We cannot deny the fact that working from home has provided us with many benefits in terms of convenience and comfort. You won’t have to stress about being late for work or submitting your work by the deadline. However, working from home has ultimately harmed our ability to maintain healthy eating habits.
In this article, we will discuss the reasons why your eating habits may suffer while working from home. Not only will we discuss the reasons, but we will also provide you with some crucial tips that you can follow to start or continue eating healthy while working from home.
Problems That Cause Poor Eating Habits While Working Remotely
1. Unaware of the Eating Plan
When you don’t have a schedule, your eating habits might suffer. In a normal office scenario, you may eat breakfast on your way to work or when you get to work, or skip breakfast altogether. You may eat lunch out with co-workers or bring your lunch and eat at your desk. Everyone is on the same schedule, so it’s simple to eat meals on time.
When you work from home, you may choose to skip meals, forget to eat or eat whenever you want. This may lead to erratic eating habits.
2. Breakfast is Optional—Hydration Is Not
If you work from home, your morning routine may include waking up, performing your usual morning routine by dressing for work and having coffee and breakfast. You may choose to skip breakfast altogether and get right into your workday.
If you choose to have breakfast, avoid sugary cereals and high carbohydrate foods such as donuts, bagels or muffins. Instead, perhaps have some scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon and avocado on sourdough toast, or some whole fat unsweet yogurt with toasted almonds or walnuts. All will help keep insulin levels low and help you start your day alert and ready for any task. (Not to mention you’ll avoid the mid-morning sugar crash.)
However you choose to start you day, be sure to begin by rehydrating. Have a glass of water first thing, even before your coffee. Include electrolytes, if desired. A good rule of thumb—for each cup of coffee you consume, try having a glass of water.
As you go through your work day, continue to stay hydrated. Fatigue, headaches and lack of concentration may be resolved with drinking enough water to stay hydrated. Another rule of thumb—you might think you’re hungry, but you may just be thirsty.
According to research by Quench, a top provider of filtered water systems, most American employees don’t regularly consume water, despite it being widely accessible, cheap and essential to their health and productivity.
As per the Quench study, more than seventy percent (77%) of the participants did not believe they consumed enough water each day to meet their health needs.
Some additional reasons for staying hydrated—helps maintain body weight, helps control body temperature, relieves constipation and detoxifies the body.
3. Plan to Have a Healthy Midday Meal
Working from home allows you to combine your family life with your work. This is especially true at meal times. You may find yourself sharing meal preparation with family members who are also home during the day. Enjoy the activity, taking time to relax and eat together.
It’s easy to forget about what’s going on at home when you’re at work. When you’re at home, though, the burden of balancing kids, family commitments and the job can get overwhelming. Staying committed to taking breaks, especially for a midday meal together, will go a long way towards less stress and better home/work environments.
4. Think Protein
Because of the hustle and bustle of working from home, you might not be eating enough protein. Proteins are the basic structural elements of your body. They are utilized to create muscles, tendons, organs and skin.
Protein is not just about the amount but also about quality. If you consume animal products such as meat, fish, eggs or dairy daily, you are most likely getting sufficient protein. However, if you disregard protein-rich foods, you are missing out on a variety of good food!
6. Break the Junk Food Habit
When you don’t have time to prepare a meal during the day, it’s easy to reach for some junk or processed foods. Junk food that is heavy in calories is quick and easy to eat, but if you rely on it too much, it could ruin your health.
An occasional indulgence is acceptable, but you should avoid consistently consuming junk food, especially when it comes at the expense of a balanced diet. It’s always a good idea not to buy junk food so it’s not readily available at home.
7. Stop the Snacks
It is extremely tempting to munch on literally anything while working from home. Unhealthy snacks are frequently pre-made and easy to consume. Pastries, biscuits, cakes, cookies and chips are a few examples. Since beginning to work from home, you’ve undoubtedly eaten them and far more frequently than you would at the office.
However, snacking will result in excess calories and eventually cause weight gain. It might lessen hunger at meal times or induce one to skip a meal entirely, increasing the risk of missing out on critical nutrients.
Essential Tips for Eating Healthy When You’re Working from Home
Being at home does not justify your health routine being neglected. Follow the tips below to help you rebuild or restart your healthy habits.
Have Set Mealtimes
Set a timetable for when you’ll eat during the day, and make sure you have all the ingredients on hand, just as you would with the rest of your day (getting up, working out, taking a shower, etc.).
Make a plan to eat two or three meals each day, and cut out snacks, as mentioned earlier. Eat meals at the same time every day if your schedule permits. Utilizing leftovers from last night’s dinner will enable you to save time and money on food.
Rule of thumb—treat eating as you would in the workplace.
Do a Little Meal Prep
It may be hard or impossible to find the time to prepare a meal while working. Refrain from the desire to only eat prepared foods because they may not contain the nutrients you need.
Make your own food so you can manage the ingredients and quantity for tastier and healthier results. Meal prep makes it easier to put together a meal when it’s time to eat. You merely need to reheat or put the pieces together.
This clever way of meal planning offers you a head start on the week and typically leads to quicker, healthier, stress-free eating.
Tip: The internet is filled with many meal prep recipes and ideas. Do check them out!
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
When you’re at home, it can be tempting to brew a pot of coffee and sip on it throughout the day, but doing so can have unfavorable impacts. Caffeine, especially in high doses, can cause unpleasant and even harmful adverse effects.
Although low-to-moderate caffeine content can boost alertness, higher quantities can cause headaches, anxiety, digestive difficulties and even lethargy. To avoid such issues, simply limit yourself to a particular amount of cups of coffee every day.
Avoid Purchasing Processed Foods
The amount of sugar, additives and preservatives in many processed foods can be detrimental to your health. Minimizing your consumption of these processed items is one of the most effective methods to improve your health and diet quality.
Those who consume a lot of sugar have a higher risk of being overweight, obese or becoming diabetic, as well as having dental decay.
When you don’t have any processed foods on hand, it’s much easier to keep your consumption under the limit. The next time you go shopping, try filling your cart with healthy, minimally processed foods. Meats, fish, whole dairy products, cheeses, vegetables, legumes, nuts and low sugar fruits are wonderful options.
Eat Until Satiated
When you have lunch at the office, you bring a specified quantity from home. You don’t have that amount of control at home. You can grab a snack bag or go back to the fridge for seconds, which could lead to undesirable outcomes.
When eating healthy meals, be sure to eat enough to be satiated. This will enable you to overcome the temptation to snack between meals.
Drinking water before meals, eating only until satiated and eating slowly can all help you avoid overeating.
Try to Avoid Working In or Near the Kitchen
Your desk should always be placed away from the kitchen. Ignore the kitchen as much as possible, which can be challenging working from home. You might be enticed to walk over and open it if your fridge is always in your line of sight.
If avoiding the kitchen will help keep you from snacking, bring lunch into your workspace, or set up a coffee maker on your desk to keep from frequently returning to the kitchen.
Everyone will agree, nutrition is important, especially if you want to maintain focus on your job, keep energy levels up and stay healthy while working remotely. If you are struggling with your ability to concentrate and stay motivated, try some of the suggestions we’ve mentioned and see if you notice improvement in your well being,
Perhaps keeping a food journal will encourage you to create a plan and stick to it. Happy Healthy Eating!
Meal prep is the method of preparing the main components of a dish (for example, salads, roasted vegetables, cooked meat, etc.) or even the full recipe ahead of time. This practice is especially popular among busy people because it can save a significant amount of time.
Although nothing replaces water to keep you hydrated, don’t hesitate to add decaffeinated tea, coconut water, lemon juice, milk and specialty waters that add electrolytes. We all enjoy variety. Just be careful to avoid sugary drinks.
Ultra-processed foods usually taste delicious and are affordable. However, they frequently include additives like trans fats, seed oils, sugars, high carbohydrates and chemicals that may be unhealthy if ingested in excess. These unhealthy foods may also be higher in calories due to excessive levels of added sugar, so keep them to a minimum.
Caffeine intake of up to 400 milligrams (mg) per day appears to be safe for most healthy persons. (The amount of caffeine in each type of coffee varies, but an 8-ounce cup typically has 95 mg.)