April 16, 2020

Let’s Make Working & Eating from Home a Success

During a time when we are being asked to stay in our homes and work remotely, the lack of structure can lead to changes in our mental health and relationships with food. Many people now find themselves constantly snacking, or skipping meals due to not having a regulated schedule. This post was created to cover some tips and tricks to help you find structure and balance during your time at home.

Step #1: Plan Ahead
Take some time each evening to look at your calendar for the next day. If you have an agenda or white board in your house, jot down meeting times and create designated “working hours,” for the day. Next write out when you will be waking up, going to bed, and when your meals/snacks will be. Set aside about 30 minutes for your 3 main meals of the day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Also identify time for a snack to help break up your afternoon, and keep your metabolism and energy high. The one rule here is to not skip meals! Skipping meals can cause you to overeat later in the day, to make up for the lack of nutrition.

Step #2: Find Time for Movement
After looking at your plan for the day – find a time where you can do a virtual workout class, do some yoga, or even just take a walk down the block. Creating space and time for movement, can help to clear your head and maintain your weight.

Step #3: Practice Mindful/Intuitive Eating
When you are about to eat a meal or snack, make sure distractions are limited. These distractions include TV, phones, computers, video games, or taking work calls. Being distracted and not paying attention to your meal/snack, takes away from the food experience, and can lead to overeating later on. The bottom line is if we are not present with what is going into our mouths, we do not process the information as well.

Step #4: Create an Ongoing “To-Do” List
A to-do list can be helpful to refer to when you get bored, or find yourself aimlessly going to the kitchen. You can refer to the list to find a distraction, and to fill time gaps in your day. During this time of transition and social isolation, most businesses are closed, so it is a great opportunity to set some new goals for yourself. It can be anything, from becoming more confident in the kitchen or increasing your flexibility through yoga.

This list can also include projects and activities! Here are some ideas:

  • Organizing your photos into photo books
  • Cleaning out your closet and donating clothes to charity
  • Organizing your pantry
  • Washing and cleaning out your car
  • Knitting
  • Learning to bake!
  • Ordering a cookbook and testing out some new recipes

As a Registered Dietitian, the best words of advice I can provide are to plan, take breaks, and be mindful around food. This is a time to try new things, but to also continue to maintain structure in your life. Keeping a schedule, and staying preoccupied can help prevent mindless eating and keep you grounded through this time of change!