Even though many people are returning back to work in-person, there are still a good number of us working remotely and spending our days on Zoom calls from the kitchen table. And that often comes frequent trips to the fridge.
Here are 10 tips to avoid the “COVID-15” if you are working (or studying) from home.
1. Stick to the eating pattern you would have had at work. It is so easy to take a 2-hour lunch break or keep snacks around, but this can quickly lead to lots of mindless eating. Stick to when you would normally have breaks to best keep your normal routine.
2. Pre-Portion your snacks. Similar to #1, treat working from home like a regular work day, and pre-pack your snacks (and lunch too if you’d like). That way, you don’t have to worry about eating the whole bag of chips or box of cookies in one sitting.
3. Drink lots of water. Sometimes, when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty! So, before grabbing a snack, drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes, then reevaluate. The average person should have about half their body weight in ounces of water every day, so use this as a starting point.
4. Don’t work in the kitchen. I have been guilty of this myself. I set up at the kitchen counter, and with the fridge constantly in my view, made frequent trips to take “one bite” of something. Use the “out of sight, out of mind” principle and work somewhere in the house where you can just focus on the tasks at hand.
5. Find someone to hold you accountable, whether that be a friend, family member, health professional. This one is my personal favorite, because it works so well! Having someone there to check in on your progress regularly is known to improve health goal success rates. Even just knowing that someone else is aware of what you are working toward is likely to help.
6. Eat mindfully. So much of our calorie consumption is done mindlessly, such as having a soda while driving, eating chips and pretzels while watching TV, or munching on appetizers at a party. As much as possible, stop whatever you are doing when you are hungry, and focus solely on the food before you, engaging all your senses. You may find you enjoy it and notice your satiety more.
7. Meal plan. I LOVE meal planning, because it is such a good first step in healthy eating. Even just planning what you are going to eat for dinner for the next 2-3 nights will result in more successful grocery store runs and less “I’m just gonna have ramen tonight”.
8. Get enough sleep each night. Sleep is strongly linked to overall health, nutrition included. If you are more tired, you may be more likely to succumb to cravings since you have a larger appetite. Aim for 7-9 hours a night consistently for the best results (I promise you will feel better!)
9. Connect with others. We often eat when we feel alone or emotional, and we are usually grabbing the pint of ice cream from the freezer rather than the carrots and hummus. If this sounds like you, make sure you are spending time with others enough to let your emotions out through your loved ones rather than Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.
10. Buy healthy food. Sounds simple right? I know, it’s not, but through meal planning, and making a grocery list, you can reduce the number of impulse buys, and have successful, healthful trips. Watch this video for more information on how to navigate the grocery store.
Feeling overwhelmed on where to start? UVAC offers many nutrition programs that can help you achieve your goals. If you have any questions about this blog, or nutrition in general, email Grace Stott, [email protected].
By Grace Stott, UVAC Wellness Specislist