Healthy Habits While Working from Home
The pandemic has brought upon an endless amount of changes for our population. One of which is the increased practice of working from home. Sure, not having to commute each day sounds like a positive gain and those who traveled for work no longer have to eat on-the-go or in restaurants all the time.
However, working from home has also created new challenges and a disruption of many people’s established healthy habits. For one, working remotely requires one to be in front of a computer screen with fewer scheduled breaks. This can lead to less physical activity and some mindless munching while working. Below are some healthy habits you can implement while working from home to help create a balanced schedule for you and your health!
Establish a Routine Eating Schedule
Planning out the times you are going to break for food can help prevent mindless munching or grabbing something convenient (i.e. a handful of potato chips). Working through meal times without a break may also lead to overeating later on in the day. Although work days can be unpredictable, do your best to be consistent when you have breakfast, lunch, snacks and fluids.
Strategize your Meals
Think ahead! When planning what to eat, consider what type of fruit and/or vegetables you want to include in your meal first, and then select a source of protein and good fats. These foods will help support your metabolism and immune system. Incorporate a smaller portion of carbs as a “bonus” rather than a main component of your meal. For example, a few whole grain crackers or pretzels.
Miss the salad bar at your work cafeteria? Purchase a few salad kits. Combine ingredients into a bowl the night before (minus the dressing) and keep a variety of protein sources on hand (i.e. hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken, tuna fish, etc.) You could even consider keeping a small crudités tray in the fridge for convenience.
Keep an 8-12 oz cup of water next to your computer all day and create reminders for yourself to stay hydrated. By only keeping a small cup or bottle of water by your desk you will be forced to get up to refill it several times throughout the day.
Differentiate between Emotional and Physical Hunger
Try to be more mindful of what your body is or isn’t telling you. Physical hunger includes actual physical symptoms like a growling stomach. Try to address your emotional hunger or stress safely with ways that don’t involve eating such as stretching, going for a walk or putting on relaxing music.