With so many of us working from home in the coming weeks, I wanted to share some ideas for how to NOT eat your whole kitchen. I’ve worked from home for years now, and it was initially a big struggle for me. I mean, I was several feet from my kitchen, so it was easy to grab a snack or another protein ball from the fridge throughout the day.
Over the years, however, I’ve learned, with lots of trial and error, what works for me and keeps me on track with my healthy eating habits. Here are some tips and tricks to help keep you mindful of your eats (and treats) while working from home.
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Working From Home? How Not to Eat Your Whole Kitchen
Set meal (and snack) times – If you find yourself frequently wandering into the kitchen, looking for something to eat, set specific meal and snack times for yourself. That way, you can stick to a schedule and make yourself well-balanced and well-spaced out meals, which will ultimately keep you satisfied much longer than 1 million tiny snacks.
Eat protein with EVERY meal – Protein is so, so, so important for a variety of reasons, and it’s important to make sure you’re fueling your body properly throughout the day. Tip: Take your protein goal for the day and divide it among the number of meals you plan to eat. For example: 100g / 4 meals = 25g protein per meal. Protein will help keep your blood sugar levels steady, which prevents dips in energy and unnecessary cravings.
Take a break outside – Often times, I found myself reaching into the kitchen cabinets because I was bored or stressed. Instead of eating another cookie or handful of chips, I laced up my sneakers and took a walk around the block. Often times, I was only gone for 10 minutes, but it made all the difference! Even simply walking around the house can make you feel better.
Track macros – Macros are a great tool for making you more aware of your food choices. Learn more and get started with this FREE macro tracking guide!
Stay hydrated – Keep a water bottle or glass on your desk to remind yourself to sip throughout the day. Being dehydrated can make you feel lethargic, which can lead to cravings for sugar and fast energy. Try to consume half your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example: 140 pounds = 70 ounces of water.
Snack on veggies – My go to trick: I cook up a big sheet pan of roasted veggies at the beginning of the week and store them in the fridge, so I always have a nutritious and relatively low-calorie snack on-hand. I’ll reheat them in my air fryer or microwave and top with peanut sauce, buffalo sauce, tahini, spicy mustard, grated Parmesan, and more, depending on my mood. It’s tough to over-eat vegetables, and, hey, they’re good for you!
Create a “busy” list – I find that my mindless snacking is almost always related to stress or boredom, so I made a list of things to keep me busy when I’m experiencing cravings (more on this below). When I’m stressed, I’ll take a walk (as mentioned above), foam roll or stretch, leave a WhatsApp message for a friend, snuggle my dog, or take 3 deep breaths. When I’m bored, I’ll organize a junk drawer, messy cabinet, etc. or fold laundry, empty the dishwasher… anything to keep my hands busy. The key is making a list ahead of time (hang it on your fridge) to reference when you’re raiding the kitchen for snacks!
Ask yourself whether you are truly hungry or experiencing a craving – This realization was a game-changer for me. Hunger is typically something that comes on slowly. If you just recently ate a meal, it should take hours for you to feel hungry again. Cravings come on much more quickly as they’re often related to emotions (i.e. stress, boredom, sadness) or habits (you always eat chocolate after dinner). If you can stop and identify what you’re feeling, it’s much easier to make an “informed” decision about whether you are truly hungry or just experiencing a craving.
I hope this post helped. If you have tactics for not eating the whole kitchen when working from home, please share below. I know that I’m always looking for new idea and know others are too!