How to eat healthy when working from home

How to keep your nutrition on track when you’re working from home.

Accredited Practising Dietitian for Lite n’ Easy Larissa Robbins shares some helpful tips for eating healthy while working from home and how to avoid raiding the fridge every five minutes.

There is little doubt that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting every aspect of our lives—from working remotely and social distancing to restaurant closures and outright quarantines. Observing public health measures and reducing exposure to the virus is vital in helping to slow the spread of this disease. No one knows how long these virus safety measures will need to stay in place, but it presents a perfect time to protect and improve your health while practising social distancing. Healthy eating is especially important for keeping your immune system in top condition. Here are some steps you can take to eat well at home in the times of COVID-19.


1. Stick to a schedule or routine

Maintaining healthy routines – whether that’s a workout, a healthy meal, or making time to relax and reset – can provide a sense of control during this time of uncertainty. Working from home can be freeing, but that same freedom can lead to random eating and snacking without paying attention to when you last ate and when you plan to eat next. Try to set up your day like any regular working day. Start your day with a good breakfast to get your brain into gear. Protein-rich breakfasts like eggs on toast or oats and yoghurt will keep you feeling fuller for longer and help to control your blood sugar levels, so you’re not looking for a snack an hour later. Be sure to include a proper lunch break and add a few smaller breaks throughout the day.


It can also be helpful to put your meals and snacks in your calendar, just like you would any other meeting. This will alert you to when and how frequently you’re eating, and it gives you a way to see when your next meal or snack is (so you don’t just get up and head to the kitchen whenever the mood strikes).


2. When possible, eat away from your desk 

It’s easy to think that eating breakfast or lunch at your desk could help you end the day early, but it rarely works this way. There’s always something more to do, and your focus dwindles without dedicated breaks. Set regular eating times where possible and try to practice mindful eating – eat at the table, away from your desk and technology!


3. Set caffeine boundaries and keep hydrated

Although coffee in small amounts is okay as part of a healthy diet, it can be easy for people to drink more at home than they usually do at work. Current research suggests that no more than 400mg caffeine per day is an acceptable dose for the general population. This is equivalent to ~3-4 cups. But remember that caffeine can be dehydrating, so it’s vital to drink plenty of water throughout the day to ensure you remain well hydrated. Aim for 8-10 glasses of water daily. Drinking water not only helps prevent dehydration and fatigue, but it can also help to satisfy food cravings. Make sure water is easily accessible. Keep a large water bottle or glass on your desk, as this can act as a reminder to take regular sips. It can also be helpful to set pop up reminders on your computer to drink more!


4. Balance is key  

The key to eating well is to include a good variety of nutritious foods every day! Choose protein sources such as lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products and tofu. Include healthy fats such as nuts, olive oil and avocado, and whole grain or low GI carbohydrate sources such as multigrain bread, rice, sweet potatoes and pasta. And don’t forget to include fruit and plenty of non-starchy vegetables, which are so crucial for keeping you full and healthy!


Lite n’ Easy has a range of healthy meal options including full meal plans, dinners, soups and light meals that are convenient and nutritious, so you can spend less time planning, shopping, preparing and cooking. They can help keep you on track at home by providing everything you need and avoid unnecessary trips to the supermarket. 


Larissa Robbins is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with extensive experience working across Australia and the UK in the food industry, corporate health, hospitals and private practice. She specialises in the area of weight management, gastrointestinal disorders and chronic disease management. Larissa is passionate about helping people live their healthiest lives through the power of food and nutrition.