Working from home these days? Taking a few steps from your home office to the kitchen is much more convenient than walking a few blocks to the food truck or cafe. But with that convenience comes temptation. If you’ve been snacking more often during the day, here are some tips to avoid overeating and weight gain.
It used to be that being seated in an office all day long was a threat to winning the battle of the bulge. Office workers are seated all day and visit the vending machine in the afternoon to overcome the after-lunch coma. But now that millions of people are working from home, working in a legitimate office building now seems like a much healthier lifestyle.
All but the most disciplined take mini work breaks to exercise; most people working from home are just as sedentary as they were in the office, perhaps more so with shorter trips to the bathroom and kitchen.
Why telecommuters are eating more from home
And when you’re working just feet away from your kitchen, the fridge and pantry are always there, inviting you, nay, tempting you to indulge in a sweet treat.
The home office worker has become accustomed to all-day dopamine hits: a late-morning pastry, a post-lunch, early-afternoon bowl of pretzels, mistakenly thought of as ‘healthy’ because they’re gluten-free; a granola bar or other snacky-treat like veggie straws/chips, both of which also trick the home office worker into believing they are selecting something healthy … and all the other snacks in between.
But are telecommuters really eating more than they used to in comparison to office desk jockeys? According to a research study published in Review of Economics in the Household, those who worked from home spent 25 more minutes engaged in food production and 48 more minutes eating and drinking at home than did individuals who worked away from home. Missing that food truck yet?
And in one survey of 2,000 U.S. adults working from home, 76% of the respondents said they were eating more during the workday because of their proximity to the kitchen.
The good news is that there are a few things that can be done to prevent overeating at home.
How to eat a lot and lose weight while working at home
For starters, if you’re not doing intermittent fasting yet and you’re not prohibited from doing it because of medical reasons (hypoglycemia, diabetes, etc.), then start doing it.
Give it a try by avoiding eating or drinking anything with calories after 7 or 8 p.m. For the first week, break your fast 12-14 hours later. Try to eventually increase your fasting window to 16 hours or longer.By doing intermittent fasting, you don’t have to think about food for the first half of the work day. Your body quickly adjusts to this schedule, and within a few weeks, you may notice that the visceral fat around your abdomen has shrunk.
There are many health benefits of intermittent fasting. You may find your ability to concentrate on work is sharper.
In addition, by stopping your intake of food early in the evening, you prevent the chance of indigestion and acid reflux when you lay down in bed (hopefully no later than 11 p.m.)
When it’s time for you to break your fast in the late morning or at noon, or early afternoon, you can eat as much as you want without feeling guilty about overeating. You’ll likely notice that you can’t actually eat a ton because your belly will have slightly shrunk.
After your first meal, if you feel like having a snack a couple hours later, no problem because it’s still within your feeding time frame. But for best weight loss results try eating just one or two large meals during your feeding window and one or two healthy snacks (fruit and nuts) if necessary.
Eat Miracle Noodle ProductsIt’s a shameless promotional plug but a valid one. You see, several studies indicate that the fiber found in shirataki noodles called glucomannan prevents overeating.
One problem with intermittent fasting is that if you eat a huge meal with lots of starchy carbs, your blood sugar can spike. By replacing regular rice and pasta with shirataki-style Miracle Noodles with glucomannan fiber, you’ll avoid those blood-sugar spikes while keeping your belly happy. You can also purchase glucomannan fiber for baking.
Glucomannan takes a long time to digest and it gently expands in the stomach, absorbing water in the intestines and thereby creating a gel-like substance. This gel-like substance doesn’t break down until it reaches the colon, effectively acting like a prebiotic fiber and bulking agent.
Taking an herbal supplement may also prevent absentmindedly opening the fridge several times a day. Appetite suppressants received bad publicity in recent years because of dangerous compounds such as ephedra. But there are several ephedra-free natural appetite-lowering herbs and formulas.
Top Herbal Appetite Suppressants
For instance, there’s fenugreek, which contains a fiber that sounds similar to glucomannan called galactomannan. Whereas glucomannan is naturally derived from the root of a wild type of yam, galactomannan comes from the seeds of legumes.
In addition, 5-HTP may help not only with appetite lowering, it may also help with mood. Tryptophan, the amino acid most associated with feeling sleepy and content after eating Thanksgiving turkey, is a precursor to 5-HTP, which then converts into the happy hormone, serotonin. Activating serotonin not only can make you feel more happy, it can decrease the desire to eat. When you activate serotonin, you don’t need that big hit of dopamine to light up the reward center of your brain.Drink Lemon Water
What do you do to avoid overeating while working from home? Leave a comment...
If you’re jonesing for a processed snack, resist the urge and instead drink a cup of water with some fresh squeezed lemon juice. If possible, right after you drink the water, go for a five minute walk and then get back to work, feeling refreshed and in good spirits for successfully resisting temptation.