Updated: Apr 18, 2020
Eating ALL your meals at home…
Well if you’re anything like me, you have found that working/spending more time at home has increased your trips to the fridge to see if the food fairy brought anything different than what was in there an hour ago…and sadly she never seems to leave anything new :/ But ultimately, you’re still snacking and eating way more than you would if we weren’t knee deep in this pandemic. So now what are we to do so we don’t end up leaving this pandemic now knee deep in 10-20+ lbs!? I have no magic tricks but I do have some strategies that might help!
1. Stay on a schedule
I would venture to guess that prior to our stay at home orders, you kept a schedule of some sort. While this can be helpful in simply getting work done…it can also be helpful in keeping snacking to a minimum and meal times more healthy. If you schedule in your day when your meals times are then you are less likely to become over hungry during the day. This will help decrease mindless snacking as well as prevent poor food choices because you let yourself get too hungry. General rule of good nutrition says we should be eating every 3-5 hours depending on how many “meals” we have in a day. If you generally do 3 per day then the 5 hours works…if you like 5-6 smaller meals then 3-4 hours might be better. So make that schedule!
2. Make your lunch in the morning
If we were headed out of the house for work, we usually have already made our lunch to bring with us. Practice the same habit and you will be more likely to keep to that schedule you made and eat a healthy meal. This will also help you stay productive during your work day. I would also suggest stepping away from the computer to eat so you can enjoy your meal and know you filled up on some healthy foods. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your work but we usually step away for lunch when we are at work so let's do the same from home. Even better, eat away from your work space if you can!
3. Meal prep a couple things
You don’t have to spend hours making all your meals for the week but if you have a few done, you’ll be more likely to make those healthy choices. If this is something you did when you worked outside of the house then it’s a good habit to stay in. I like to make at least a couple things in the crockpot (chili, soup) so when I don’t feel like cooking at night, I’m all ready to go with something nutritious. I’ll also make a couple things that I can easily throw together so I don’t have to spend the time cutting and cooking. For example, I like to have things like quinoa, chicken and cauliflower rice already cooked so I can easily add these to my meals or chopped up veggies ready to be cooked.
4. Set your snacks aside…next to the lunch you already prepared
This one can be super important…especially when you find yourself starring at your pantry or fridge for what to eat! A friend of mine has a 4 year old who is trying to adjust to his new routine and he kept asking her for snacks every 45-60 minutes. So she decided to set his snacks aside and then he picked one and once the snacks were gone…there was no going back! She also put him on a meal schedule (see above) so he knew snacks came at a certain time of day and stopped asking every hour. If it works for kids…we can make it work for adults!
5. Lastly…give yourself a little break
This is a lot of uncharted waters for our world right now. And with Easter Sunday, we likely have some treats around the house. It’s ok to have a treat every once in awhile! Now I’m not giving up freedom to eat these mindlessly…but we should be able to enjoy some things during these uncertain times. But just as we do with our snacks, schedule them and make sure they definitely fall on a day when you’ve had a good Fit Societe workout!
Good nutrition isn’t always easy and especially not when we are home all the time now with all our snacks we thought we needed at the grocery store! Try to stay conscience of your meals just as we would if we were right in the middle of one of our challenges. Awareness is key. And just because we are trying to stay healthy doesn’t mean we can’t still get some take out from our favorite local business. Lots of places have nutritious options for our bodies while still offering some comfort options for our soul…we just need to keep it all in balance! My best advice right now is to try to keep things 80/20…80% of the time we should be making good, healthy food choices and 20% of the time is comfort for the soul…we just need to be honest about what our 80% really looks like. Remember as Scotti would say…not doing all the reps only cheats ourselves so your perception of 80% will only help or hinder you!
Stay healthy my friends, I miss you all terribly!
Mary Wight, RD, CPT