If you’re working from home, and finding it difficult to stay healthy, you’re not alone. According to a recent YouGov study, 48% of respondents say they haven’t felt motivated enough to eat well during lockdown1. But rather than focus on what’s not going so well, this article is here to help you do something about it with some handy tips to help you stay healthy when working from home.
1. Prepare healthy snacks
Get your snacks ready at the start of the week. You’re much more likely to make healthy choices if they are ready to go. Pre-chopped veg are super handy to have in the fridge to have with hummus, or if you have more of a sweet tooth, pop some grapes in the freezer as they are sure to satisfy a sweet craving.
2. Make time to move
Whether it’s in your lunch break, or during the workday, make time for move your body. It doesn’t have to be vigorous exercise either, anything from a quick walk with the dog to squats at your desk. It all counts.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep is crucial to our overall health and wellbeing but many of us are simply not getting enough. Try and create a wind down routine before you go to bed, and make sure to switch off from your devices 60 minutes before bedtime.
4. Make a meal plan
Whilst it’s great that many of us are cooking more at home, many of us have also given up with meal plans. It’s still worthwhile to plan out your meals for the week and make a proper shopping list to ensure you have everything you need to make tasty and healthy meals. You’ll probably waste less too.
5. Take a proper lunch break
We’ve all worked through our lunch break on a busy day or had lunch at our desk. But it’s really important to take a proper break away from your desk and away from any work distractions. Schedule in time for your lunch and let your colleagues know that you’ll be away from your desk at that time so you can really relax and recharge.
6. Batch cook
There are always going to be days when the last thing you feel like doing is cooking. It is therefore worth batch cooking a few dishes and keeping a supply in the freezer for whenever you need a delicious meal. That way, all you need to do is heat it up and you have a nutritious meal within minutes. Word of advice: always label and date any meals you put in the freezer; you’ll thank yourself in 4 months’ time.
7. Avoid working in the kitchen (if you can)
It can be easy to think of food all day long if you are working in the kitchen, especially when the cupboards are in reach. If you can, try and set up your workstation away from the kitchen to reduce the temptation to mindlessly browse the fridge when you’re not hungry.
8. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is key to productivity. Make sure to keep a glass of water at your desk and make sure to fill it up throughout the day. If you forget to drink water, try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to top up. Over time it will become a healthy habit that you don’t need to think about.
9. Stock up the store cupboard
Fill your cupboards with plenty of healthy store cupboard staples. From tinned tomatoes to dried beans and lentils, it’s great to have core ingredients to hand for whenever a recipe calls for them. And don’t be fooled into thinking tinned or dried products aren’t as healthy either. They are both super nutritious staples.
10. Be mindful of your caffeine intake
It’s tempting to make endless tea and coffees when WFH, but it’s worth being aware of how much caffeine you are actually consuming. Especially if it’s disrupting your sleep. If you are someone who is sensitive to caffeine, try switching to decaf versions of your favourite hot drinks, or try out herbal teas as an alternative.
This blog post was written by Tabitha Ward, a HCPC registered dietitian working as a Senior Public Health Dietitian in Weight Management. Tabitha is also a committee member for the British Dietetic Association Obesity Specialist Group. In her free time, she enjoys freelance heath writing. You can get in contact with Tabitha via her website, Tabitha Ward or via her LinkedIn.
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