For many of us, working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has become the new normal.
And while this can be hugely beneficial in a number of ways, easier access to our fridge and pantry can be a potential downside for our healthy eating habits.
Working from home means we’re probably more likely to be moving less than we normally would, burning less energy, so having a serious case of the munchies as well as easy access to less nutritional snacks can derail even the most dedicated healthy eater.
Delia Trinca, Senior Health Coach for Remedy Healthcare, says working from home has its challenges, including boredom, so it’s important to maintain a healthy diet during this time for several reasons.
“A healthy diet is always important to keep us well and prevent chronic diseases,” Delia says. “The key to a healthy diet is including a variety of fruits, veggies, wholegrains and lean protein to make sure our body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs. Eating well will also help us maintain our energy levels and overall mood.”
There’s a wide range of foods we can snack on that will both satisfy our hunger and meet nutritional needs.
Fruit, veggie sticks with hummus or tzatziki, small handfuls of unsalted nuts and seeds, plain yoghurt with fresh or frozen fruit are all great options for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon hunger buster.
Delia also recommends wholegrain biscuits with sliced tomato and avocado, or with a nut butter and banana. Even plain popcorn is a tasty and healthy alternative!
Maintaining a routine
Delia says keeping healthy eating habits while working from home comes down to finding a routine and sticking to it.
It’s a good idea to do some pre-preparation of meals and snacks on the weekends or at the start of the day and to not eat at your workstation.
“Eat main meals at the same time each day and don’t skip any meals,” she says. “It’s also important to stop what you are doing and take a break from tasks when eating meals.
“With the time saved not having to commute in the morning, start a good breakfast routine – try rolled oats, fruit and yoghurt or wholegrain toast with poached/boiled eggs and tomato and spinach.”
She also recommends a focus on having balanced meals – fill your plate with lots of vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned), wholegrains and protein such as fish, legumes, chicken and eggs. This will help to keep you full and satisfied.
It’s also really important to make sure you keep hydrated during the day. Make your home office environment the same as your work one and keep a jug or bottle of water near you so you can quench your thirst easily.
And last but definitely not least, Delia recommends trying to avoid stocking chips, biscuits and chocolate in your pantry and have those healthy options readily available.