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Well at Work

How to Eat Healthy While Working from Home

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Working from home gives you access to your refrigerator and pantry for all meals so you can eat clean and eat often. But 24-hour access can also create nutrition challenges (hidden stash of candy, anyone?). Use the tips below to maintain a healthy diet while working from home.

1. Separate your workspace.

It's tempting to set up shop in the kitchen or dining room, but with your food in such close proximity, it can also be a danger zone. The constant reminder of food can lead to increased cravings and unnecessary snacking. Set up a workspace that's conducive to working, not eating, and use your kitchen and dining room for meals and snacks only.

2. Plan meals and snacks.

Just because you're working from home doesn't mean you shouldn't plan meals. Buy a week's worth of groceries (enough for 30 meals and snacks) on Sunday. Make extra servings for dinner each night and eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. Having a pre-made lunch daily will help you avoid raiding the fridge or, even worse, hitting up your local fast food hot spot.

3. Watch the clock.

When you work in the office, your co-worker's mass movement to the cafe or kitchenette around lunchtime serves as a reminder to eat. At home, it's easy to get caught up in your tasks and forget about meals. Set a reminder or alarm on your computer or cell phone to alert you when it’s time to eat. Over time, you'll get used to eating at set intervals and your stomach will cue you to eat.

4. Clean your kitchen.

The advantage of working from home is that instead of temptations from desktop candy jars, morning donuts, or birthday cakes, you have more control over what comes into your environment. Rid your kitchen of unhealthy snacks and processed foods, and fill it with fresh fruit, veggies, lean proteins like chicken and fish, and snacks like yogurt, string cheese, and nuts.

5. Avoid grazing.

With kitchen access all day, it's tempting to graze instead of eating set meals and snacks. Start your day with a healthy breakfast (eat within an hour of waking up) to kickstart your metabolism. After that, time meals and snacks every 2 1/2 to 3 hours to improve energy and focus.

For more tips to stay healthy working from home, read "5 Ways to Boost Your Health When Working from Home." 

Sally Kochtanek is a registered dietitian.

Tags: Health, Cooking, Food, Work, Lunch, Breakfast