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MCGC Nutrition

6 simple tips to avoid overeating while working from home !

Marie-Claire Gahel-Calouche

Do you ever find yourself struggling to stay away from the fridge while working at home? We all know the temptation! No boss is looking over your shoulder, no co-workers to socialize with, and no set break times. When you’re working in the same place that you eat, it’s easy to get carried away and get lost in your work and unintentionally overeat as a result. Overeating is a common problem for people who work from home. But don’t worry – I’m here to help! Here are 6 tips for avoiding overeating while you’re working from home. 

TIP #1 : Start your day with a great breakfast to keep hunger at bay.

Your morning meal is the perfect way to start your day. In addition, it will help with hunger and cravings! The key is ensuring to have lots of nutrient-dense and filling foods such as whole grains, healthy sources of protein, fruit & veggies and, of course, healthy fats. From whole-grain bread, steel-cut oats, chia seeds, crushed walnuts, your favourite berries, Greek yogurt as some examples of some great ingredients to add to your morning meals that can help you feel fuller longer so you don’t feel hungry again soon after eating them! This will also provide you with a great energy boost to start your day, and prevent cravings for other treats that might be lying around that house! 

Need an example of a quick breakfast? Try my Greek yogurt smoothie!

TIP #2: Shut your phone, computer, and other electronics when on a break!

Between the DMs, emergency meetings, the “get back to me asap” emails, and last-minute video calls, distractions from work can cause disruptions at mealtimes and changes in snacking behavior. And yes, this includes forgetting your social media feeds!  Instead, be mindful when you are eating, and don’t let work interfere with moments you need to set aside for yourself. In the end, this will encourage a positive relationship with foods, prevent mindless eating, and a general appreciation and awareness of the food as you eat it. After all, part of the joy of eating is enjoying it full consciousness rather than speed eating and feeling like you need more to feel full. So set your phone to Do Not Disturb on your breaks and enjoy your meal before diving back into your productive workday.

TIP #3: Plan your meals ahead of time, whether working at home or the office.

Often, a reason for “overdoing” it (and even forgetting or skipping) the mealtime is because of a combo of lack of preparation and a busy schedule. Start by planning your meals ahead of time. This includes easy options that you can be broken down in snack format to nibble on between meetings or making lunches out of your supper meal for quick heat up at lunchtime. The bonus is that prepared meals also mean portioned, which helps to avoid overeating. 

TIP #4: Keep healthy snack options at hand’s reach! 

What does a healthy snack look like? Forget the easy chocolate bar, protein bar, granola bar, or any other snack treat hiding in your pantry! These are all easy sources of simple carbohydrates, some sodium-laden, and other undesirable ingredients (like hydrogenated fat sources) that won’t keep you going for very long. Instead of going for the salty or sugary snacks, you can encourage great snacks that will keep you going longer, make you feel fuller longer (helping with cravings), and keep you going until supper time. Think of whole foods such as fruits, yogurt, low-fat cheese, cut vegetables, and unsalted nuts and seeds.  These snacks are energy-dense and will slowly release their energy which means better food to fuel a productive workday. 

TIP #5: Keep healthy drink options nearby.

Many specialty drinks also carry high amounts of sugar, sodium, and undesirable nutrients. Consider that these choices can also impact health and be a source of unwanted nutrients and calories. Staying hydrated is important, and most healthy individuals should aim for approximately 2L of fluid per day. Healthy options include plain water, water flavored with fruit (like berries and lemon), or fresh herbs and unsweetened herbal teas. A good trick is to keep a water bottle near your work area to remember to drink between meetings to encourage you to get enough and meet your daily needs.

TIP #6: Make and keep a grocery list 

This gets back to my tip on meal planning. Just as being at home encourages temptation when unprepared, not knowing what to buy while shopping for groceries is an issue if we don’t know what the meals for the week will be like! If you already have a go-to plan of easy meals, then a shopping list will save you time every time you shop and might even save you money. Examples of easy foods to keep at all times are no sodium added cans of lentils, chickpeas, that can be added as an easy protein source to precut lettuce and vegetables or frozen vegetables, that can be steemed and put next to yesterdays roasted chicken, or in a “one-pot” stew then can be portioned into single meals servings or no sodium added can of diced tomatoes to make an easy tomato sauce that can be frozen for future use. If you make a grocery list, you will always have options that will satisfy you and that are healthy too!

Need more examples of easy recipes? Visit our recipe page!

Conclusion :

The six steps we’ve outlined in this blog post will give you a simple, straightforward way to avoid overeating while working from home. Start by choosing one strategy outlined and trying it out for a while before adding another. Get comfortable with this change and let it be the motivator to make more positive changes. Which one to choose? Select the one that seems to easiest and make a plan to work on it. This isn’t race, the only pace is what you are comfortable with. Remember it take a few tries to get a new habit in place, but every time you practice something new, it becomes easier and you give yourself an extra shot at making it a long-term positive habit.  Whether you choose to tackle mindless snacking when at home or shutting down your phone and enjoying your lunch as time for yourself, these 6 simple steps will help you get on track! 

Need one on one help? If these tips aren’t enough and you need more advice, book a free exploration call with our Registered Dietitian to find a service that’s right for you.

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