Life has taken a 360-degree turn from the time we entered the covid-19 pandemic. Working from home has become a permanent way of working for many companies now. Amongst the many challenges of working from home, healthy eating and eating at the right time has become a constant struggle for employees. When home becomes office it can become quite comfortable. Unlike at the office, you are free to graze all day. You would either see yourself munching unnecessary snacks all the time or at times not eating anything for hours at a stretch. This can cause serious nutritional imbalance in your body and lead to unwanted weight gain. Guess what, it can halt your productivity.
So here are some easy hacks or tips to help you eat healthy, while working from home:
1. Set a routine and plan your meals ahead
Just like you plan out the rest of the day (waking up, shower, meetings etc), plan out what and when you are going to eat throughout the day. This should include your main meals as well as your mid-snacks. Over the weekend, make a food planner which will allow you to pre- plan your grocery and make sure you buy everything (healthy) that you will need through the week. Pre-prep your meals as planned during the weekdays, as you would do when going physically to work.
2. Set two to three hourly meal alarms
The fact is that we forget to look at the watch while we are engrossed in our meetings or work. Putting these alarms will ensure we remind ourselves to take necessary breaks and eat, drink or relax at the correct intervals.
3. Don’t skip your scheduled breaks
Once the alarm goes off, do not ignore it. Push yourself to pause your work unless necessary and take required breaks. Missing your scheduled break will make sure you end up munching later or eat more than required in your next meal.
4. Plan healthy snacks and keep them accessible
Usually as a mid-snack, people have just a cup of tea or coffee and some biscuits or fried snacks on the side. Refrain from such snacks and plan healthier options like roasted unsalted nuts (almonds, makhana, walnuts), Roasted chickpeas, dry apricots, vegetable sticks with hummus or peanut butter dip etc. It is important to keep them accessible around your working station or table, so that you don’t have to waste time to even go and get them from the kitchen.
5. Portion out your meals
Refrain from eating straight from your bags or containers. This will never allow you to eat within portion sizes. Whether it’s your main meal (lunch) or your mid snack, pull out a portion size and keep it in a box, so that you avoid eating too much at a time.
6. When you eat focus on eating
Just because you don’t have a work colleague to go and have lunch with, it does not mean you will continue working while having your lunch. Being distracted during a meal can lead to over-eating and decreased satiety from the meal. Ensure you take a break from work to sit down at a table to enjoy your lunch and relax for a few minutes. This will provide complete contentment from your food and will prepare you for the rest of the day’s work.
7. Focus on nourishing foods and meet up your protein requirements
Balanced and nutritious food will make you more productive. It keeps you fuller for long and helps keep you focused. Understanding what you eat will impact your mood and energy levels. Focus on good protein, fiber, healthy fats, fruits and veggies. Especially make sure you meet your daily protein requirements (1gm/kg body weight). To do so, make sure you plan at least one good protein source in all your meals of the day. Good protein sources include lean meat (chicken, fish, and eggs), milk and its products, soya and its products, nuts, seeds, pulses and legumes.
8. Stay well-hydrated
It’s essential to have enough water throughout the day, because not only does it increase the body’s energy levels but also relieves fatigue. It also regulates body temperature, treats constipation, detoxifies the body and helps maintain body weight. Whenever you feel like grabbing something to eat, take a minute and remind yourself if you have had enough water. Drink a glass of water and wait for 15 minutes. If your body is dehydrated, your hunger pangs will vanish. Make sure you keep a one liter water bottle at your desk and keep sipping in between. Refill the bottle during your breaks and ensure you consume at least 2-3 liters of water through the day.