The lockdown has changed the way most of us structure our days. Most of us no longer have a set schedule and a routine to stick to - wake up, have a shower, eat breakfast, go to work, have lunch at the same time every day, head home, eat dinner at the same time. Even for those able to work from home, the way your days progress is different.
Without the need (or ability) to head out every day, time feels different and trying to find good work life balance is difficult. When all you have to do to get ready for work is get out of bed, then your normal habits can go out the window.
Maintaining a healthy diet while on lockdown can be difficult. Being at home, it’s all too easy to check what’s in the fridge, have a snack between Zoom meetings or reward yourself with a treat when you finish a task. It’s also all too easy to forget to eat. Both overeating and undereating can cause havoc on the waistline as well as your energy levels and productivity.
How do you maintain a healthy diet when in lockdown?
Avoid the Kitchen
One of the major problems that faces anyone trying to eat healthily while working from home is proximity to the kitchen. This isn’t a problem when you’re in an office - even if you can head into a kitchen, unless you’re stealing someone else's lunch you probably won’t find too much in the way of snacks. This isn’t the case when you’re working from home.
When you’re working from home, your fridge, and all the tasty morsels that can be found within are always within easy reach, making snacking or grazing all too easy.
Make a Routine
Creating a routine is an excellent way not only to give structure to your day, but to help you maintain healthy habits. Sometimes it’s all too easy to skip meals, either because you’re wrapped up in a project or just aren’t that hungry. Skipping the occasional meal isn’t too bad, but regularly skipping meals can cause real problems.
Skipping a meal can cause you to gorge when you finally do eat, and regularly skipping meals can play havoc with your metabolism. By setting a time every day to have lunch you not only force yourself to take a break from work and give a familiar structure to your work day, you also have a reminder that you should sit down and eat.
Separate Work and Food
You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t eat at your desk while at work. Not only does eating at your desk get crumbs in your keyboard, it can also cause you to overeat due to a lack of satiation. The distraction of trying to work and eat at the same time can cause a meal to be less satisfying, leading you to feel less full. By taking a break not only can you step away from your (home) office to relax and enjoy your lunch, you will feel more satisfied and prepared to face the rest of your day.
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Being able to take the time to make your own lunch every day may be an enjoyable idea for some people, but for others the lack of convenience may feel like a burden. Why take 15 minutes out of your lunch break to make food when ordering in or eating junk is so much more efficient?
When buying groceries and stocking your fridge, avoiding buying junk food is the easiest way to help you eat healthily while you’re working from home. Fruit, vegetables and low GI snacks offer you a range of eating and snacking options without having to worry about excess sugar, trans fats and carbs.
Drink Water, Not Caffeine
Staying well hydrated is essential for any healthy diet. Dehydration can cause headaches and fatigue, so having a bottle of water on and is always a good idea. On the other hand, having ready access to coffee may seem like a good idea, chugging down multiple cups a day for the buzz. Excess caffeine consumption can have similar effects to dehydration, with headaches, fatigue possible as a result of too much coffee, as well as the possibility of digestive issues and low level anxiety.
Everyone likes to snack a little during the day, and when done in moderation, snacking is a healthy habit, but there are some things you should do to ensure you don’t overindulge. Eating snacks direct from the packet can be a definite problem - it’s all too easy to overindulge when the source of your snacking is close to hand. It’s also all too easy to justify overindulgence - when there are only a few biscuits, nuts or what have you left in the pack, you might as well eat them rather than leave them for later.
Needless to say, healthy snacks, like nuts, fruit or yoghurt are preferable to anything high carb or full of sugar like biscuits, sweets or potato chips. By portioning out snacks in advance, or portioning before you bring them to the area in which you will eat them ensures that you won’t be able to easily keep munching away. Scheduling snack breaks, such as morning tea and afternoon tea can also help you avoid too much snacking.
Get Professional Advice
Before changing your diet, or if you’re looking for advice on losing weight, it’s best to seek advice from a medical professional. To find a doctor and book an appointment, the easiest way is to use MyHealth1st.