How to Stop Snacking While Working from Home

Have you recently started working from home? You may have noticed your pants feel slightly tighter since settling into your new home office. This isn’t necessarily a coincidence — working remotely can lead to mindless snacking. Learn why working from home can lead to overeating and how to change your habits and environment to prevent unnecessary weight gain.

Finding the Cause

Identifying why you’re overeating is the first step to stopping the unhealthy habit. A variety of triggers can lead to mindless snacking, and you may relate to more than one.

  1. Stress. Stress, anxiety, and depression are some of the most common triggers of snacking and emotional eating. You may not even realize how stressed you are or that you’re overeating as a result, so be sure to check in with yourself or a professional regularly.
  2. Boredom. A slow workday, general disinterest in your job, waiting for your next Zoom call… all of it can lead to snacking when bored. After all, what else is there to do but peruse the pantry?
  3. Convenience. Working from home gives you an all-access pass to your pantry and fridge. You may be grabbing an extra snack every time you get up to refill your water… simply because it’s right in front of you.
  4. Habit. Late-night popcorn? Need something sweet after you eat something salty? Like snacking out of convenience, you may not even realize how much you’re eating out of habit. Keep tabs on what, when, and how much you tend to eat, and you can probably find ways to eliminate unnecessary snacking.

Finding a Solution That Works for You

Not sure how to stop snacking? These tips can help you resist the temptation to open the fridge every 30 minutes. Not only can it help you feel healthier, but it will also allow you to be more productive.

  1. Rethink your grocery list. Skip the cookies and stock up on fresh and healthy snacks for adults. Foods filled with carbs and sugar cause your blood sugar to spike and drop quickly, leaving you hungry and craving more. Set yourself up for success by gradually switching over to healthier options in your home. If you do find yourself snacking, at least you’ll be reaching for a carrot stick rather than a bag of potato chips.
  2. Stick to a schedule. Start with a productive morning routine and build out your day from there, including defined times for work, breaks, and meals. You may feel like you’re back in kindergarten at first, but the additional structure can help you stay on task and out of the kitchen.
  3. Have a plan. Wandering into the kitchen without a plan is where you can run into trouble. Decide what snack you’re going to have before you open the refrigerator to reduce mindless eating. Portion control is important, too. Opt for using snack dishes over eating out of the bag — it’s a lot easier to track how much you’ve snacked that way.
  4. Minimize temptation. Utilize your pantry and other storage to keep the countertop free from easily accessible snacks. Out of sight, out of mind as they say.
  5. Choose your workspace wisely. One way to prevent overeating is to have a dedicated workspace that’s far away from the kitchen. Try giving your home office a refresh, or set up a workspace in your bedroom.
  6. Practice self-care. It’s important to find healthy ways to manage stress — which doesn’t include seeking solace in snack food. Build-in time throughout your day to move your body and get fresh air, take a short break when you feel the anxiety rising, and get a good night’s sleep so you have the energy to take on the day. Talk to a close friend or make an appointment with a therapist if it feels overwhelming. Even if you’re not stress-eating, be sure to take good care of yourself!

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