The COVID-19 pandemic changed everyone’s lives – mainly a transition from working in an office with people to working alone at home if you had the means. It’s become important to learn how to eat mindfully when working from home.
A Food Insight study showed that snacking multiple times a day increased by 24% when the pandemic began. You welcomed the perks of not having to get out of your pyjamas until late hours of the day, but boredom and not even being hungry made you snack more.
How do you maintain mindful eating when the temptation of your fridge is metres away? It is a struggle, but there are ways to fight the urge to go to your kitchen or use food delivery services.
Understanding what mindful eating is
The primary purpose of mindful eating is to focus on the present moment and the acknowledgement and acceptance of your thoughts and feelings.
Mindful eating is when you pay attention to your food without distractions. It allows you to choose healthy options for your body because while you eat, you concentrate on how that specific food is making your body feel.
Fast food can make you feel lethargic, sluggish, and lazy, but a healthy and balanced choice may give you the energy to carry throughout your day.
Decide if you are actually hungry
In comparison to a typical office setting, you have more consistent access to food. You may take a five-minute break and find yourself looking for something in the pantry. The first question you ask is whether you are actually hungry, looking for a distraction, or in need of you-time.
If you are hungry, do you want something sweet or savoury, or do you yearn for something that is chewy or crunchy? By asking these questions, you can determine if a snack is what you want – and if it is, you can figure out which nutritional needs, tastes, and textures you wish to satisfy.
Plan your meals ahead of time
Your kitchen may be the pitfall of your day because time is sometimes limited when you have to prepare a lunch dish from scratch. In the middle of creating your meal, a time-sensitive deadline can leave you not eating at all or grabbing a quick, unhealthy snack.
As a remote worker, you don’t need to pack lunch, but planning your meals ahead of time can help on busy days. Meal prepping is best done at the beginning of your week or the night before your week starts. When you go grocery shopping, think about the breakfast and lunch meals you can prepare for the week and save time. Try to grab on-the-go snacks, too, if time at work doesn’t allow you to have a full dish at breakfast or lunchtime.
Your prepared meals can come from making large batches of supper where the leftovers are in lunch-sized containers. Having your food in a container already makes it easier for you to heat it up.
Another option for another week as a remote worker is to cut up raw vegetables as snacks or that you can throw into an omelette. Your future self is going to thank you for the time you take for meal prepping.
Drink more fluids
Fluid intake, particularly water, is good for increasing your overall health and well-being. Drinking water can improve your concentration levels, normalise your blood pressure, remove internal bacteria and help with digestion – among other things.
Working remotely can lead you to drink unhealthy beverages instead of water. If you aren’t a big fan of water, try to add in a lemon or lime. You can choose other drinks too – herbal tea, fruit juice or green tea. Drinking green is said to help beat the afternoon slump while working because it has a small amount of caffeine and is high in antioxidants.
With a doctor’s approval, you can add a few CBD oil drops to your daily drinks to boost your concentration and provide potential positive effects.
Don’t rush your eating time
There may be times that you feel extremely hungry and want to scoff down your food in one go – especially if you are on a deadline. Take your time instead and eat small bites of your food. While you chew thoroughly and slowly, set your knife and fork down and enjoy what you are eating.
When you eat in a rush, you don’t experience the authentic flavours of food. The slower you eat, the more mindful you become of the food you digest.
If you respond to your food choices without a guilty feeling, you are more aware of your physical hunger, when you feel full, and when a snack is more appropriate to satisfy your needs.