Overeating may not sound like a serious problem but it is. More people have been forced to work from home because of the Coronavirus pandemic. As a result, more people are prone to overindulging in food without even noticing it! This is what has led us to explore some of the best practices that will help you address the problem of “How to prevent overeating when working from home””. These recommended tips are some of the proven methods that will help you to control your overindulgence in food.
Ensuring that your eating patterns are on track can be a bit of a challenge when you are working from home. Easy access to your kitchen and refrigerator will make you tempted to take a bite here and there more frequently. Some of the best ways to prevent burnout include creating an eating schedule, ensuring all your meals are nutritionally balanced and avoiding having your home office near or in the kitchen.
All these will also help you to avoid overeating and inevitably, gaining unwanted weight.
Many people normally find solace in food when they are anxious and stressed. With the current pandemic challenges that are currently distorting the normal way of life, many companies have been forced to adopt and rely on work-from-home programs. People found in these programs are almost always stressed because this is a rather new concept to them.
The isolation, solitude, and having to work alone away from their colleagues is a bit stressful. One way they deal with this? Food, snacks, and everything edible that they can lay their hands on! This is what results in poor eating habits and overeating.
Our post shares just some of the tried and tested techniques that you should leverage to develop the right eating habits and overcome your overindulgence in food! These tips will enable you to keep your eating behavior in check when working from home. It will help you be more productive and healthier.
Quick Signs That May Show You Are Overeating
- There is no satisfying you. There is a tendency to keep on eating and eating.
- You pay little attention to whether you are eating healthy and just eat anything and everything!
- You feel fatigued after your meal
- There is a disturbing feeling of discomfort around your tummy
- You are more prone to acid reflux
- You have gained weight that you had not anticipated at all
- You may find yourself needing to take a break during your meal because you eat large quantities
Tips to Prevent Overeating When Working from Home
Create An Eating Schedule
Creating and sticking to an eating routine is important. The same way you would come up with a work schedule is equally the same way you are advised to come up with one for your food. You should religiously stick to this eating schedule if you are serious about cultivating good eating habits.
Have enough time to work in between meals. Spacing your meals about three hours apart helps you to develop good digestion. Another vital benefit of using a schedule is that you will never forget a meal. You can even set an alarm for mealtimes! A schedule will reduce the chances that you will eat everything and anything. You will be able to eat right.
Your Kitchen and Refrigerator Should Be Stocked with Healthy Foods
One of the easiest ways of drifting towards the problem of overeating is to stock your kitchen and refrigerator with the wrong types of food. You may find a lot of people stocking up with ice-cream, biscuits, sweets and other unhealthy fast foods such as crisps and sodas. Seeing a freezer full of these items is very common especially for those working from home.
Since these foods are ready-made and of course, sweet. Many people will always find them to be good substitutes for real food. They are also very convenient, time-saving and do not need a lot of effort to prepare. However, we are advised to cut down on these and stock up with healthier foods such as fruits, milk, vegetables, whole grains and white meat.
Identify And Control Your Triggers
Just what do we mean by our triggers. These are the conditions, situations, or factors that will push you towards the likelihood that you will indulge in overeating. Now everyone has his or her own types of triggers that they face to compel them to start overeating. For others, it is boredom. May people have admitted that they tend to overeat or ‘eat the wrong thing’ and engage in poor eating habits whenever they feel bored.
The solution to such a situation is simple. Avoid finding yourself in situations where you are lonely and bored. Others blame extreme stress for their overeating habits. Personally, I fall here as well! I have always found myself eating unhealthily and a lot more quantity whenever I feel a bit stressed. The trick here is to avoid extremely stressful situations. If it is a situation that cannot be avoided such as a job, apply best practices that will help you manage workplace stress!
Understand the Difference Between Physical and Emotional Hunger
Physical hunger is the normal and usual hunger that we should all feel. It is the feeling that you have whenever your body is craving for something to eat. We normally eat to satisfy physical hunger. On the other hand, emotional hunger is the nagging feeling to eat that we get as a result of feeling stressed from situations that we may be facing in our personal lives!
Emotional hunger will make you to engage in emotional eating where you eat food to make yourself feel better. You derive good feelings and emotions through eating. For example, your stress levels go all the way down by gobbling down on large quantities of junk food such as fries and sodas. If this is the case, then you are definitely overeating and will need to tone it down.
Have Your Home Office as Far Away from The Kitchen as Possible
One of the worst mistakes you can make is to put your home office either in the kitchen or away from it. What this does is it essentially tempts you to eat. Who can bear to resist the sweet aroma of their favorite meat or the enticing look of the box of cookies on the kitchen table? If this was a test, I would flop terribly!
This is one of the poorest decisions you can ever make if you want to avoid overeating. This is because a kitchen home office means that you have all your food, all your snacks and all your drinks at arm’s length.
Food can also be distracting and an office in the kitchen is bound to be quite distracting. Other family members will also be in the kitchen preparing meals and snacks. The temptation to chat and eat with them is real. The best way to avoid this is to placing your home office far from your kitchen. If not possible, see our article on how to properly set up and manage a home office in the kitchen here.
Drink Plenty of Water and The Right Fluids
This is one of those tricks that I was advised by a nutritionist and have used it and over again. But why does it work so well? Drinking plenty of water and other related ‘right’ fluids such as fresh juice will help you to suppress a lot of hunger.
Taking in a lot of water or fresh juice will give your stomach a feeling that you are full. Water especially will take a lot of your stomach space and give you the illusion that you are ‘full’. The feeling of extreme huger will be greatly diminished. The feeling of fullness will make you feel that you should eat less or if you are eating, you should stop eating.
Therefore, we are advised to gulp a glass of water 30 minutes before we start eating. This will put us in a position where we will eat less than we would originally have!
Move Around More Often
This where a good working schedule comes into play. When you are crafting your work plan, always create enough time for breaks in between your work sessions. You may wonder how this will help in reducing the chances that you will overeat. Well, putting enough time for breaks will mean that you can take walks, go for a jog with your dog and many other such activities. These will reduce the time and chances that you will start an overeating spree!
You will find that the occasional breaks leave just a little time for having a quick snack or your favorite meal. This will help you to proactively make a choice to reduce the amount of time that you may be exposed to food and are thus less prone to overeat!
Gauge Your Body to Feel When You’re Full
The easiest way to know if you are overeating is to have a quick feel of your body and even your stomach. If you feel like you are satisfied and need to slow it down or avoid eating altogether, do just that-stop eating!
One quick way of establishing if you overate is that you have an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach. You may feel something like pain or a ‘stinging’ feeling in your tummy or in your abdomen. You may even feel like you are not able to sit up straight. That is a sure sign that you have overeaten and need to stop eating immediately.
Also, feeling fatigue is another clear sign that you need to step away from that plate. I am pretty sure that most people have experienced an unexplainable feeling of fatigue when you have eaten a lot of food-more than you ought to have had! You get that feeling like you are lazy and cannot be able to do much. This is not a healthy place to be and you are prone to acidity and feeling bloated.
Portion Out Your Meals
Measuring out what you want to eat is a great trick to reducing overeating! Get yourself a small plate or a tiny bowl. As is common practice, most people just take an entire bag of sacks, a whole pot of meat or even a whole container of their favorite ice-cream and happily whisk it away with them to their workspace!
Not apportioning your meals will have you looking like a whale in no time! Having a bowl, plate or cup where you can be carrying the food or snack that you wish to eat will work wonders. If you feel like you are not satisfied, you can carry your bowl with you and put a little more for yourself.
This is better compared to taking the entire bag of junk food or an entire pot of food and starting to ‘deal’ with it bit by bit until you have exhausted it!
In conclusion, when working from home, food can be a huge source of comfort. This is normal especially when we find ourselves getting stressed by the unfamiliar setting of working remotely! However, by practicing good eating habits, we will eat right and healthy and stay productive.
Most if not all of us have experienced the uncomfortable, and at times painful, feeling after you’ve eaten more than your stomach can handle. Overeating isn’t a healthy habit and it can lead to some serious health issues. Overeating can lead to weight gain and blood sugar issues — both of which are linked to chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and more. It can also make you feel just plain gross, and that can affect your self-esteem also.
There’s no reason to beat yourself up if it happens to you — but if you’re overeating more than you’d like, use the above tips to curb this bad habit!