June 14, 2021
Working from home has a lot of perks: a short commute, relaxed dress code, and no brown bag lunches. But maintaining a healthy diet can be a challenge when you have 24/7 access to your snack cabinet and more options for delivery and takeout than ever before. Resisting the urge to constantly order out and splurge on junk food is an important part of eating healthy while working from home, but it’s not the only thing to keep an eye on.
If you want to improve your diet and keep fit while stuck in the house all day, here’s how to start:
Working from home means you have a full kitchen at your disposal for three meals each day. That opportunity can work for or against you. Without careful planning, it’s easy to pull processed foods out of the pantry or freezer for a quick meal. Take some time each weekend to plan out your meals for the week and go to the grocery store for the ingredients you’ll need. If you have a busy week, planning ahead with a pot of soup or pre-made meals that can easily be reheated will keep you healthy no matter how hectic your schedule is.
Search for a farmer’s market and other local purveyors near your home. Many of these shops are open for limited hours, and a work-from-home schedule may allow you to visit them when you otherwise wouldn’t. Embrace the challenge of using seasonal ingredients by looking up online recipes, and take the time to get to know the people responsible for your food.
It’s natural to reach for an easy mid-afternoon snack after a series of back-to-back calls. Resist the temptation to stock up on chips, sweets, and the packaged foods found in a typical office vending machine. You’re at home, which means crisp vegetables and an herb dip or fresh fruit are always an option if you plan ahead. Take full advantage of your kitchen to enjoy fresh and healthy snacks that don’t ruin your appetite for meals.
It’s important to stay on a healthy eating schedule while working from home. Start your day with breakfast, just as if you were heading into the office. Take a lunch break, and make sure you designate enough time to prepare a healthy dinner. These schedules can keep you from overeating a large meal once daily or grazing on foods with poor nutrition throughout the day.
It may be tempting to mark the end of a workday with a celebratory “happy hour” cocktail, but drinking alcohol is connected to a number of adverse health consequences. Resist the urge to indulge in too many cocktails, beer, or wine during the work week.
In addition to these great ideas, the usual guidance about eating well applies: maintain a balanced diet full of vegetables and keep it light on processed foods and saturated fats. With a little thought, working from home can transform the entire way you eat — for the better.