One of the advantages of working from home is that you have access to a kitchen full of, hopefully, healthy food so that you can fuel your body the right way.
One of the disadvantages of working from home is that you have access to a kitchen full of, potentially, unhealthy food which means you can easily fill your body up with foods that might not be quite so healthy.
Add to that the fact that working from home can mean long hours sat behind a laptop without moving about too much and there’s a fair chance that you could end up eating way more calories than your body is burning, and that’s likely to have an impact on the waistline.
So I’ve put together 5 very simple tips to help you avoid the muffin top and keep you energised at the same time.
DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST
If you’re a breakfast eater you probably won’t skip it anyway, but if you were used to grabbing breakfast or brunch on the go, now is a great opportunity to get into the habit of eating something filling and healthy to start the day.
Whilst I don’t necessarily agree with the ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ philosophy I do think starting the day off with some protein can help to stabilise our blood sugars, keep us feeling fuller longer and give us the energy (even the brain needs energy remember!) that we need for the day.
Think eggs, Greek yoghurt, green veggies, porridge oats, nut butters, chicken or turkey, cheeses and cut meats. If you’re used to being a croissant, pastries or breakfast cereals type of guy (gal), the idea of eating chicken for breakfast might fill you with a sense of disgust, but in reality if you like chicken for dinner there’s no reason why you wouldn’t like it for breakfast.
Often we have simply told ourselves that breakfast has to look and taste a certain way but it’s only a belief. And the beauty of beliefs? They’re not real and they can be changed, yay!
DON’T MULTI-TASK YOUR SNACKS
In fact, don’t multitask any meals. When we eat and do something else at the same time we essentially don’t register what we’ve eaten and the likelihood is we’ll eat more than we need.
Take time to move away from your desk and eat mindfully. That means focusing only on the food you’re eating, enjoying the taste and the whole eating experience, savouring the moment and being aware of what you’re doing.
If you’ve ever grabbed a sharing size bag of crisps with the intention of just having a few while watching TV just to find you’ve demolished the whole bag without realising, you’ve experienced multi-snasking (multi-tasking plus snacking in case you weren’t paying full attention) and it’s the prime suspect when it comes to over-eating.
The same applies with other meals too. Try to avoid eating and working at the same time. That means moving away from the desk to have your lunch. If you’re working from home there’s no excuse not to really.
STOCK UP ON HEALTHY SNACKS
Having a cupboard full of chocolate biscuits, chocolate bars, crisps and sweets is likely to make it difficult to avoid temptation.
Having plenty of healthy snacks around like fruit, nuts, rice cakes, hard boiled eggs, veggie sticks and hummus means you’ll be less likely to reach for the sweet stuff. Plus, if you’ve followed tip one and had a good, protein based breakfast you shouldn’t need to reach for the sweet snacks since you won’t be experiencing those pesky blood sugar drops.
Sometime we can find ourselves eating because we think we’re hungry when actually we’re just thirsty.
Keep a water bottle next to you while you’re working and sip it regularly throughout the day. Try to aim for between 1.5 and 3 litres a day.
Not only will staying hydrated help with hunger pangs but it will also help to avoid headaches and concentration lapses. It’s suggested that a 2% drop in hydration can lead to cognitive problems such as reduced concentration, memory and reasoning.
And don’t forget all those trips to the loo will help you burn off some calories too 😊
KEEP IT LEAN AND GREEN
During lockdown you’re possibly not getting as much physical exercise as you usually do. This means you probably need fewer carbohydrates since you won’t be using as much energy. Starchy carbohydrates like pasta, rice and potatoes are less necessary when we’re more sedentary and fats and proteins are a better source of fuel.
You’ll also want to make sure that you get plenty of green veg in for fibre. Fibre will also help keep you feeling full and keep your constitution as it should be since you may be sitting on your butt a bit more than usual.
Prepare low carb lunches such as omelettes, chicken or tuna salad, soups or protein smoothies. Try heating up leftover curries, chilli or Bolognese sauces and bulk them up with veggies such as avocados, broccoli, spinach, kale or green beans. ,
Obviously if you’re adding some more intense exercise into your day you’ll need to increase the carbs, but if you’re daily exercise equates to your one permissible walk you won’t need as many starchy carbs as you might think.
With everything that’s going on right now, it’s not a good time to get too hung up on rigid, restrictive diets. There are far more important things to worry about, but making some healthier choices won’t just give you more energy and keep your weight at bay, it could also help develop positive feelings of wellbeing, both mentally and physically.