Working from home has its perks, as well as its temptations. A combination of job stress, work-life balance, the uncertainty about what’s yet to come, etc. might lead to eating more than we are used to.
The constant headlines about the coronavirus and the knowledge that we are up against a public health crisis puts us in a fight or flight mode that doesn’t disappear by the end of the day, giving us an open-ended feeling of uncertainty.
When we feel particularly stressed out, we go to basic needs and what’s comfortable out of a desire to self-soothe and bring balance back. Whether it’s sugar, fat, salt or a combination of all three, we often turn to high caloric or ‘rewarding’ foods that trigger our brain’s pleasure centre. Being constantly in the proximity to food and having a larger amount of food available than normal, certainly helps setting the table for overindulgence.
Do you have the feeling that you spend the entire day snacking and that you are eating too much unhealthy foods? Here are some tips and tricks to avoid packing on the pounds while being stuck inside.
Stick to a regular eating schedule
Control the controllables. Try to stick to your normal schedule of having breakfast, lunch and dinner as you would at the office. Don’t skip a meal as the chance of overeating during your next meal is highly likely.
We often mistake thirst for hunger and hence tend to eat more when we are dehydrated. Working from home can make us forget to drink enough. Aim to drink at least 1.5 litre per day . It’s always a good idea to keep a glass or a bottle of water in your eyesight. Since you have easy access to your fruit basket and your fridge, why not flavour your water with lemon, limes, slices of cucumber, etc?
Make sure to have plenty of healthy and user-friendly snacks in the house and a limited range of unhealthy snacks. Carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, a piece of fruit, a handful of unsalted nuts and low fat yoghurts or quark are perfect alternatives for chocolate, cookies and crisps.
Don’t buy “bad foods”
This might be tough in a time of hardship, but if you know that you are likely to finish the whole package of candies instead of taking just five, try not to buy them in the first place.
Address the food
We are programmed to eat what’s in front of us so… get it out of your line of sight! Only take what you are planning to eat. Store the bulk package elsewhere instead of taking it with you.
Distract the cravings
Cravings? Don’t worry, we all have them! Ask yourself where that need is coming from. Are you really hungry or is it something else? Instead of rushing to the fridge or cookie cabinet, wait for half an hour and find something else to do: take a break, go outside, go for a walk, call a friend, etc. Cravings can really go away .
Be kind to yourself
Made a slip and emptied the entire package of crisps? It happens. Know that no single meal or snack can make or break your healthy journey, but a whole day of snacking can… Don’t be too hard on yourself, you have as much willpower as anyone else. and Forgive yourself that one mistake and get back on track as soon as possible.