With all the changes our clients have experienced recently, many people have found their eating habits up in the air. It may be difficult to stick to a schedule because you’re juggling work and kids at home, or you haven’t found your groove yet and you’re eating whatever’s in the fridge whenever you remember.
Still, dietitians think that now is a great time to rework your eating habits! No longer do you have to be tempted by your coworker Sally who brings in her homemade goodies every Friday. (Oh, Sally.) Or the box of doughnuts or bagels coworkers bring in just because. You don’t have to walk by the pastry shop to get to the office.
Hopefully you’ve been able to incorporate more movement into your day, and now you can set up your eating plan for success! Why now? Well…
Working from home gives you more control over when you eat
Some people have found great progress with intermittent fasting, also known as time-restricted feeding. You have an eating window of 8-10 hours and fast the rest of the time. Easy enough to design a plan that works for you on your schedule.
And more control over where you eat
You don’t have to sit where there’s food! In fact you’re better off dedicating a specific place to work in anyway. Maybe you could work outside too. Schedule when you’re going to visit the kitchen and pantry to help you reduce the amount of time you spend eating.
We all recognize it’s progress, not perfection
Everyone has had to make changes, often on the fly. Routines have been upset, and no one expects you to be a gourmet cook. Which means it’s a great time to experiment and not worry if you don’t get it right the first time you try it.
Letting go of high expectations gives you more chances for self-compassion, which will help you lose weight as well.
You can prepare your own meals
You have the time to do it, and less pressure to go out to eat. Staying home is safer during the time of coronavirus. You don’t have to make the perfect meal, just make it more rather than less nutritious.
You can get outside whenever you want
A lot of people experience an after-lunch or midafternoon slump. Rather than hitting the local coffee shop or vending machine, you can take a walk outside. (Unless you’re in the desert like us, in which case our getting outside happens early in the morning!)
Taking time out in nature helps you de-stress. Which in turn means you won’t be looking for a bag of chips to soothe your anxious energy.
You don’t spend as much time socializing
Silver lining to not being able to get together with friends in person as much as you normally would. Happy hours are over Zoom, so there’s less social pressure to order a calorie-filled drink or nosh on fried appetizers.
Booze isn’t great when you’re trying to lose weight, because people tend to eat more when they’re drinking. And not on the carrots and celery either! Plus it weakens the immune system. Take advantage of this opportunity to sip a nice cold non-alcoholic drink while you’re Zooming with friends and family.
It’s easier to find supportive people, and ditch the ones that aren’t
When you’re trying to eat healthy, being around food pushers is hard. Now that you can’t see them in person, they can’t offer you food. Or make you feel guilty for turning it down. You might also take the time to reduce the contact that you have with them too. (OK, maybe not Grandma. She loves you and food is how she expresses it.)
You’re better off with a community that supports your goals. While you’re on the Internet, you might find a group of people online that will cheer you on and hold you accountable.
Are you looking to improve your eating habits? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments!