The on-going pandemic has forced many of us into our homes as we observe social distancing and local stay-at-home orders. We don’t need science or statistics to show us that staying and working at home can increase a person’s tendency to overeat. If you find yourself eating more than you normally would, you’re not alone.
We all tend to eat more when there is easy accessibility to food and when we’re stressed. And with stress levels being understandably high these days, overeating to cope can be expected.
If you clicked to read this post to find ways to avoid overeating while you work from home, you’ve landed on the right post.
In this post, we’ll talk about strategies you can use to avoid overeating during this period of partial lockdowns and self-isolation.
How to avoid overeating in the era of “stay at home” orders
Create a productive work schedule you can follow – While this is not obvious at first, creating a productive work schedule at home is a good way to avoid overeating. It’s easy to go over to the refrigerator to explore what is in there when you get bored with your work or if you don’t have a definite schedule.
Having a set schedule with intentional breaks in between to stretch, drink water or even just stare at the wall will help you focus on your work and keep you from overeating.
We shared how you can set a work-at-home schedule for yourself as you work from home in an earlier post.
Here are some additional tips.
- A productive day starts the night before. Go to bed at a comfortable time so you can wake up early to focus on your work goals.
- Once you wake up, take a shower and get dressed just like you would if you were going to your corporate office.
- Eat a protein-rich breakfast. Your body metabolizes protein at a slower rate and so you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Your body tends to feel hungry quicker if you eat a carb-rich breakfast.
- Make a list of tasks to complete for the day.
- Enter your home office/work area at a set time each day and then sit down to do your work.
- To be extra productive you can use the Pomodoro technique to keep you on task.
- Have a set lunch time. Get up from your desk during this time and go and enjoy your lunch!
- Keep heart-healthy snacks on hand to intentionally snack on should you feel hungry before your lunch break. A fruit or vegetable smoothie or plain low-fat yogurt can keep you filled up and curb cravings.
Preparing for your day ahead of time will help you set a productive tone for your day and keep you from overeating.
Get rid of distractions during your workday – When we’re distracted we tend to eat more. This is why it’s easy to go through half a container of ice cream while watching Netflix without realizing it!
If you get sucked into a YouTube or streaming television rabbit hole during your workday, it is easy to grab a snack and munch your way through that. Whatever you watched may have been great, but this could fuel a habit of overeating.
Limit how many times you distract yourself during the day and you could limit overeating.
Know your trigger foods and avoid them – Which food triggers you to want to eat more? Popcorn? Ice cream? Potato chips? Once you identify the foods that trigger you to eat more, you can choose to limit those items when you go grocery shopping.
Reduce your stress levels – It can be hard to stay calm these days. News of COVID-19 spreading rapidly around the world and people dying is hardly an environment where a person can stay calm.
Stress is associated with several other health conditions and affects your eating patterns. Some people undereat when they are stressed. Others eat more.
The key to both problems is to manage your stress levels during this time. It’s okay to step away from news outlets and social media if you need to control your stress.
Taking some time to exercise at home also reduces your stress levels. It has the added benefit of helping you stay fit during this time.
Replace sugary drinks with water – Remember how we mentioned earlier that carb-rich foods tend to make you hungry quicker? The same goes for drinks and juices that contain high amounts of sugar.
Replacing a sugary drink with water can curb that urge to overeat. Additionally, you will gain many benefits of drinking more water.
We hope these tips for avoiding overeating during this time were helpful for you.
We know that this is a stressful time for everyone across the world and we want to take this opportunity to say, you are doing better than you think. Keep up the great work. We’ll get through this together.