Working from home can prove disastrous in terms of our everyday eating habits. It's difficult to resist thinking about food when we're sitting ten steps away from the kitchen and last night's delicious leftovers keep calling our name. There's the tea-and-one-cookie reward for working for a solid hour, which ends up being a large, creamy hot chocolate and the whole box of cookies. Or the "I'll just make a quick cheese and crackers," which evolves into a gourmet cheese platter replete with all the trimmings and a big glass of wine. We've all been there before, and many of us are still here, waiting for the toaster to pop and the kettle to boil. However, some simple strategies and planning can prevent overeating when working from home. In this article, nutrition advocate and the go-to fitness coach in the Torrance, CA community, Ken Inoue, details several tips to get your food cravings on the right track.
Create a Routine
Set firm times to prepare and eat your meals, whether it's breakfast or lunch. Keeping a consistent routine may be challenging at first, but it should become a habit that replaces constant grazing throughout the day. Also, set times for your tea and coffee breaks and divide snacks into smaller portions for the full day. Check your meal portions, too - are they bigger since you're eating from a large plate at home? It's easy to lose track of how much you're eating when you're busy, so take time to eat slowly, away from your screen.
Pro Fitness Tip From Ken Inoue: Often, we eat because we think we're hungry, but we're actually thirsty, so drink a glass of water before reaching for a snack.
Plan and Prep
Plan your meals and prepare them for easy access during your working day. It's tempting to grab something quick and unhealthy rather than taking time to make a nutritious meal. Prep your salads and vegetables for lunch while making breakfast and cook extra in the evenings for quick leftovers. Portion and freeze the leftovers, though, so you don't end up eating more than you'd like.
Create your grocery list ahead of shopping so that you'll have loads of healthy options for meals and snacks. Try to avoid highly processed foods where possible, replacing them with nutritious, filling snacks like nuts, berries, seeds, and dark chocolate. We all love having a treat now and then, though, so when you do buy them, keep them at the top of the cupboard where it takes an effort to reach them.
Boredom and Emotional Eating
We often overeat when we're stressed, sad, bored, or lonely, and working from home means that we are surrounded by food, whatever we are feeling. It's so easy to reward ourselves with something tasty when we think that we've earned a treat or to grab a snack because we're thoroughly bored of whatever we're working on. Instead, try to distract yourself by doing something different. Go for a quick walk or move on to another project for a while.
It's difficult to resist the call of the kitchen when working from home, but it is possible. Protect your well-being by implementing these small changes that can make a massive difference to your health, present, and future.
About Ken Inoue
Ken Inoue is a certified personal trainer from Torrance, California. Mr. Inoue helps his Los Angeles based clients improve their overall well-being by giving them the necessary tools to embrace an active and nutritious lifestyle. His training approach is unique to each individual, though he does place great emphasis on mastering the fundamentals of fitness training. He believes in a holistic strategy, incorporating strength training, cardiovascular, flexibility, and a well-balanced diet.