Combating stress eating when working from home – by Sarah Grant

Three strategies for keeping on top of eating habits when working from home

Working remotely efficiently and effectively requires a good dose of discipline and a solid routine. The structures that you put in place around your home working will likely affect not only your productivity, but also your eating habits. Conversely, your eating habits and food choices may impact your state of mind and productivity.

If you’re new to working from home and looking for some guidance to make sure you’re on top of your eating habits so they don’t manage you, please read on for my three top tips:

1) Rebalance your routine

Working from home has its advantages but without clear boundaries, desk-bound hours can tot-up. And if you don’t create enough space in your day to prepare and eat three nutritionally balanced meals and cater for your own self-care, this may catch-up with you and lead to erratic eating habits, excess snacking, energy dips, poor concentration, disrupted sleep and contribute to low mood.

When you schedule your working days, don’t forget breakfast, and lock-out time for lunches and short breaks. Really protect this time as key opportunities to nourish your body and mind with the essential supplies they require to maintain balance. And by creating space to enjoy your eating experience you will help regulate your appetite and support your digestion too.

2) Rethink your food environment

We tend to eat with our eyes and plump for convenience, so is it time to rethink which foods are in your sight at home? If you have sugary foods, cakes or crisps within too easy a reach, these snack foods will likely be your go-to fixes in a moment of hunger or even boredom or procrastination.

Whilst I don’t endorse banning these foods from your home (I believe they can play a role in a healthy balanced diet, and that strict dietary food rules and restriction are counter-productive), I do believe it is worthwhile thinking through your regular snack choices.

What foods do you find delicious that will provide you with prolonged energy when you need it? And can you make sure those are the first thing available when you open the cupboards or fridge?

My personal favourite snacks are cheese and tomatoes on oatcakes; carrots and hummus; berries, nuts and a few squares of a dark chocolate; and spinach, pineapple and avocado smoothies which are quick to whizz up with a Nutribullet at hand.

3) Rewire how you respond to cravings and comfort eating

Do you have a tendency to turn to food for comfort when stress mounts at work or at home? Periods of emotional eating are a totally normal response during times of uncertainty or undue pressure. Eating can be a welcome distraction from our stresses, that temporarily puts the blockers on uncomfortable feelings, and may even give us a boost of happy hormones.

However, if you start to feel trapped in a cycle of food cravings and stress eating and you can’t drop feelings of guilt or shame about your eating habits, then you may benefit from exploring different ways to respond to the challenges you’re facing and emotions you’re experiencing.

When you get the urge to eat, see if you can allow yourself the space to open to your true emotions for a moment, rather than suppress them with food. Take 20 seconds to two minutes to allow yourself to breathe, mindfully acknowledge those difficult thoughts or feelings, and reconnect with your body through some simple stretching, pressing your palms together or feet into the floor.

Whilst you’re your feeling stressed or anxious, remember to keep really well hydrated, and ensuring adequate time to relax and unwind is paramount too.

Do any of these ring true with you? Please don’t let eating habits keep you stuck or anxious about food. Talk to Sarah Grant – nutritional therapist and holistic health coach on 0203 488 0890, or via website below. Appointments are available remotely.

For more useful information you can download Sarah’s complimentary guide to Stress Eating and her Boost your Mood guide.

Sarah Grant

About Sarah Grant

Sarah Grant is a nutritional therapist who helps clients achieve positive transformation in their lives through a combination of nutritional therapy, health coaching and intuitive eating. She gained her Diploma in Nutritional Therapy in 2013 and has undertaken numerous further training covering weight issues, behaviour change and well-being coaching since. Her extensive training allows her to draw on a range of techniques from mind-body medicine practices, positive psychology, NLP, and functional medicine to effect sustainable change for her clients. Sarah is a full member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT).