When you’re home for an extended period of time, you probably go to the kitchen at least once an hour, if not more. It’s so easy to snack all day if you’re not careful and proactive about not doing it. If you work from home, you might notice you’re putting on some extra weight. How do you prevent that? How do you avoid snacking all day when you’re right there at home where all the snacks are?
Stick To a Meal Plan
At the beginning of your workweek, sit down and plan out your meals. Come up with healthy, filling breakfast ideas, easy lunch ideas, and balanced dinner ideas. Pull out the recipes and make sure your grocery shopping trip includes everything you’re going to need for those meals. When you have the meals planned out already, you won’t need to snack while you’re deciding what to eat.
You should also come up with a schedule for mealtime. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time each day so your body is used to filling up at those times. As long as the meals are balanced and filling, your body will know when to expect food and you won’t start to feel hungry between meals.
Answer the Question, “Am I Hungry?”
When your brain says, “Go get a snack!” ask yourself, “Am I actually hungry?” More often than not, the answer will probably be, “No!” Sometimes people just get bored or uninterested in what they’re doing. Instead of finding something else to do, they turn to food. This is an unhealthy response, but it’s quite common among Americans. If you can answer the question honestly, you’ll find you’re snacking less and eating better meals at the appropriate times.
Have Plenty of Nutrient-Dense Snacks in the House
It’s understandable that sometimes you’ll ask yourself, “Am I actually hungry?” and the answer will be “Yes!” In that case, you’ll want to have plenty of nutrient-dense snacks in your kitchen. A hardboiled egg could satisfy your hunger until lunchtime. Carrot and celery sticks with hummus could provide you with the nutrition you need until you hit mealtime. A handful of nuts could satisfy that craving in a way that won’t promote an unhealthy snack habit. Be sure you include these things when you go grocery shopping each week.
Drink Plenty of Water
One of your best defenses against a snack attack is staying hydrated. Studies show that snacking goes on the rise when someone is dehydrated. When you mistake the feelings of thirst for the feelings of hunger, you’re more likely to overeat.
If you find water boring or tasteless, you can add flavor drops or a squeeze of lemon to it. Keep water bottles or a filtered pitcher full of water in your refrigerator. Keep a water bottle at your desk. The easier access you have to it, the more likely you will be to drink as much as you need each day.
Some experts recommend that each day you get at least half an ounce to an ounce of water per pound that you weigh. If your weight sits at 150 pounds, you would then need somewhere between 75 and 100 ounces of water every day.
Prepare Your Meals Ahead of Time
After you’ve planned your meals and made a mealtime schedule, you might be able to prepare a lot of those meals ahead of time. When you already have the meals in the fridge, all put together and waiting for you to eat them, you won’t panic yourself into snacking when your body feels hungry. There are plenty of lunch preparation containers that make it easy, regardless of what you choose to eat each day.
Hide Junk Food (or Just Don’t Buy It)
If you have easy access to junk food, you’re more likely to eat it. If you work from home, you might ask someone in your family to hide the junk food. You’d waste too much time looking for it, so as someone who’s smart, you probably wouldn’t engage in that. When work is done and your family is sitting down to watch a movie, that family member can go get the snacks.
You could also just not purchase the junk food to begin with. Now might be a great time for you to make some changes in the way you eat. When planning meals and your grocery shopping list, keep the junk food off of it. Instead of potato chips, buy a bag of potatoes. Instead of candy, buy a fresh pineapple or some sweet berries. Rather than ice cream, purchase a low-sugar yogurt product. There are a lot of healthier options, so keeping the junk out of your home can be easy if you take some time to plan.
Go Outside During Your Breaks
One reason people tend to snack a lot while working from home is easy access to the kitchen. When you take a break and get up to move around, you might be inclined to gravitate toward the kitchen. Instead, consciously take yourself outside. Go enjoy some fresh air. Take a walk down to the corner and back. Go for a quick bike ride or take your four wheeler up the hill for 20 minutes. There are a lot of active things you can do outside that promote better health, will get your creative juices flowing and don’t include food.
Create an Office at the Other End of the House
If your home office is in a corner of the kitchen, it may be difficult and distracting when your brain starts telling you to grab a snack. Even if your office is adjacent to the kitchen, this could become a problem. When determining the best location for your home office, you might try a room at the opposite end of the house from the kitchen. You may be less inclined to wander into the kitchen because it’s too far away, or you might get distracted with something else along the way. In either case, there’s less of a chance you’ll find yourself snacking in the kitchen during the work day if your office doesn’t overlap with the kitchen.
Set Goals That Include Your Eating Habits
Whether goal-setting is your thing or not, it might come in handy if you’re trying not to snack while working from home. Sit down and really think about what you’re trying to accomplish. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to feel better overall? Do you want to be hungry at mealtime? Understanding your “why” is one of the best motivating factors when trying to achieve a goal, so these are important questions to answer.
After you have your goal set, make some steps that will help you get there. One of those steps is going to be “Stop unhealthy snacking during the day and between meals.” When you get to that point during the work day, repeat some positive self-talk or some affirmations that will help you stay on track.
Is There Anything Else That Works for You?
As you consider these ideas on how to avoid snacking when working from home, think about what you’ve done in the past. Is there anything else that has worked for you? Maybe there’s a step that leads you in the right direction, but you need to tweak it just a little bit. Being proactive is an important factor, and you can do this!