Whether you’ve always worked from home or only started recently. These seven tips will keep you on a healthy track while working from home.
When you’re working from home, the distractions seem to multiply. And the distraction of food can sometimes feel like it has multiplied exponentially. We’re giving you 7 strategies for healthy eating that you can – and should – deploy whether you’ve always worked from home or are just starting out.
Don’t Work in the Kitchen
You’ve heard the concept of separate church and state. If you’re working from home, the concept of separate kitchen and office should be upheld. It’s tempting to spread out on that family kitchen table or settle into the built-in kitchen desk. But setting up your workstation in a separate room is one of the easiest ways to ensure you’re not distracted by the fridge… and pantry… and the kids/pets/spouses/television/doorbell all day long.
Don’t Eat in the Office
It almost goes without saying, if you shouldn’t work in the kitchen, you also shouldn’t eat in the office. Designate an eating area or two, like your kitchen table and back porch, and move there for meals and snacks. If you ate at your desk or in front of your computer on days when you worked at the office building, now is a great time to break that habit!
Routine is Key
What day is it again? We might lose track of days, but we’d never lose track of snack time. Create structure with a meal and snack schedule that you can stick to on a daily basis. Maybe it’s a traditional breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner or maybe it’s a less traditional breakfast-snack-snack-dinner-snack. What your schedule is doesn’t matter as much as whether you have a schedule. Either way, it will help keep you from treating the day like a free-for-all when it comes to food.
Cook Once, Eat Twice (or More)
There are so many methods.
Method 1: Make double dinner and pack away leftovers in individual portions.
Method 2: Make double protein for dinner (hello, BBQ Chicken Breast) and repackage the protein into different meals (pulled chicken sandwich, chicken salad wrap, chicken Caesar salad).
Method 3: Cook extra portions of vegetarian dishes, like Cauliflower Fried Rice, and add a new protein for something a little different every day like steamed shrimp, edamame, or flank steak.
Pack Your Lunch
Thinking through the next day’s lunch is a good start, but take it a step further and actually pack it up. You’re much more likely to reach for what you planned to nosh on if you’ve put it in a brown bag or a lunch box and it’s right inside your refrigerator door. It will keep you from giving in to any last-minute impulses that could lead you astray.
Keep a Food Log
It can be difficult and time-consuming to track everything you eat, but we can’t think of a better way to check in with yourself and take an honest assessment of the nutrients you’re consuming on a day-to-day basis. If you’re new to working from home, now might be an ideal time to start. You’re likely preparing most of your own meals — there’s nothing harder or less accurate than trying to figure out how to log the dip you ate at a party or the casserole from the diner – so you know exactly what’s in them an can measure your portion sizes. Plus, if you’re spending most of the day in front of a browser, keeping your food log open and ready will be a great reminder.
Okay, so there is one thing we’ll allow you to consume mindlessly while you work – water! Enjoy a glass of water with each meal and snack and in between. Staying hydrated keeps hunger at bay and aids metabolism (i.e. energy) and concentration. Drink still or sparkling and add a slice or two of fruit or sprigs of fresh herbs for natural, satisfying flavor.