The year 2020 is almost over yet COVID-19 remains at large in every community. With the upcoming flu season approaching this winter and the increase in COVID-19 cases once again spiking in countries across the globe; keeping our bodies healthy as possible has never played a more vital role in our lives than now. While the search for a viable vaccine looms, it is important to minimize your trips out in public in order to lessen the chances of catching the virus, in the mean-time, our body’s immune system will need to be strong enough to fight back with the support of a healthy diet.
For those of us who continue to work from home, it is easy to give into the habit of stress eating and binging our favorite comfort foods. For instance, maybe you’re on a conference call, and you’ve started snacking on a bag of chips, and soon after realize the bag is half empty; or you’re stressed from working all day, and forget to eat so you’ve ordered takeout for the 3rd time in a week. One thing’s for certain, adapting to this new working situation has thrown our eating habits out of whack.
While it is safe to say that the previous examples mentioned won’t immediately hurt you, keep in mind that decreasing your intake of junk food in favor of more nutritious foods will prove to be more beneficial to your health during this pandemic.
Below are some tips on how to eat healthier while working from home and a few additional suggestions on what to buy on your next trip to the grocery.
- Prepare your meals in advance – The fact that you’re at home, makes you more prone to visiting your fridge, even when you’re not hungry. The freedom to eat whatever you want, whenever you want is very tempting, though it may hinder your concentration with work and overall productivity. Prepping your meals in advance can help prevent unnecessary trips to the kitchen. According to WHO (World health organization), “adequate nutrition can raise your productivity levels by 20 percent on average.” So, dice up those vegetables and marinate your meats ahead of time if you plan on making salads, chicken entrées etc. for the next day, as this is a great time saver. Also, knowing when you’re going to eat everyday should condition the body to decrease your hunger, according to Health.Harvard, eating three to four times a day has some health benefits, such as a “decrease in hunger and fullness.”
- Avoid Processed Foods – Eating anything that contains preservatives is usually unhealthy for the most part, whether it’s fast food or frozen dinners at the grocery. While it may be tempting, there is no doubt most processed foods are easy to prepare and consume, which is why so many prefer them over cooking after a long day at work. However, there is a way to incorporate these foods into a healthier diet. If you do continue to buy processed foods etc., look out for the nutrition labels that are color-coded in green and yellow.
- Healthier Alternatives to Comfort Foods - Eating healthy while working at home doesn’t have to be boring; it certainly has its benefits too. In fact, you can curve your cravings by making healthier versions of your favorite comfort foods, therefore consuming less high fats, sugars and sodium that are found in most store-prepped items. For instance, rather than dipping your tortilla chips in bean dip or American cheese, why not try prepping a fresh spinach artichoke dip, a tasty alternate with more nutrients and fewer preservatives.
- Drink More Water – Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day is just as important as eating healthy. Dehydration can lead to more headaches and feeling tired, which can affect how you work. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends: 11.5 cups a day for women and 15.5 cups a day for men.
- Take A Proper Lunch Break – When you get caught up in your work, it’s easy lose track of time. Making it a point to leave your desk and take a proper lunch break helps prevent you from starving the entire day and could lead to a more productive workflow.
As many know by now, there are several ways to avoid getting the virus e.g., wearing a mask, social distance etc. But maintaining a better diet and strengthening your immune system is just as important and does have a significant effect on how your body will handle battling COVID-19. For those who continue to remain working from home, finding the right kinds of foods will ultimately help improve your productivity.