Snacking from Home? How to Stop, Keep from Gaining Weight and Stay Fit, By a Nutritionist
WFH is the new diet buster. We are snacking all.... day... long. Okay, so it's plant-based but it's getting out of control. For help, The Beet turned to nutritionist Erika Fox, a Registered Dietitian and community manager at 310 Nutrition. Here are her tips for staying healthy and stopping the snack attacks, while spending too much time inside with a ready path to the fridge. (Guilty, guilty guilty.) Her advice, with notes from The Beet.
Don’t skip meals.
The Beet: Okay, we love this tip. tell us more.
Fox says: Ensuring sure you’re eating meals throughout the day will not only give you the nutrients you need to stay focused and keep energy levels up, but it will help keep you satiated, so you’re not feeling the need to snack all day long!
Secondary Tip: Make sure your meals are well balanced with a combination of complex carbs, healthy fats, and lean protein, so you won’t be reaching for a snack right after.
Out of sight, out of mind: Set up a workspace away from the kitchen.
The Beet: This is hard. I work within easy view of the kitchen and the pantry (and about ten large steps away from where the snacks are sitting on the counter.
Fox says: If your workspace is right next to your kitchen, or you’re working from your kitchen table, it’s going to be extremely difficult to ignore all those snacks calling your name. Take a look around to see if there’s another spot you can work from that’s further away from the kitchen. This will help keep you focused on your work and not so much on snacking!
Replace snacking with other activities.
The Beet: Like online shopping? JK, that's bad too, at least if it becomes a habit.
Fox says: When you’re in an office, it’s easy to get up, walk around, and chat with others when you feel like you need a brain break. At home, these brain breaks usually turn into snacking. Oftentimes, people aren’t even hungry, but rather just need something to do so they can refocus. Instead of resorting to snacks, try incorporating a different activity into your routine. Here are some ideas: go outside for a walk, take a 5-minute journal break, stretch, incorporate exercise into your day, etc. Play with the kids on the couch for a little fun study break.
Tuck away those “hard to resist” foods.
The Beet: but I know where I hid the chips and Cracker Jacks.
Fox says: If you find yourself overindulging on “junk” food just because it’s in the cabinet, move it to the back, or even better, hide it away in a spot that you won’t reach to. Alternatively, make sure you’re stocked on nutritious, balanced snacks. This way, if you do need a little something, you have plenty of options that will keep you going until your next meal.
Additional Tip: For a well-balanced snack, make sure it includes at least two of the three macronutrients (carbs, protein, fats) and focus on real, whole foods!
Here are some examples…
- Fruit and nuts
- Rice crackers with nut butter
- Veggie sticks with guacamole or hummus
- Lara bars, Rx Bars, or any minimally processed granola bar! You can also make your own using rolled oats, nut butter, nuts, cinnamon, and chocolate chips (if you have a sweet tooth)
Don’t eat at your computer.
The Beet: But that's the best place to snack. I don't pay attention to what I'm eating on repeat.
Fox says: Many people over-snack while working from home because they’re either bored or need something to do while they work (aka mindless eating). If you let yourself eat while working, it’s likely that you’ll end up over-snacking. Instead of chowing down on food all day, be mindful of your hunger levels and make time for snacks/meals. When you are hungry, step away from the computer, take the extra time to sit down and eat a snack/meal, and don’t get back to work until you feel fully satisfied.
The Beet: Thank you, Erika. We will try. And anyone who has more tips, please send them. We need them now more than ever! Write to us at email@example.com.
Erika Fox, MBA, RDN, is a registered dietitian with an undergraduate degree in dietetics from Purdue University and a master’s in business administration from Dominican University. Erika works as the registered dietitian and community manager for 310 Nutrition, motivating thousands of individuals to reach their health goals every day.