I have been pretty quiet on TheFittChick page since the start of this pandemic! I wanted to be conscious of all my followers and the high levels of stress some of you have been feeling! So many of us have anxiety over empty grocery store shelves, experiencing sleepless nights worrying about getting sick, or maybe you are feeling the effects from a new stay-at-home arrangement that has left you parenting and working simultaneously! If your pants feel tighter these days, know that you ARE NOT alone. Those “quarantine 15” memes circulating on social media are all the proof you need!
Being stuck in your house without a normal schedule or any type of daily structure can throw off your healthy habits. You may notice your weight may be creeping up as a result. Working from home definitely may have some perks, but weight gain IS NOT one of them! As more workplaces allow employees to work remotely since the Coronavirus outbreak, a combination of job stress and economic uncertainty plus easy access to the refrigerator could prompt some of you to eat more than you normally would!
Stress eating is a huge issue for so many of my clients under regular circumstances. Right now stress is at an all time high, and studies show that emotional distress increases the amount of food we eat, particularly foods that are high in sugar!
Here are 5 Tips & Tricks for avoiding overeating while working from home!
STAY HYDRATED! Research shows that people eat more when they are dehydrated because they mistake the feeling of thirst for hunger. I always recommend filling up a few water bottles in the morning or setting a timer every hour to remember to drink you water! Feel free to mix it up with any beverage as long as it doesn’t contain sugar! HERE is a water bottle I find very helpful for those that are just starting to realize they have been skimping on their water for years!
STOCK UP ON VEGETABLES FOR SNACKING! Veggies are filled with water, so eating some of your favorites are an added way to hydrate. Plus, they are a low-cal snack that is easy to grab-and-go if you are on a call or just in between meetings! Cut up cucumbers and peppers to keep on hand. Cherry tomatoes work great for a snack also! I LOVE to roast onions, peppers, carrots, green beans, and/or anything you like at the beginning of the week to have ton of veggies in separate containers to snack on all week long!
STICK TO AN EATING SCHEDULE! If you are working from home right now, you’ve probably lost some of the structure that anchored your day, and noticed a disruption in your eating routine. That can do two things: First, you may end up grazing and grabbing whatever is around and, second, you may be doing more unconscious eating to alleviate boredom! The key is to EAT ON A REGULAR SCHEDULE!
Have breakfast at the same time every day, and have a plan for lunch and dinner ahead of time! Keeping a structure to your day will ensure that you give your body the food it needs, and you won’t have to worry about grabbing something random throughout the day that ultimately won’t be satisfying. It also trains your body to be hungry at regular intervals.
HIDE THE JUNK FOOD! Having a clear workspace that is free from any food temptations can be a huge help! If you open your cabinet and the first thing you see are chips or cookies, studies show that is the first thing you will grab! Put away foods that you might want later so you aren’t tempted to graze on packaged foods all day! Another trick is to TRY and always go to the fridge first, and keep easy snacks accessible! I always say, “If you keep good things in your fridge, you will eat good things!”
DO NOT EAT YOUR MEALS AT YOUR DESK! It is estimated that up to 40 percent of office workers typically eat at their desk during the work day. Eating while you are distracted by work can be a disaster for your waistline and energy levels! How many times have you mindlessly munched your way through lunch and before you realize it you’re on our last bite? Research shows that eating while distracted can lead to overeating. TRY THIS: Switch off the distractions! Step away from your computer screen and put your phone down! Take time to focus on on what you’re eating. By practicing mindful eating, you will eat less and finish your meal feeling more satisfied.
MEAL PREP! I know! I know! You don’t have time to meal prep! But, if you actually just try one time to meal prep for one hour, it will save you so much extra time and calories during the week! If your work week begins on a Monday, shop and prep on the weekends so you have plenty of premade meats, healthy carbohydrates, washed and chopped veggies, and snacks like cheese and nuts ready to go! If you find yourself leaving your laptop to sift through your pantry or fridge between work deadlines, you are definitely someone who could benefit greatly from meal prepping! Instead of snacking all day long on foods that WILL NOT fill you up, try portioned out containers to avoid absentmindedly munching!
This goes back to thinking ahead and preparing your meals ahead of time! Maybe make overnight oatmeal or protein pancakes for breakfast next week that you will be looking forward to eating! Then come lunch time you may already have prepared 5 HUGE salads with different protein toppers ready to go! And then for dinner make sure to have an array of protein, veggies, and healthy carbohydrates like sweet potato, rice, quinoa, or beans! Obviously these are just a few ideas, but you should love what you are eating, and always look forward to you meals! Being prepared will always be your best option!
The 10-Second Takeaway…
Working from home is one of the most important ways to help flatten the curve, and get the Coronavirus pandemic under control. Being out of your usual routine, having constant access to food, and being this stressed out can lead to some serious overindulging. If your eating has been a bit erratic, use these five strategies to help create some balance and consistency. Stay healthy, Stay Safe, & Stay Home!
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