Manage Mindless Snacking While Working Remotely

Since so many people are working from home, it’s not unusual for many of them to venture out into the kitchen, grab a bag of chips or make a snack and return to their desk. Weight gain has haunted many at-home workers since the pandemic began.

There is an answer, writes CNN health and nutrition contributor Lisa Drayer. They include snacking on fiber-rich fruit and taking a daily break for a “proper” lunch.

Drayer writes that when we work from home, it becomes too easy to raid the refrigerator and that poses a challenge to maintaining health eating habits. But she adds, “there are ways to minimize mindless snacking and filling up on empty calories>”

Among Drayer’s tips are:

  • Stop, think, eat – Before grabbing that cookie or bag of chips, stop and ask yourself, “Do I really want this now?” or “Am I craving this food because I’m hungry or because I’m bored or stressed?” Think it through – If your answer is no, you’ve stopped yourself from excessive nibbling. The idea is to make the choice to eat a conscious decision.
  • Fill your kitchen with fiber-rich foods – It’s difficult to mindlessly munch on high-fiber foods like vegetables, salads and fruits. That’s because fiber contributes “bulk” and fills you up quickly. Fiber-rich foods also help to keep your blood sugar levels steady, which can help prevent impulsive snacking and overeating at meals.
  • Don’t bring it home – The decisions you make at the point of purchase greatly predict your ability to stay on track. Simply put, if you bring it home, you will eat it. If you don’t want to derail your diet goals, leave snacks that will sabotage your efforts in the grocery aisle.
  • Practice portion control – When choosing snacks, avoid bulk-size bags that enable mindless nibbling.
  • Schedule meal and snack times – It’s important, when working from home, to stop and take a break to eat. Plan what you will eat for lunch or for a snack. Honoring your food breaks will help you avoid cravings and will give more structure to the day.
  • Eat at the table, not at your desk – Creating a space to enjoy meals and snacks can help you avoid unconscious eating. Find a table or island or any place where you like to eat and designate it as your eating zone in the house.
  • Close the kitchen – Decide when the kitchen will be “closed for the day,” and shut off the lights and close any doors. This can be helpful in avoiding nighttime nibbling.

Drayer writes you can take on these tips gradually by working in one or two strategies into your routine each week. Additional tips from Drayer can be found at: