As if eating healthy wasn’t already tough enough, temptations pop up everywhere when you’re stuck working at home. It can be incredibly difficult to eat healthy while working at home.
There is usually an unlimited supply of food and snacks, with less structure in your schedule and workspace. This could mean disaster.
But, it doesn’t have to. Here are 10 Tips to Eat Healthy While Working from Home.
10 Tips to Eat Healthy While Working from Home
1. Stick to a Plan & Eating Schedule
Like most things in life, we humans function better with a schedule when eating. Take away the daily order of things, and we often make poorer choices.
When working from home, it’s important to stick to at least a flexible schedule. If you typically use intermittent fasting from 7 pm to 11 am, continue to do so. If you usually have lunch, a fat-bomb snack, and dinner, continue. Don’t skip meals you normally eat and don’t add ones you normally don’t.
2. Make Sure You Actually Eat
It’s also easy to sort of “eat-on-the-go” or eat snacks rather than meals when you are at home all day. It can seem like a waste of time to sit down and eat when you could multitask.
But, it’s important to eat as you normally would. Consistent eating with real meals throughout the day can improve energy, focus, and mood.
3. Eat Slowly and Intentionally
When you do sit down and eat, remember to eat slowly and intentionally. Why? Three reasons slow eating can help you eat healthy while working from home:
- Eating slowly actually reducing overeating for most people. In fact, research has linked eating slower to smaller portions (1).
- Second, eating slowly improves digestion by decreasing heartburn and other digestive ailments(2).
- When you mentally recognize that you’re eating a meal, your body senses that it does not eat again for some time. The hormonal cues in your body are influenced by both the stretch of your stomach and your mental sense of eating.
4. Meal Prep Your Lunches
One of the best ways to ensure that you’ll actually eat a “real-food” lunch is to prep it ahead of time. Whether it’s portion-controlled left-overs from dinners or other lunches made ahead of time, it will help.
Oftentimes, workers get busy during the middle of the day and skip lunch altogether (when their bodies and brains need the nutrients), or they grab something convenient that may be less-than-optimal.
Instead, prep a real-food lunch ahead of time to eat healthy while working from home.
5. Don’t Work Near (or in) the Kitchen
Just as having a mini-fridge or bowl of candy in your office would make it difficult to stay on track, working in the kitchen is too tempting!
Instead, set up your office in a room separate from the kitchen or dining space.
The physical separation will help you keep your eating schedule and avoid trips to the fridge between meals.
6. Don’t Graze; Eat and Be Done
One extremely important concept to eat healthy while working from home is to eat and then be done with it.
Follow your normal schedule for eating times. Then, once you’re done with eating, move onto other things such as work, errands, etc. If you treat eating as it’s own activity, you can separate it from other parts of life.
Grazing, on the other hand, tends to combine eating with other activities throughout the day. Not only does this disrupt our hormonal cues for eating, it allows us to consume many grams of carbohydrates and calories without even realizing it.
What’s more, it’s a great feeling to “move on” and be happy that you have time to accomplish the other things you need to do, besides eating.
7. Focus on Real Food
In addition to mindfully eating and using “meal times” rather than grazing, eating “real foods” rather than convenience foods is usually more satisfying.
How many times have you eaten a “bar” to find that you are hungry again an hour later? Even if the bar has enough nutrients in it to be considered a full meal?
Part of our hormonal response to eating requires “stretching the stomach.” In fact, we have vagus nerves that detect stomach stretch and nutrients in our digestive tracts (3). Real foods with larger volumes trigger our brains that we are filling and do not need more. What’s more, high-fat Keto Zone foods increase our satiety and can keep you full for longer.
8. Have Healthy High-Fat Snacks Ready
Speaking of high fat Keto Zone foods, keeping healthy “fat bombs” in the fridge can help you eat healthy while working from home! If you normally eat a snack between meals, the fat bombs can keep you in the Keto Zone, feeling balanced and satisfied.
As long as your snacks are pre-planned and not grazing, they can be a healthy addition to meals. This is very different than reacting to cravings or grazing.
Healthy, planned snacks can proactively help you fuel your body and brain during the day. But, all the other rules apply. Leave your desk, go to the kitchen for the snack. Eat it, and then be done with it until the next meal or snack.
9. Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration and thirst are often mistaken for hunger. If you allow yourself to become dehydrated through the day, you may think you’re hungry and eat when you don’t need to.
In addition, dehydration can lead to headaches, foggy brain, and decreased energy.
Keep a bottle of water at your desk and drink your fill throughout the day. One benefit of working from home is that you can likely get up and use the restroom as needed, in privacy. So don’t be shy with hydration, drink up!
And, for a metabolism boost, consider green and black tea. They are incredibly healthful, supporting brain health, delivering antioxidants throughout the body, and even increasing calorie burn.
10. Realize that Hunger is Not a Call to Action
Repeat with me: “Hunger is not a call to action.” Being hungry does not necessitate eating. It is simply a cue from your body that digestion is working well, your stomach is emptying as it should, and you will be satisfied again when it’s time to eat again.
Need Help to Establish Good Habits?
If you’re currently trying to establish good habits, or break bad ones, you may need some further help to start. See this post on how to break bad habits and get into the Keto Zone. Then, keep your good habits going with these 10 Tips for Eating Healthy While Working at Home.
Need Help Busting Cravings While at Home?
If it’s more than just habits, but actually figuring out ways to get through cravings while on Keto Zone, try these tips.
It’s been a challenging time of adjustment during the last several weeks for many American workers. In addition to transitioning to work from home, many are facing health scares, increased anxiety, and the challenge of eating healthy.
But, you can do it. Try our 10 Tips to Eat Healthy While Working at Home. You can also join our 21-Day Keto Zone Challenge for FREE to get started!