10 Tips for Eating Healthy While Working From Home
Have you noticed gaining weight while working from home? Or do you feel like you’re not eating properly when doing all of your work-related tasks remotely? Even eating can become a problem for a remote employee, so it’s high time to finally change your eating habits. Proper habits will not only keep you healthy but also keep you productive throughout the workweek. Here are 10 tips for eating healthy while working from home:
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1. Don’t work in the kitchen
If you’ve wondered why you’re gaining weight while working from home, the culprit might just be the kitchen where you’re working. Although it’s very convenient to simply walk a few steps to get some food in the refrigerator or pantry, it won’t do any favors for your health especially if you’re on a diet.
A quick trip to the kitchen may also force you to pick whatever that’s available, including junk foods. Most people try to cope with stress by binge eating. If you’re guilty of constantly stress eating, then one way to control your food take is to stay away from the kitchen.
Avoid placing your laptop or computer in the kitchen or dining room and finish all of your work-related tasks in your actual workspace. Whether it be the living room, bedroom, or an area you’ve specifically assigned to be your workspace, make sure this area isn’t easily accessible to the kitchen. You can even work on the patio or balcony if you feel you have limited space inside the house.
2. Create a meal and snack plan
Creating a meal and snack plan will significantly help you with your work from home eating habits and prevent you from grabbing anything in the fridge even if you’re not hungry. Much like creating a plan on what personal or work tasks to finish for the day, do the same for your food.
If you’re working regular hours, schedule your lunch around 12 PM and snacks at 4 PM. Create the same plan when you’re working at night or if you have a regular shifting work from home schedule. Remember that the eat healthy plan doesn’t just involve the time you’re going to eat but also the specific dishes or snacks you’ll be munching on.
With a weekly (or even monthly) meal and snack plan, you won’t only have the perfect meal variety but also a healthier one. To help you pick out what dishes you’ll be cooking or purchasing, you can always get recommendations from family or friends. They can even cook your favorite dishes. With a delicious and healthy meal plan, you won’t have to eat the same foods every single day, and most importantly, you’ll always feel satisfied.
3. Avoid junk foods
Planning on staying healthy while working from home? Get rid of junk foods. It’s true that these foods are tempting and oftentimes delicious, but eating too much can only cause long-term health problems. Numerous studies have already shown the dangers of eating junk foods, with high intake linking it to obesity and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, and cancer.
Remember that junk foods aren’t just limited to corn chips and sugary drinks. Pizzas, french fries, white bread, most fruit juices, fried food, cookies, and cakes are also considered junk foods. Although difficult, eating healthy comes with sacrificing these decadent and sumptuous delights.
But if you do insist on eating them, try setting around 2 or 3 days per month where you can indulge in junk food. Just make sure to exercise and switch to a healthy diet after having your junk food day or what others call a “cheat day”. Also, remember that your cheat day shouldn’t comprise of eating a week worth of junk foods. Eat in moderation or else you'll have to face the consequences of taking a trip to the hospital.
4. Incorporate more protein into your diet
Sticking to what kind of food you’ll be eating instead of junk food, switch to a diet high in protein to keep you energized throughout the day. Some of these foods include eggs, almonds, chicken breast, oatmeal, Greek yogurt, milk, tuna, lean beef, and broccoli. With these foods, you’ll never go hungry.
Aside from giving you energy, protein also helps you lose weight and increase muscle mass and strength. Although you won’t gain any muscles while eating protein foods during work, you will see the effects once you start exercising regularly. Remember that protein and exercise always go together, and the more you exercise the more you’ll feel energized every day even on days when you’re very stressed from work.
If you’re wondering what dishes you can cook with the foods that were previously mentioned, there are a lot. From simple dishes such as omelets and chicken breast sandwiches to more challenging ones like beef stew and tuna paella (whole grain rice instead of long-grain or white rice), there are literally hundreds of dishes you make with healthy ingredients. Alternatively, if your cooking skills are quite limited you can always ask someone to cook for you or you can always purchase healthy dishes from your favorite restaurants online.
5. Limit ordering food online
Speaking of ordering from your favorite restaurants through various online delivery services, limit these online purchases for cost and health reasons. Even if you order from restaurants offering discounts, it’s still more expensive compared to purchasing all of the ingredients from the supermarket and doing the cooking yourself. Additionally, your costs will only double or triple if you order for the whole family; costs that don’t just cover the food but also the delivery.
Another factor that you should also consider when ordering online is the ingredients being used to make the food you ordered. Although some ingredients are prominent such as meat and vegetables, you can never really check the other ingredients, particularly the seasonings and condiments, that go into your food. If it’s too salty or too sweet, you can be assured it's never a good thing for your overall nutrition.
Ordering online isn’t all that bad though as it can be a great option during occasions where your family or friends are coming over and you are pressed for time as well as the energy to whip out some sumptuous dishes. Plus, you may also get some discounts when ordering online for occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays, to name a few.
6. Choose healthier snacks
Of course, it’s not just full meals you’ll be eating throughout the day but some snacks as well. Even if you plan on going on a diet, you shouldn’t starve yourself as there numerous healthy snacks that you can prepare to keep you satisfied until your next meal. Chips, pastries, fried food, and other junk foods are definitely out of the equation.
You’ll never go wrong eating fruits either in the morning or afternoon, and even pairing them with your breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Kiwis, apples, bananas, and figs are some fruits rich in potassium and fiber. Apples, in particular, contain a cancer prevention agent named "quercetin" and also shields you from heart illness and other diseases. Mangoes, pineapples, melon, and grapes are also great options but eat them in moderation since they contain high levels of sugar.
Similar to what you would eat for your meals, you can also incorporate eggs, chicken, and lean beef in your snack time. With these ingredients together with vegetables and low-fat mayonnaise or other condiments, you can make some light yet delicious sandwiches. Other snack options that you can try include mixed nuts, Greek yogurt with mixed berries, kale chips, red bell pepper with guacamole, and dark chocolate with almonds. Who needs junk foods when you can try out so many delicious snacks filled with healthy nutrition?
7. Drink plenty of water
If you’ve always had a water bottle beside your desk but only drink it once eat snacks or full meals, then it’s to change that habit and drink as often as possible. Staying hydrated throughout your shift helps you stay away from headaches and fatigue, resulting in better productivity.
Health experts recommend around 64 ounces or eight cups of water for men and 92 ounces or 11.5 cups for women. The amount of water is increased for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Drinking often will result in more frequent urination but it really doesn’t matter since it’s only water and its benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.
Have a water bottle in your workspace so you won’t have to walk to the kitchen every now and then. You can always invest in a good water bottle which you can also use to drink coffee and other hot drinks. Remember that there is no need to invest in expensive water bottles as there bottles that you can purchase for less than $5.
8. Don’t work while eating
There is a reason why eating food has its own schedule while people are working. Eating while working is a bad habit that only results in overeating. Aside from overeating, it also prevents you from getting up and moving around which is needed to get the heart pumping and blood flowing. Even if you’re trying to have a balanced diet, eating in your work from home office multiple times a week will only increase your chances of getting heart disease.
Although you’re mostly remote working, you may become too busy with work, thus leaving food unattended for hours even if it’s only sitting at your desk. Studies have shown that desks are 400 times dirtier than the toilet, and although your food isn’t rotten there is a high chance that it has already been in contact with bacteria especially if your desk hasn’t been cleaned for quite some time. So, your only solution here is to clean your desk regularly and eat all of your meals in the dining room or kitchen.
9. Get inspired with cooking videos
Have you always been entertained with cooking videos even if you’re not a skilled cook? Then use these videos as an inspiration to finally make some dishes that are both healthy and appetizing. You’ll never run out of content when it comes to these cooking videos as there dozens, if not hundreds of talented cooks who are regularly posting healthy eats recipes online. Following or subscribing to these cooks will give you a week’s worth of dishes you can prepare. If some dishes are too challenging (unavailable ingredients or a complex cooking process), skip them and go for simpler ones in the meantime.
By regularly watching cooking tutorials and implementing these tutorials to your actual dishes, it won’t be long before you gain some food preparation skills. These skills may not help you land a job at a restaurant, but it gives you the confidence to cook for yourself and your family. Just make sure to budget your time and money properly so that you won’t be wasting on ingredients as well as using too much time to cook instead of focusing on your remote job.
10. Eat together with family or friends
Since you’re mostly working from home these days, why not rekindle those days where everyone is sitting at the table and enjoying a good meal? Aside from your current remote work setup, your parents may also be working from home and your siblings may also be attending online classes. If everyone (or mostly everyone) is in the house, then there’s no reason for you not to come together to enjoy a healthy work lunch or dinner.
Enjoying a meal with the family is an underrated tip when it comes to eating healthy. If you’re the one who’s on a strict diet, you can inform them of the benefits of having a well-balanced, junk-free diet. In contrast, they can also give you advice if you’re the one who isn’t eating right. Since communication between family members is always honest, discussions about the right eating habits can be a regular feature at the dining table and can definitely help everyone in the long run.
You may not know it, but your diet can determine how you’ll fare in your professional career. So, if you want to live a healthy life, the 10 tips above should be more than enough to help you eat better and eat smarter.