With offices and workspaces closed around the globe—as a result of the current pandemic—many are home-bound and finding it difficult to concentrate around the technological, social, and food distractions surrounding them. Although snacking and take-outs may seem appealing, it’s important to remember to maintain one’s wellbeing through healthy eating and following a regular diet, even amongst the temptations. Josh Peters from Hybrid MMA & Fitness in Central, Hong Kong, shares seven wellness tips to stay healthy and avoid overeating whilst working from home.
One of the easiest (and most important ones) is to drink more water! Being dehydrated can lead to changes in your energy levels and mood, which can alter eating habits. We often confuse thirst for hunger, so try drinking a big glass of water before every meal. Not only will this help fill you up more, but it will also aid in digestion. Try adding in a few slices of fresh fruit to your water for a healthy boost of flavour.
Ask yourself: are you eating out of boredom?
Sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate between hunger and boredom, so be sure to ask yourself whether you really are hungry when you reach out for snacks. People are habitual by nature and often stick to their routine. Being at home for most of the day means you will most likely be moving less and expending less energy, so your body will naturally auto-regulate your eating habits towards this. As this is the case, trust your hunger signals more and eat when you are hungry—but don’t eat just because that’s your normal time. Figure out a routine that works for you. If you’re not hungry in the morning you could try intermittent fasting and eating more later in the day.
Get up and move
We often eat when we are stressed, so try and look for other ways to deal with this. Moving your body and engaging in some regular exercise (check out the Strong At Home Workout Guide for great ways to take your mind off work, and release endorphins to make you feel better.
Out of sight, out of mind
It’s less tempting to pick up a box of chocolates if it’s not available in front of you. Do your best to control your environment, and remove temptation by simply keeping less (or no) unhealthy foods out of your home. Store your food in your kitchen tactically to help control your hunger. Simply keeping things like biscuits and crisps in a cupboard where you don’t see them all the time is a way to resist the temptation. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having a treat once in a while—it’s all about finding the balance.
Follow an eating routine
Do you find yourself checking the fridge more often than usual? Many people tend to eat when they are bored, when they are watching TV, or while they are working, and this is more pronounced when we have constant access to food (like working from home). Set a time to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner and stick to it. Schedule in snack times if that’s what you need. When it does get to mealtime, try to be present, chew your food slowly, savour each mouthful, and eat mindfully to fully enjoy and digest the meals.
Turn off electronics
We are bombarded every day with distractions, and it’s easy for that to creep into our eating time; sending messages during breakfast, scrolling through social media during lunch, catching up on news during dinner—it all sounds quite familiar. Although these things can help you take your mind off of stressful situations, this combination can very easily lead to overeating. Try turning off the TV, putting away your phone, and simply concentrate on enjoying every mouthful of your meal.
Stock your kitchen strategically
Keeping your kitchen stocked up with healthy, nutrient-dense, whole foods can help improve your overall health, reduce the habit of stress-eating highly palatable processed foods, and therefore maintain proper immune function. Keeping your fridge stocked with whole foods like fruits and vegetables will mean you’re likely to fill up on these types of ingredients. Canned vegetables and tuna are safe options. Purchase freezer-friendly items like frozen fresh foods, as well as oats, rice, and potatoes. Try having a protein powder available at home if you struggle with getting enough protein in your diet, or if you’re not wanting to cook.
What it comes down to
With the current situation and uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, people are having to adapt their work and home routines. This can be very stressful in itself as most of it is new and new skills are required. The bottom line is to eat as healthy as possible, try to give yourself balance mentally and physically, and to be as active as possible. This is a time where maintaining your health is a top priority.
If you are interested in learning more about improving your health and fitness, Hybrid is available for online/virtual consultations as well as in-person consultations subject to government regulations during COVID19. Contact them at [email protected].