Working from home has become the new normal for many of us in the past year. Living rooms are now offices, daily commutes are gone and the only way you see your coworkers is virtually. With no more packed lunches or boardroom snacks, and our fridge and pantry nearby, the way we eat throughout the day has changed. That’s where mindful eating can come in handy. Here are a few tips on how to make sure you’re eating mindfully while working at home.
What is Mindfulness?
You’ve probably heard the word mindfulness before, but what exactly does it mean? Mindfulness is when you stop and take time to purposely focus your attention on the present moment. Scientific studies are linking mindfulness with stress reduction and overall happiness: improving your wellbeing, physical and mental health.
What is Mindful Eating?
Just how does mindfulness relate to eating? Well, mindfulness can help you maintain an overall healthy diet and enjoy each meal you have. Mindful eating focuses on sensory awareness and the experience of eating each meal. Although mindful eating isn’t intended to be a form of dieting, studies have shown that people who adopt this style of eating are likely to lose weight.
Prep and Plan Your Meals
Being mindful when eating at home all starts with a plan. Whether you’re heading to the grocery store or ordering your groceries via delivery, make a list and stick to it. Try to buy fresh produce and avoid processed items. Meal-prep is also key. You may think that working at home gives you lots of time to put together a meal. This isn’t the case. Between work and family, things come up that interrupt your schedule and tempt you to grab something quick and unhealthy. Meal prepping means you have fresh healthy meals ready to go no matter what comes your way.
Portion is Important
Eating mindfully also means making sure you pay attention to portion sizes. Even though you may be tempted to pile food onto your plate, try to start your meals with a smaller portion. A way to help with this is to use smaller plates for your meals. Studies have shown that eating smaller meals throughout the day means better blood sugar control, improved weight control and digestion.
Take Your Time
Many of us working from home find it difficult to take a break from work. Enjoying a meal can be a great way to take time for yourself during the day. Slowing down and eating allows your brain and your body to communicate with each other. Set out a specific time to eat and really enjoy your food. If you can organize a time when you can eat with your family and enjoy their company, even better.
Know Your Body
No one knows your body like you do. That’s why you need to listen to it! Sometimes when we get stressed, sad, or even just bored, we turn to food. This can be especially hard to fight when you’re working at home. If you find it difficult to focus and get agitated, one of the first places we often head is to the kitchen. Instead, why not take a moment to listen to what your body is telling you? If you’re restless, try walking around the block or doing a big stretch to reset and recharge. If you feel stressed, reach out to a friend or take a break.
Working at home comes with plenty of distractions. Kids running around. Laundry waiting to be folded. Text messages and emails buzzing. When it comes to eating, you need to close that laptop and put the phone on silent. Find an area where you can focus on your meal and the people you’re with. If you’re alone, try eating in silence. It gives you a chance to be conscious of not only your food but your thoughts throughout the day.
Enjoy Your Food
This is one of the best parts of taking the time to mindfully eat – using all of your senses to enjoy your food. Take a minute before you start eating and appreciate the meal you’re about to eat. Then dive in and kick those senses into high gear. Enjoy the smells, the taste, the sights and even the sounds of your food. See if you can identify everything you taste and all of the textures as you eat mindfully.
The opportunity to really enjoy your meals throughout the day and enhance your overall health at the same time – why not give mindful eating a try?