It can be a struggle to live, work and eat within the same four walls. Susan George, MS, RD, LD, dietitian and clinical nutrition manager with ProMedica, offers five tips to help you eat and live healthier while working from home.
1. Have a dedicated workspace.
Dedicate a space as your work-from-home space, whether it’s an office, a closet nook or a sunroom. Avoid making your dedicated space in the kitchen – having cabinets full of snacks in view all day can be tempting, even to those with the strongest wills.
Then, make your work-from-home space a food-free zone. This will help you avoid mindless snacking while staring at the computer screen and help promote some much-needed breaks throughout your day.
2. Plan and prep your meals and snacks.
Just like you would do if you were going into the office, plan what you’re going to eat for the day and when, and then prep it ahead of time. If you plan to have a salad for lunch, chop up the lettuce and toppings the night before or in the morning before your workday starts. If you plan to eat leftovers from the night before, plate them up so you can just throw it in the microwave when lunchtime comes.
“Create a schedule of when you plan to eat breakfast, lunch and snacks,” Ms. George shares. “This will help you avoid mindless snacking and overeating during your workday.”
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Aim to drink six to eight glasses of water every day. “Always have a glass or bottle of water available at your workstation,” Ms. George shares. Try to drink a glass of water before grabbing a snack if you get hungry throughout the day.
Additionally, avoid or limit caffeine. You shouldn’t exceed more than two cups of coffee a day. If you are needing a warm drink, green tea is a great option as it has less caffeine than coffee and promotes good digestive health.
4. Fill your grocery list and your plate with the right foods.
Fuel your body with the right food and nutrients to perform to the best of your abilities in both your work and personal life. Limit the number of processed or junk foods on your grocery list. Meals should include a lean protein such as chicken, fish, lentils or tofu, fruits and/or vegetables and a whole grain such as brown rice or quinoa.
“Fill your grocery list with seasonally fresh produce. If you can, go plant-based for a couple of meals a week. Studies continue to show the benefits of a plant-based diet which can be nutrient dense, packed with fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals,” shares Ms. George. “Instead of processed snacks, try fresh snacks like apples and low-fat peanut butter, plain Greek yogurt and fresh berries, or baby carrots and hummus.”
5. Take breaks.
Get up and walk around the house, stand during a meeting, go sit in the sun, do a few stretches or pet your dog.
“Working from home offers unique benefits that you may not have when working in the office,” Ms. George shares. “You may not want to get up and stretch in the middle of a crowded office, but nothing is stopping you from getting up and moving your body for a few minutes when working from home!”
Food can positively or negatively impact your workday. Focus on consistently eating a balanced diet to become a healthier, happier and more productive you.