Healthy Eating Hacks For When You're Working At Home

With your kitchen transformed as your conference room, and the water cooler replaced with your refrigerator, eating healthy when you work from home can be a bit of a challenge. Whether you feel compelled to grab a cookie or Danish every time you warm up your coffee, or the thought of last night's leftover pizza is calling to you during a Zoom call, the foods you enjoy eating are more readily available — and can be your waistline's worst enemy — when your home is also your office.

Working from home gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility. From what you wear to when you work out and shower, you're in control. But controlling your diet when you control where and when you work is equally important to your success, and snacking, weight gain, and poor eating habits don't have to be a hazard of the job or the location. It just takes a little forethought and planning.

So how do the pros eat healthily and stay productive when their home is also their workplace?

First and foremost, you need to keep a daily routine. While a schedule can be flexible, routines become habit. Wilma MacDonald, a nutritional therapist who has worked from home for some time, told HuffPost that mindless snacking is the biggest mistake she sees newbie remote workers make. 

Tips for eating healthy when you work from home

The solution: Just like you plan the rest of your work day, plan when and what you will eat. It will take away the guesswork and you will spend less time standing in front of an open refrigerator contemplating the various options it might contain. Additionally, while the freedom to eat whatever you want for lunch during the work week can be a blessing, for some people, that freedom can be overwhelming. Instead, try to meal prep. It doesn't need to be fancy, but having food ready when you're ready to eat saves both time as well as the temptation to overeat (via Cleveland Clinic).

Drinking water can also help curb phantom food craving, as sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Keeping a bottle of water near your desk or a sticky note on your monitor to remind you to stay hydrated is a habit longtime freelancers swear by (via US News). However, try and avoid the bottomless cup of coffee. Caffeine in moderation is great, but too much can give you the jitters, a headache, and lead to dehydration (via American Migraine Foundation). You should also avoid sugary drinks like soda and fruit juices. These beverages may give you an immediate rush, but that rush will be followed by an immediate crash.

Skip the junk food aisle at the super market

Another hack that longtime work from home professionals swear by: not making the kitchen your office. You've heard the phrase out of sight, out of mind, right? Well, if the refrigerator is constantly in your line of vision, it will be a nonstop temptation. Experts recommend setting up shop away from the dining area altogether if you are able to, and instead, have a schedule of when you visit the kitchen during the workday to avoid her siren call.

And while you might be working from home, your pantry shouldn't look like a vending machine. Pay attention to what you are buying at the grocery store. Stock your refrigerator and cabinets with fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurts, and granola. But just because a food is healthy, doesn't mean you should be eating it in limitless quantities. Be mindful of your portions (via Wide Open Eats).  

What if you're on double duty: working from home and taking care of the kids? How often have the kiddos asked for the trusted Goldfish resulting in the one for you, two for me ratio? Lucille Whiting, founder of jewelry brand Sophia Alexander, knows this juggle too well, and shared her strategy with HuffPost. Whiting's solution is to plan her mealtime at the same time her children eat, and to avoid the temptation of sharing in their desserts and rewards, she buys or makes just enough for her kids to enjoy.