Packaged food sales are up 30 percent in 2020. Industry experts expect home food consumption and snacking trends will be higher over the next year. Are you worried about how to stop snacking while working from home—especially when it’s easy to raid the fridge whenever you want?
How to snack healthily at home
Ready to reshape your work-from-home snacking habits? Follow these tips.
1. Stick with a sleep routine
Keeping meals and snacks under control doesn’t start in the kitchen but in the bedroom. Similar to using marijuana, inadequate sleep makes people crave munchies, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal Sleep.
One in three adults don’t get enough sleep. Aim for a consistent sleep routine that works for your body, usually at least seven hours per night.
2. Set a consistent work and meal routine
Schedule your work and your meals consistently throughout the week, and adopt other health-encouraging habits, such as:
- Eat real food. Base most of your meals and snacks around whole foods to feel fuller longer and keep your focus and energy more consistent.
- Skip junk food, but don’t skip meals. Regular nourishment keeps your mind sharp and your cravings at bay.
- Get up from your desk to eat. As much as possible, use an eating break as a chance to take a breather from tasks.
- Schedule work hours. A consistent work schedule helps you know when to get on task — and when to stop.
3. Eat a healthy breakfast
Whether a light bite or a major meal, breakfast is the perfect opportunity to start your day with energizing whole foods. Instead of sugary cereals or fatty meats, try these ideas.
- Sweet or savory oatmeal
- Fruit and vegetable smoothie
- Egg and veggie breakfast burrito
- Whole-grain toast or a bagel with nut butter and jam
- Grain, veggie, and protein bowl
4. Work away from the kitchen
Between the regular world of 2019 and the pandemic world of 2020, ice creams sales shot up more than 33 percent. Frozen pizza? 117 percent. And the winner? Sales of frozen cookie dough skyrocketed 570 percent.
Put some space between you and the fridge to make it easier to curb your appetite. Visit the kitchen only at eating times. If you must work in the kitchen area, try to arrange your work station so that the fridge is at your back. Repeat this mantra: out of sight, out of mind, out of belly.
5. Prep nutritious snacks
With organic food sales hitting record highs over the past couple of years, you have plenty of healthy snacks to choose from. And it’s easier to snack healthy when you make it easy to grab healthy snacks.
- Stock healthy snacks in a designated spot in the fridge, pantry, or on the counter.
- Fill a bowl with fruit.
- Portion large containers into single servings (For instance, split a large can of nuts into one-ounce servings in individual jars or snack bags.)
6. Stick with unsweetened beverages
Hunger may be thirst in disguise. Skip sugary sodas or energy drinks and follow these guidelines.
- Keep a water bottle at your work station. Only open it when you drink, though, to prevent spills.
- Drink water. Drink it plain, sparkling, or flavored with a slice of citrus.
- Use your devices to track hydration. Use your activity tracker, smartwatch, or phone to log water intake toward a daily goal, such as 64 ounces.
- Perk up with tea or coffee. Hot or cold, full-octane or decaffeinated, tea and coffee are soul-soothing and energy-boosting.
7. Take a lunch break
If you’re one of the many office workers who think their desk is a lunch hot spot, don’t make this same mistake at home. Lunchtime should be break time. Eat away from your workspace. You’ll feel more satisfied and recharged when you finish.
8. Portion and savor snacks
Should most of your meals and snacks be healthy, tasty, whole foods? Sure, but not all of them. It’s fine to indulge. Want to cap off lunch with a treat? Prefer a fast-food Friday? Go for it but be intentional. Know your indulgence, portion it (eat one ice cream bar, not the whole box), and enjoy every bite.
9. Get moving
Whether you take a walk around the block, do laps around your apartment, sign up for an afternoon yoga class, or wrestle with your kids, take breaks to move throughout the day. Get outside if you can. No matter what, get moving.
Movement feels good, especially after hours of work at your desk. Plus, exercise can reduce your appetite. As little as a stretch break each hour can make a big difference in your productivity and attitude.
Make your home a hub for healthy snacking
It isn’t always easy to snack smartly at home, but you can do it. When you move regularly, sleep well, eat whole foods, and portion and savor the occasional indulgence, you’ll find it easier to stay productive and maintain healthy snacking habits.