8 Ways to Eat Healthy While Working from Home
Eating healthy can be difficult when you're working from home. You might have noticed your co-workers aren't there to see you going back to the fridge again and again within a two-hour span.
If working from home has changed your diet or affected the way you eat in an unhealthy way, you may need a work from home (WFH) diet. In this post, you'll learn how to curb cravings and keep your daily calorie intake in check.
Do You Need a WFH Diet?
Science suggests that your health depends on the everyday habits that make up your lifestyle, such as how much you exercise and what foods you eat.
How to Create Healthy WFH Eating Habits
Changing your eating habits doesn't happen overnight. While it's hard to control habits from one meal to the next, planning ahead and having healthy choices on hand can help you curb an unhealthy diet.
1. WFH Meal Planning
Meal planning involves planning and preparing meals in advance. Planning ahead lets you optimize for a healthier diet and lower grocery bill, setting the stage for huge long-term differences on both accounts.
Also known as nutrition planning, meal planning helps prevent you from indulging in fast food and take-out while you work from home. When you stick to your meal planning routine, you'll always have your next meal on hand. This saves loads of time, reduces stress, and keeps you from going hungry and binge eating.
You can choose to plan and prep only your WFH lunch meals or all three of your daily meals. First, decide the meals you want to make in a week ahead. Then, make a grocery list of the ingredients you need for them.
2. Prepare Healthy Snacks
By having your meals prepared ahead of time, you'll have a little extra time in your day to make a fresh, healthy snack. You can fill up on healthy treats such as a green smoothie made with frozen fruit and leafy greens like spinach or kale. Fresh and healthy snacks like these are packed with vitamins and minerals to help prevent sluggish energy levels.
Some great WFH healthy snacks to have on hand are protein bars and lightly salted or unsalted nuts, which supply you with a source of healthy fats. This keeps you full until your next meal and can replace unhealthy and overly-salty snacks like potato chips.
3. Get Your Protein
Be sure to include a source of protein in every meal to curb unnecessary snacking. According to research, protein lowers levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and boosts levels of hormones that make you feel satisfied, including glucose‐dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon‐like peptide (GLP‐1). Plus, protein helps carbohydrates break down more slowly instead of spiking your blood sugar and then leaving you hungry again.
4. Eat at the Same Times Each Day
When you eat at the same times every day, you naturally get hungry at those same times. This makes it easier to distinguish real hunger from cravings and prevent binge eating. According to scientists, regular eating patterns are associated with lower inflammation, circadian rhythmicity, better resistance to stress, and a healthier gut microbiome.
Part of getting into a rhythm while working from home is planning your meal times. You may even plan your snack times. The important thing is to make sure to take your breaks so that you can eat on time and establish your pattern.
5. Don't Eat While You Work
In an office setting, you'd eat in the break room, possibly socializing with your co-workers. Working from home, you're likely more prone to snack or even eat lunch at your desk while working. While food may feel like company, it can lead to stress eating and overeating. Eating healthy while WFH is a lot easier when you're in the habit of eating in a space away from your work.
You'll make better eating decisions away from your work while giving yourself a break. That said, you probably shouldn't bring your work into the kitchen, either.
6. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Sometimes what feels like hunger or a food craving is actually your body asking for fluids. Staying well-hydrated can help you regulate your appetite. Replace soda or sugary drinks with electrolyte water without added sugar. Mineral water or alkaline water may help optimize your body's cellular hydration.
The most important thing is to drink at least 2 liters (about 8 cups) of water each day.
7. Keep a Food Journal
If planning what you're going to eat days ahead isn't for you, an alternative to watching your intake is to keep a food journal. Either at the end of the day or at the end of each meal, jot down what you ate. This makes you more conscious of your food choices and makes you conscious and motivated to make healthier ones. You might also track your water intake and calorie intake with your food journal.
8. Try a Meal Kit Subscription
If you struggle to figure out what to eat, you might benefit from trying a meal subscription service. Such services allow you to cook with fresh ingredients that are delivered to your door, which cuts down on shopping time and takes the mystery out of what's for dinner.
You don't need to be a cooking expert, because the instructions are simple and the ingredients are ready to cook. It can be quite fun, too, especially if you've become bored of the same meals you frequently make.
By eliminating boredom a with fresh, healthy meal kit subscription, you can also prevent unhealthy takeout dinners and junk food binges. With dinner taken care of, all you need to worry about is making WFH healthy lunches packed with protein.