Working from home means you’re never more than a few footsteps away from a fully stocked fridge or pantry. You can also order a full range of takeout options straight to your doorstep without worrying about weird looks from your coworkers.
Surrounded by all these temptations, staying on track with your diet while working from home can be difficult.
If this struggle sounds familiar, this guide is for you. Below, you’ll find several suggestions to help you continue eating healthfully as a remote worker.
Stick to Low or No-Calorie Beverages
Do you regularly reach for soda or prepare cup after cup of cream and sugar-laden coffee? It’s easy to over consume calories when you’re drinking them!
To avoid overdoing it on sugar and calories, stick to low- or no-calorie beverages like flavored seltzer or tea.
Don’t forget about good, old-fashioned water, either (drink it plain or add a slice of lemon for some extra flavor). Prioritizing hydration throughout the day will help you stay alert and curb cravings.
When you worked in an office, perhaps you were a master meal prepper. Now that you work from home, you may have gotten a bit lax with your preparations.
After all, you’re so close to the fridge and pantry. Can’t you just whip something up when you get hungry?
Meal prepping ensures you have healthy meals and snacks ready to go as soon as hunger hits. Taking the time to meal prep saves you from making rash decisions — like gorging on potato chips or ordering takeout for the fourth time this week.
Prioritize Macro and Micronutrients
When deciding what to prepare for the week, make sure you’re making balanced meals that contain sources of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats).
Aim to include various micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) in your meals, too, by adding a serving (or two) of fruits and vegetables to each meal.
Balanced meals will help you stay fuller longer and reduce the likelihood of scavenging for snacks halfway through the day.
Establish a Meal Schedule
Do you ever forget to eat because you’re so busy finishing up a project, then realize you’re ravenous and end up eating everything you can get your hands on?
To avoid this all-too-common phenomenon, create a meal schedule. Set alarms on your phone or computer so you remember to take a break and eat regularly throughout the day.
Differentiate between Hunger and Needing a Break
Speaking of taking a break to eat, the inverse of the above mentioned problem exists. In other words, perhaps you find yourself taking too many breaks for meals or snacks because you’re overwhelmed and need an excuse to step away from your desk.
Start asking yourself if you’re truly hungry or just need to let your brain rest for a few minutes.
If the latter is true, step outside for a quick walk or stretch for a few minutes instead of heading to the pantry again.
Swap Packaged Snacks for Fresh Ones
Many packaged snacks — chips, crackers, cookies, etc. — are high in calories and low in nutrients.
If you tend to gravitate toward these foods, avoid keeping them in your pantry in the first place. If you don’t have easy access to them, you won’t over consume them.
For snacks, choose fresh fruit, vegetables, string cheese, and other options that contain more nutrients and will help you stay full.
Make Takeout the Exception, Not the Rule
If you order takeout multiple times per week for lunch or dinner (or both), you’re not only spending a lot of money. You’re also eating a lot of extra calories — and likely not eating as healthfully as you would if you prepared food at home.
Strive to make takeout a special treat instead of your go-to option. Meal prepping can make this transition more manageable and help you ensure you always have access to nutritious food.
Stock the Kitchen with Staples
Make sure your kitchen is regularly stocked with staples that you can use to make a wide range of meals.
For example, keep items like rice, whole grain or veggie pasta, oatmeal, and olive oil on hand. Fill your freezer with frozen fruit and vegetables, too (they’re just as healthy as the fresh ones and much more affordable).
If you have easy access to healthy foods that you can use to throw a meal together quickly, you’ll be less likely to turn to takeout or packaged snacks.
Don’t Eat at Your Desk
Resist the urge to eat at your desk so you can squeeze out a few more tasks during your lunch break. Take a step away from the desk and eat at the dining room table or outside on the balcony.
Don’t Work in the Kitchen
Not everyone has their own home office. However, you should still try to find a different workspace other than the kitchen table.
Being so close to the fridge and pantry makes it harder to resist temptation and may cause you to overeat out of convenience.
Finally, be conscious of how much coffee or caffeinated tea you drink throughout the day. Over caffeinating can cause you to feel jittery or give you a headache, both of which hinder your ability to focus and get things done.
It’s especially helpful to switch to decaffeinated drinks (like seltzer or herbal tea) in the afternoon. Otherwise, you could end up struggling to fall asleep when the sun goes down.
Try These Diet Tips Today
It’s totally possible to stick to a healthy diet while working from home. You might have unlimited access to the pantry, but that doesn’t mean you have to visit it ten times per day!
Remember the diet tips discussed above as you prepare for the upcoming workweek. They’ll help you combat cravings, ensure you consume enough nutrients, and feel your best throughout the day.
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