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Tips for effective Eating From Home

More of us are working from home than ever before, and for many of us, an unfamiliar routine sees our good habits get lost and bad ones sneak in – especially surrounding what we eat during the day!  

With more access to the fridge than ever before and stress levels collectively at an all-time high, a lot of us may be turning to comfort eating – but now is a more important time than ever to put your health priorities to the top of the list!

So step away from the fridge and read Nutritionist Will’s top tips when working and eating from home:

  • Create good habits. Place healthy snacks and fruit by the kettle so that you are tempted to pick on healthy snacks whilst waiting for the kettle to boil. But let’s be realistic, sometimes fruit just doesn’t cut it as a snack, particularly the mid-afternoon slog when you’ve still got to push on to ‘home time’ and need a decent snack as a pick me up. This is when preparation is key, you can spend a couple of minutes the night before ‘building your own’ graze pot. Just put your own preferred mix of unsalted nuts, seeds, dried fruit, popcorn, and fresh fruit e.g. berries into a ramekin dish and cover ready for that afternoon snack.
  • Keep the morning routine. Yes, you can get away without showering or putting on your usual work attire when WFH, but don’t let all your habits slip. It is important to still start your working day having eaten some breakfast. 
  • Missing breakfast may increase your feeling of hunger later in the day and mean you end up reaching for those naughty snacks. Breakfast is also thought to increase mental performance, concentration, and mood.
  • Don’t open the fridge. Unless you know exactly what you want to get from the fridge before you open the door DO NOT open the door! Once the door is open you can easily find yourself reaching for random items to snack on and you won’t even remember what you ate once it is the end of the day!
  • Hydrate. Most of us do a good job of hydrating at work because we have a routine, there may be a water cooler or you might just want a reason to get up to stretch your legs. This routine needs to continue at home, perhaps have a bottle of water on the table by you and take regular sips throughout the day.
  • Be smart. Can you cook extra portions of food in the evening that you can then enjoy for lunch at home the next day? You don’t have to eat exactly the same meal, you can mix up how this is served the following day, for example, you may choose to only cook double the protein element of your evening meal (salmon fillet, chicken, etc) and then serve this the following day with salad and a tortilla wrap, or with a pouch grain mix, etc and some roasted veg. This is an opportunity to use your imagination and no-one will complain if you stink out of the office!
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Many people are concerned about gaining weight whilst in lockdown and there a few tips to follow that also apply under the normal regime. Firstly it is important to establish (and maintain!) a routine.  Set regular meal times and stick with these to regulate your appetite and avoid less healthy snacking behaviours. Planning your meals in advance (which is even more important when shopping trips should be kept to a minimum) means that you will know what you are cooking and eating each day, which again helps avoid temptation for less healthy meals and snacks. Try and keep busy, this may be more challenging whilst in lockdown, but keeping a routine and having a plan each day gives you focus and a sense of purpose and keeps boredom (along with its associated snacking) at bay. Finally, keep active. This is not only important for our physical health and wellbeing but really important for our mental health. Make sure you follow the social distancing rules, but you can get outside once a day for a walk, run, or bike ride. But don’t forget there is plenty you can do at home too- if you need some motivation take a look at what ‘group’ exercise classes are available online (no-one is too old to join in with Joe Wicks’ morning PE classes!).