WFH (working from home ) or just being stuck at home, has become a reality for many of us for some time. For some, this change in routine and surroundings has come with the temptation to mindlessly snack and overeat, sometimes even unknowingly.
Overeating is so easy for us to do, especially if we haven’t a designated “office area” at home. The majority of us will be working near the kitchen, so the lure of food beckons to us much more readily and this is even more exasperated if stress is a factor to deal with.
Parents are also trying to provide their kids with a routine, keep them entertained and still carry out their usual daily tasks with work and home. It can all become quite an amount to juggle even for the most organised person in the world.
This added stress, change of structure and routine may well lead to you eating when you aren’t physically hungry, just to deal with it all.
But if hunger isn’t the issue, then food may not be the answer. It may just be a quick fix to give you a little emotional soothing. This isn't something to beat yourself up about, it happens to all of us.
However, it is a good idea to address these habits and cues, in order to be aware of them in future moving forward.
Today I will share with you some tips you can use to prevent mindless overeating at home.
(1 ) Try and maintain a regular and consistent meal structure and in turn, your body regulates those hunger cues. Even better, have your meals prepped in advance so it breaks down barriers to preparing food when “hunger strikes”, which may often lead to a more mindless eating approach.
(2 ) Have a good blend of protein, carbohydrates, fibre, and healthy fats in your meals to keep you feeling fuller for longer and remove the temptation to snack.
(3 ) Try to enjoy your meals away from work distractions. This way the ritual of eating is associated with a specific place in the house away from work. Be mindful with your eating, appreciate the textures, smells, flavours and colours of your food. While eating your food, remove the phone or laptop, be present during the process of eating and focus on chewing your food.
(4 ) Don’t deprive yourself, if you fancy a bit of chocolate, having a square or two is much better than depriving yourself for a week and then eating a whole jumbo Toblerone. Been there, done that and got the t-shirt!!
(5 ) If you do feel external stressors to self soothe through food, try to go for a walk, listen to a podcast, exercise, or call a friend for a chat.
(6 ) Ask yourself before reaching for food, are you actually hungry? Could it be stress, boredom, thirst? If hunger isn't the issue, address what is needed but if hunger is the issue, then go ahead enjoy that snack.
Micheál Penston is the Head Coach at FM Fitness & Nutrition based in Westport. He specialises in helping busy men and women to create the healthiest versions of themselves through education and empowerment around all areas of their lifestyle from fitness, nutrition, recovery and behaviours. Find out more about their methods at www.fmfitnessnutrition.com or social media handles @fmfitnessnutrition