How to eat healthily when working from home

It’s all too easy while working from home to fall into a pattern of unhealthy eating.

Reaching for quick, convenient snacks, skipping lunch, and perhaps eating dinner later than usual can quickly become the norm, sending our usual balanced diet out the window.

AXA PPP healthcare physiologist, Jermain Izukanne shares his tips on how to keep eating as healthily as we can while home working.

Plan and prep

Get up at the same time you normally would in order to leave for work and use that commute time to plan and prepare healthy meals and snacks instead. That way, when you get busy you will have something ready and will be less tempted to skip lunch or snack on something unhealthy.

Try and stay away from convenience foods or ready meals which may contain high levels of unhealthy fats, salts and additives. If you make the majority of your meals from scratch, then it’ll be easier to keep on top of what you are eating and be more certain of getting the nutrients your body needs.

Preparing meals in advance will allow you more time to be productive and give you time to enjoy proper breaks away from your work too. 

Have a hearty breakfast

It is particularly important to start the day with a healthy breakfast full of protein and fibre. A good breakfast will not only provide essential nutrients to fuel our day but will help to keep us feeling full for longer so we are less likely to reach for the biscuit tin.

Examples of good breakfast choices are porridge oats, eggs, avocado, tofu and beans.

Why not try:

  • smashed avocado with eggs on toast
  • rolled oats topped with chia seeds, walnuts and blueberries
  • scrambled tofu on toast 

Are you really hungry or is it something else?

When you next crave a chocolate biscuit or a packet of crisps ask yourself if it could be your emotions rather than hunger that are driving you. We sometimes use unhealthy foods to fill an emotional gap rather than to refuel our bodies. Common triggers for ‘comfort eating’ are stress and boredom.

Try taking a break when you feel a craving or occupy yourself with work but if you’re still hungry then have one of your pre-prepared healthy snacks. A healthy snack will energise your body until it is time for your next meal.

Cravings may also be a result of dehydration so try drinking a tall glass of water, it might just do the trick!

Learn how keeping hydrated is essential for staying alert, short-term memory and concentration here.

Healthy snacks to nourish your body

If you feel yourself getting hungry between meals then aim for snacks to be nutritional. These could be a piece of fruit or veg, a handful of seeds or nuts or some yoghurt.

Homemade smoothies or juices are filling and an easy way to incorporate a range of different fruit and vegetables into your diet but try and choose vegetables alongside fruit as fruit juices can be high in sugar. Cucumber, carrots and celery are all good choices.

Schedule your breaks

Eating while working is called ‘mindless eating’, this is when we eat without paying attention to what or how much we are consuming. This way of snacking can lead to overeating so schedule breaks into your day and try and eat your snacks during the breaks instead.

Working from home can give us lots of benefits we wouldn’t otherwise have but if we do not have structure to our day then it may affect the way we eat. Structure and planning will support us to maintain a balanced diet which not only will help us to work productively but also nourish our bodies and minds.

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AXA PPP healthcare

The more you know about your body and how you can look after it, the healthier you are – and the stronger and bolder you become. That’s why we never stop looking for ways to support your health. We want to give you the tools and knowledge you need to take care of yourself – so you’re ready to face whatever the world brings.

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