Working from home with constant access to food can lead to some serious over-eating, especially if you are stressed or bored. Here are some proven ways to resist mindless munching.
Decode your Hunger Pangs
Hunger pangs are there to remind you when it is time to refuel, but they also can be triggered by boredom or stress. Tune into your cravings and decode them.
Ask yourself these questions.
• Is this desire to eat physical hunger or emotional hunger?
• Is my stomach rumbling? Is my energy low? Am I craving healthy food? It might be physical hunger. Time to eat a healthy meal.
• Am I stressed, bored or tired? Am I craving sugary, fatty or salty snacks? This is probably emotional hunger. Take a breather. Do a crossword puzzle. Go for a walk. Drink some water.
Detox your Kitchen
Do not try to control with will power that which you can control with environment. Will power is like a piggy bank filled with a limited supply of pennies. Steeling yourself against cravings will empty it fast, and it may be a struggle to resist. Better to keep temptation at bay by not having it in your environment. If you don’t have junk food in the cupboard, you won’t eat it.
Get the sugary, salty, fatty, ‘easy to overindulge’ snacks out. Get the healthy foods in. Out with the bad, in with the good. You can further resist the temptation of the junk food aisle by ordering your groceries online and picking them up.
Stick to a Schedule
Without a schedule, you are more likely to eat mindlessly throughout the day. If you wait until you are ravished, it is more likely you could overindulge.
A scheduling example: breakfast at 9 a.m., snack at 11 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. Space your main meals four to five hours apart and have a small snack, as needed, between meals. Set a cell phone reminder until you establish a routine.
Make sure those meals and snacks are nourishing. Like Michael Pollen, the author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” prescribed in his book, “Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.”
Think Before You Drink
Keep a water bottle nearby and sip on it throughout the day. The neurons in the brain that trigger hunger and thirst are near each other. Sometimes hunger pangs can be a signal that you are dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water will short-circuit that false alarm.
Keep the sugary and so called “diet” drinks out of your kitchen. Sugar will sabotage your energy and waistline. Artificial sweeteners have been shown to throw off natural appetite regulation.
Restrict your alcohol consumption to one to two drinks in the evening. If you find that you are self-medicating with alcohol, explore other coping options: a yoga flow, a brisk walk or a chat with a friend. Seek help if you are losing control of your alcohol habit.
Add a Touch of Grace
Occasionally enjoy your favorite treats. Just indulge mindfully rather than spontaneously. Savor every bite and move on with your day.