How to avoid temptation while working from home is a subject not enough people talk about. But as anyone who works from home knows, fighting the siren call of the fridge (or cookie jar) is a serious problem.
Sure, people at the office have to deal with leftover birthday cake from that random guy’s 50th last week, not to mention “Bagel Friday” and “Donut Monday.” But those of us who work from home struggle with that sort of thing on a daily basis. And with no fear of a boss walking into our office, we can be stuffing our face 24/7.
Good times, except not good times.
So what can we do? Well here are some strategic tips to beat those cravings and stay healthy while working from home.
No, please don’t move your fridge to the porch; that’s just going to weird out the neighbors.
Instead, think about doing your work at a coffee shop, at least a few days a week. That way you don’t have access to the Oreos you put in your kids’ lunches. I know, I know: There’s food there too. But it’s expensive, which is often a good deterrent.
I personally go to a local coffee shop that has good coffee but terrible food. You might have heard of it? It’s called Starbucks? (And no, I’m not a coffee snob, clearly … I THINK IT’S GOOD, OKAY??) For me this is a win-win. If you think you might still struggle with buying All The Treats, just bring cash with you. That way you have a built in limit.
But of course, you can’t always work out of the house, and mindless eating is at its worst when you’re in your own bed/on your own couch/holed up in your own Lady Fortress of Solitude.
Because at home, there’s an endless food supply – and as it turns out, we have an endless stomach. (Okay, fine, I should speak for myself. But I’m guessing you know what I mean.)
If you’re someone who truly has to work from home and can’t get away from the kitchen, you need to plan out your snacking. I have a friend who actually makes herself a packed lunch in the morning. In it, she puts everything she feels she should eat for the 8 hours she’s working, snacks included. Then when she wanders into the kitchen for something to nosh on, she only lets herself pull it out of the lunch bag.
The other nice thing about getting your lunch ready in the morning is that if you’re on a roll, or on the phone with a client when you get hungry, you don’t have to stop to make yourself a sandwich. It’s already made for you!
One of my other friends takes a different tack. Whenever she buys snack foods for her house, she always divides them into smaller plastic sandwich bags as soon as they make it home from the grocery story. Cheddar cheese popcorn, you get divided into eight tiny bags. Pretzels, you get divided up as well, sometimes into the bags of popcorn. (Just because she’s crazy like that.)
She even does this with veggies, so can just grab a pack and take it with her back to her desk without the whole bag getting warm or ending up in her stomach. Because we all know what happens when you eat too much vegetables. (Ahem. It’s not polite to talk about it.)
And my personal favorite? I keep lots of fun drinks on hand. Coffee, coffee, coffee, of course. But also fruity teas, green tea with mint and Le Croix soda, which is basically the crack of our times. My current favorite is Cran-Raspberry. Just sayin’.
If you try all these tricks and still find your hand in the cookie jar, you might want to check out Julia Cameron’s The Writing Diet. In it, she talks about why writers eat the way we do, and what other nourishment we might really be looking for. Might be worth giving it a whirl if you’re really looking to avoid temptation.
And as with everything else that comes along with working for yourself and working from home, be gentle with yourself, because you’re doing the best you can. If you’re looking for more tips on how to kill it at home, be sure to check out the Free Resource Library!
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