period to go for fad diets that promise rapid fat loss, whilst you don't have any social commitments, but trust us- they never work!
- Do some testing and find out a meal schedule that works best for you. Science has now shown u that we don't have to eat 6 times a day in order to lose weight (if that's your goal or be healthy). If you prefer to eat 2-3 times a day that's absolutely fine too, you just have to find what works for you. Once you figure this out, we recommend you stick to the same schedule each day as it helps to keep you hunger hormone (Ghrelin) consistent each day. You'll find that you are getting hungry at this same time each day which helps to control your appetite and reduce overeating.
- Always have water on hand. We know you hear this advice over and over again but it's for a good reason. We often think we are famished when we are in fact just extremely dehydrated. The best way to do this is make a 10 sip rule every time you pick up your water bottle 9drink for 10 counts) and aim to finish a certain amount of water before you sit down for each meal. This will ensure that you are adequately hydrate which will help you to stop eating when you are full!
- Keep some healthier versions of treats you love to satisfy your cravings when they come up! If you love chocolate, instead of going for a block of Cadbury instead make some homemade chocolate dipped strawberry's or chocolate protein balls to reach for when you feel the craving coming on! If you prefer something salty, consider some homemade crispy sweet potato chips rather than going for a family sized bag of salty chips! This way you don't feel deprived of your favourite foods and can still easily reach your fitness and health goals.
- Try to stay out of the kitchen unless you are eating and never eat standing up! The easiest way to stop constant grazing is to get food out of site. Ideally set up your desk in a study or different room of the house so the kitchen only becomes a place to cook or eat. Another good way to prevent overeating is by setting the table and sitting down for a proper meal every time you eat. This will make mealtimes more of an occasion and prevent you from multitasking whilst enjoying your lunch or dinner.
- Have a coffee when you get an intense craving! One of the lesser-known benefits of drinking coffee is that it helps to reduce appetite. Whilst we believe you definitely shouldn't be undereating, having a cup of Bondi can often help us realise that we were bored and looking for something to do rather than experiencing actual hunger. Plus, the deliciousness of a Bondi with a bit of milk or cream can act as the perfect afternoon pick me up!
It can be difficult during stressful times to stay motivated to eat well! We can sometimes use food as a way to deal with our emotions but we promise if you reach for fresh, nourishing whole foods over high fat, sugary and salty alternatives your body will start to experience physical and mental benefits such as improved moods and reduced bloating that will make it all worthwhile!