When your daily commute is 20 steps between your bedroom and home office, the biggest threats to your weight and health are lack of movement and the temptations of a fully-stocked kitchen and fridge. Here are tips to nip those Pac-Man-like habits in the bud when you don't even need to leave the house.
Image by Casey Fleser.
I've been working from home, co-working spaces and coffee shops for the last year and a half. The perils of not moving enough and temptations to graze hurt me just as much as any desk job-haver. My advantage is that I've built in a workout routine (which itself takes time to develop). I also take walks, but in order to push myself to do them, I think of them as necessary breaks to recharge my creativity or help me solve problems. That leaves the issue of snacking, so here's what's been helpful to help curb the need to mindlessly snack:
- Be aware of why you're tempted to eat: Usually, when you dig into why you want to eat, you're hungry, obviously, or you just want to snack for the sake of snacking. More often than not, you're just bored or trying to avoid work. When you realise this, it might be time to re-assess your priorities.
- Keep bite-sized snacks out of the house: Even if I portioned out a big bag of, say, popcorn (my weakness), I'd still find myself sneaking in a bite here and there — and before you know it, the whole "portion" is gone! But if you don't have anything in the house to nibble on to begin with, you can't really snack. So keep snacks out of the house, or at the very least, completely out of sight. If you can't see it, you're less likely to be tempted to snack.
- Win the fight at the grocery store: The above point means that the real "fight" happens at the store. First, don't shop while you're hungry. Just don't do it. Second, ask yourself every time you're tempted to pick up some sort of snack food: "Is this something that will make me happy to eat, without regrets, 30 minutes from now?" and "Will I actually enjoy this today?" The second question helps me because sometimes I try to convince myself to buy, even though I won't eat it until way later when I've already lost interest by then.
- Eat "buffer" foods if you have to snack: "Buffer" foods are snacks that satisfy a craving and let you still feel good about your choices. An example is a banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter, or two squares of chocolate. So if you have to snack, at least do it in a smarter way.
Check the link below (full disclosure, it's my personal website) for more details.