Working from home has it's many challenges. The most common include stress eating, eating out of boredom or mindlessly snacking, and cooking more from home. Here are some tips you can follow to start enjoying balanced meals and snacks without stressing.
Tip 1: Follow a schedule
Following a schedule not only helps promote productivity, but it also establishes regular meal and snack times. Eating consistent meal sand snacks throughout the day helps keep energy levels stable, promotes more mindful mealtimes, and halts mindless grazing throughout the day. Below is an example of a schedule that might work well for certain individuals:
- 8 am - Wake up and get ready for the day
- 8:30 am - Breakfast
- 9 am - Work
- 10:30 am - 10 minute walk or stretch break + AM snack
- 12 pm - Lunch
- 3:30 pm - 10 minute walk or stretch break + PM snack
- 5:30 pm - Workout
- 7 pm - Dinner
- 8:30 pm - Friend/Family Time
- 10 pm - Read or journal
- 11 pm - Lights out
Tip 2: Prioritize Sleep
Staying up all night scrolling through social media? Even if you don't have to wake up early anymore, getting quality sleep should be a top priority to help promote healthy eating habits. Why? Our hunger and satiety are influenced by our quality of sleep. In other words, the less sleep we get, the hungrier we feel throughout the day, and the stronger our cravings. Practicing good sleep habits will not only help improve energy levels but also prevent mindless snacking. Try some of the following habits to help you get high-quality sleep...
- Go to bed at the same time every night
- Keep your bedroom dark and cool
- Limit evening screen time
- Avoid daily naps longer than 30 minutes
- Use a fan or white noise machine
- Stop drinking caffeine 6-8 hours before bed
- Avoid excess alcohol and large meals before bed
Tip 3: Keep Meals Simple
Simple, no-fuss meals are a useful strategy to decrease stress in the kitchen- especially when groceries are limited. Prepare simple meals that are quick, easy, and familiar to make cooking a less daunting task. This will help you choose nourishing, home-cooked meals over takeout or say, an entire bag of chips for dinner.
Check out Part 2 for Tips # 4 & 5, as well as a downloadable PDF guide to making good food choices while working from home.
Need some ideas or inspiration?
- Check out our shelf-stable recipe videos at uclahealth.org/sports-performance/stay-at-home
- Connect with Paige on Instagram: @paigefooteforward
- Connect with Paige via email: [email protected]