Keeping your nutrition in check while you’re working from home can sometimes be tricky. The fridge is all yours and comfort food is just within your reach. However, getting into this habit can wreck your weight loss efforts.

We talked with New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery’s resident dietitian, Krystal, to share some helpful tips on how to eat healthy when your home is your office.

Start your day with a clean kitchen.
“If your kitchen is clean, you are more likely to prepare something vs. grabbing something quick. Plus, it makes you feel more productive getting a physical task done and gives you a better sense of home/life balance.”

Part of having a clean kitchen is also strategizing where you store your food so you’re more likely to eat healthily than reaching out for those bags of cookies and chips.

Prep your meals as if you’re driving into the office.
“ Before you clock in, go ahead and eat breakfast, prepare a quick lunch, and have your protein shakes and fluid handy. If nothing else, at least look over your pantry/fridge and have a plan for lunch.”

If the thought of meal prepping overwhelms you, here’s Krystal’s advice:

“I highly encourage everyone to make a list of any nutritional barriers they have experienced over the past few months and have had a hard time breaking (e.g. dining out frequently due to busy schedules, not feeling like cooking dinner after work, feeling hungry around 3 P.M.). Writing things down helps us make the challenges more concrete. Then, come up with three solutions for each problem. It’s best to create three because one solution might not work for every scenario. If you make a plan ahead of time, you are making decisions with less emotions and are less likely to grab something unhealthy.”

When it comes to the cooking part, here are some helpful tips from Krystal:

“Cooking doesn’t have to be hard. You can take a piece of meat, throw some seasoning on it and bake it in the oven. Then, add a bag of steamed vegetables and you have a quick meal with little effort.

You can cook 2-3 chicken breast in the crockpot and make several different meals from it – maybe eat one whole as-is, shred one and mix with taco seasoning and black beans, shred the other and mix with low-fat cream of chicken and frozen mixed vegetables for a crustless chicken pot pie. Plus, grocery stores have so many pre-cooked meats that you could have a different meal every night of the week with no cooking at all (e.g. Tyson grilled and ready products, John Souls chicken/beef strips, etc).”

Don’t eat at your desk!
“Our brains need a physical break during the day. It will make you more productive and more resilient to fighting emotional hunger. Plus, you don’t want to develop an association with eating at your desk, because it can increase emotional hunger.”

Helpful tips for bariatric patients:

Keep up the routine during quarantine.
“Bariatric patients are encouraged to eat three meals per day and not a snack. This is why it’s very important to have a routine especially during this time.”

Make sure you have the basic bariatric supplies in your house.
“This will make you more likely to stay on track. It’s all about environmental control. Passing up the bag of Doritos or a box of Oreos only takes 30 seconds of willpower in the grocery store. If you bring it home, you have to fight the temptation 24/7.”

Have a good supply of items for making warm beverages.
“Warm beverages really help with emotional hunger. Try drinking warm tea, coffee, or warm water with lemon. Limit the afternoon caffeine though as it can interfere with sleep which can make you less resilient to fighting emotional hunger.”

This is a tough and stressful time for all of us. And it’s okay to feel stressed and overwhelmed. Take one day at a time but also find time to take care of your physical health, emotional health, and overall well-being. This, too, shall pass.

If you need any help or if you have questions, don’t hesitate to call New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery at (865) 694-9676.

If you’re considering weight loss surgery, check out our free online info seminar at https://newlifeseminar.premiersurgical.com/ !

New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery is part of Premier Surgical Bariatrics in Knoxville, Tennessee. New LIfe is affiliated with the Parkwest Center for Bariatric Surgery, part of Covenant Health Bariatric Services.