6 Rules to Stop Overeating When You Work From Home

Working from home seems like the perfect arrangement: you get to keep your job and your salary, but you don’t have to bother with business-casual dress, commuting, packing your lunch or any of the other hassles that come with an office-based career.

The only problem is that once you get into your new work-from-home position, you might find it’s not all as perfect as you envisioned it to be. For many telecommuters, one of the most challenging things to get used to is having snacks at your fingertips round-the-clock. It can be tempting to know your favorite bites are just a few steps away.

Fortunately, there are ways to stave off mindless snacking and stick to the healthy eating schedule you were on at your 9-to-5. The following are six ways to do it.

1. Drink Water All Day

You’ve probably heard this before — and, maybe, you stuck to a water-drinking regimen when you had a desk and a nearby water cooler. Once you start working from home, it’s imperative that you maintain your hydration schedule so that you’re never dehydrated.

Dehydration is one of the main reasons why you’re prone to feeling hungry. Your brain sometimes confuses your body’s signals, making you think you’re hungry when, in fact, you just need some water. So, when you get an unexpected hunger pang while working from home, drink a glass of water and see if your hunger goes away within 15 to 20 minutes. If it doesn’t, then you know you’re craving food and not a beverage.

2. Don’t Skip Breakfast

When you worked in an office, you may have gotten into the habit of grabbing a to-go bite in the morning or buying something on the way in. At home, though, you’re skipping the meal altogether — why bother with breakfast when you can just get straight to work?

There’s a reason why breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, though — it has so many benefits to you and your health. One of the major benefits is that it helps control your cravings for snacks later on. Without breakfast, you’ll start craving bites to eat here and there, which can add up to even more calories than the breakfast you skipped. Try eating a high-protein meal first thing in the morning and see how much more full and satisfied you feel.

3. Take Breaks, But Not Snack Breaks

When you were in the office, you might’ve taken a walk around the office floor, chatted with a colleague or gone for a cup of coffee or tea when you need a break.

Once you’re working from home, you don’t have those built-in breaks surrounding you. It is a good idea to break your gaze from your computer for a few minutes throughout the day to get up and walk around. But walking back and forth to the kitchen isn’t going to serve you well in the long run, and many telecommuters end up making every break a snack break because there’s not much else to do.

To avoid this habit, start penciling in breaks and planning an activity you can do during that time. Perhaps you want to spend a few minutes making your bed or throwing a load of laundry into the machine. You might want to go for a walk or do a workout DVD. Do something active with the break time you’re given, and you’ll find you won’t even miss those snacks — you didn’t even need them in the first place!

4. Schedule a Lunch, Too

Without lunch, what will you be? The answer is, of course, hungry. And, if you’re hungry and surrounded by snacks, what do you think you’ll do? Yep, that’s right — you’ll just eat those instead.

So, to once again prevent yourself from overdoing it in the snack department, give yourself time to leave your desk and eat a nice, balanced lunch at home. If you don’t have enough time to stop working, prepare a lunch and then eat it, take time each night or once a week to make healthy meals for yourself in advance. That way, there are no excuses: you can easily eat healthy because you have pre-prepped food ready to go.

5. Practice Portion Control

Your workday doesn’t have to be entirely snack-free to prevent you from over-eating, but you do have to snack mindfully. An easy way to do so is to measure out what snack you want to eat in a small bowl or plate and bring only that amount of food with you to your desk. No more carrying the full-sized bag to your workspace: most will mindlessly graze all day long without realizing just how many snacks they’ve eaten until the bag is empty.

6. Brush Up

Finally, there’s one resource you have at home that you probably didn’t have at the office: your toothbrush. After every meal you eat at home, brush your teeth for a clean-tasting mouth and one without any lingering flavor of the delicious meal you just ate.

Without those tastes hanging around, you’ll be less likely to crave more food to eat. Plus, if you do find yourself in the mood for a snack that you don’t necessarily need to eat, a minty mouth will mean your snack won’t taste as delicious. A quick brush after your breakfast and lunch break might be all it takes to stave off snacking and work healthily from home for good.

Which of the above tips do you think will help you reduce your snack cravings? Let us know in the comments section below. While you’re here, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, so you never miss another work-from-home tip that’ll help you succeed in your domestic digs.


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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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