One of the main reasons “Dalgona Coffee” was all over Facebook, instagram and all other social media feeds for most part of the year and through different steps of lockdown, was because a majority of the population had taken to cooking and experimenting with new recipes out of sheer boredom, increased stress levels, and of course with a lot of time in hand. When the world turned upside down, most people resorted to food to overcome anxiety, stress, and panic. As a result, “overeating” has become quite common, especially among people who are working from home. People who have quietly slipped into “overeating” have started noticing that the buttons on their jeans and shirts have started social distancing from each other 😛 We tend to overeat when we experience stress which elevates the level of cortisol, which in turn triggers appetite and turn to sugary and high-calorie delights that generate the release of dopamine and lights up the reward center of the brain. When you make overeating a habit, it can continuously activate the pleasure center of the brain, which can in turn distract you from negative emotions and provide relief from stress (albeit temporarily). However, weight gain and the increased risk of developing metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes are definite outcomes of overeating. In this post, we list down different ways on how to prevent overeating when working from home so that you could avoid piling on extra pounds and also drop some weight in the process.
What Causes Overeating?
Boredom, anxiety, stress, panic, depression can all lead to overeating is one is not mindful. It’s particularly dangerous because overeating can increase the fat percentage of the body since all the unused calories get converted into fat and increase the risk of metabolic diseases, pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
How to Prevent Overeating when Working from Home:
1. Clear your Pantry: Let’s start with a clean slate – clear your pantry of processed, junk, and packaged food with these toxic ingredients (Avoid These Toxic Ingredients when Shopping for Groceries). The theory of “out of sight, out of mind” clearly works here. When you are shopping at the supermarket, keep away from these food items that are terrible for weight loss (Foods from the Supermarket that are Terrible for Weight Loss).
2. Stock only Healthy Food in the Refrigerator: We are all guilty of making frequent tips to the refrigerator when we are bored sitting in front of the computer and want something to snack on. Leftover pizza, chocolates, sauces, jams, bread, ice cream, soft drinks can come along with you on each trip and before you know, that big bar of chocolate would have finished, piling up calories.
3. Stick to Fixed Meal Timings: Put an end to frequent snacking and mindless eating by sticking to fixed meal and snacking timings. Follow Rati Beauty app for more details.
4. Subscribe to Rati Beauty app to Lose Weight the Healthy Way: It’s the healthiest way to lose weight and helps to make healthy lifestyle changes to sustain the weight loss.
5. Include Appetite-Suppressant Foods in Diet: When we overeat, we may do so out of sheer boredom or stress, but these 45 Foods Help to Reduce Appetite and Hunger help to curb and control appetite.
6. Keep a Food Journal: Keeping a journal of what goes into your plate and eventually into your mouth would help you track and cut out extra calories and junk from your daily diet. Cutting out calorie-rich food items will help create a calorie deficit which would eventually help you lose weight. In the journal, do keep a track of how many times you are snacking and how much sugar content you are consuming on a daily basis.
7. Practice Portion Control: Portion control is an effective tool to not only maintain a healthy weight but also to shed extra pounds. Here are 10 Tips to Practice Portion Control at home.
8. Include One Protein and Fiber Source: Include one protein source (fish/chicken for non-vegetarians and beans/nuts/legumes/dal for vegetarians), one vegetable, one whole grain, and one fiber rich food during each meal. A portion of fruit is also recommended. If you are eating a plate, fill one quarter of your plate with a healthy protein source and one-quarter of your plate with whole grain (like quinoa, brown rice), and fill half of your plate with vegetable. And by the way, potatoes don’t count as a vegetable when you are on a diet, sweet potatoes are a good alternative. Eat at least one fruit each day.
9. Eat from a bowl rather than a plate: There’s an amazing scientific study that states that your brain gets tricked and feels satisfied when you eat from a bowl than from a plate. You would feel full when you eat from a small bowl with the same quantity of food that you eat from a larger plate. Also, the bowl’s weight in hand will give you the feeling that you are consuming more food. So, dump that plate and pick that bowl.
10. Standup and Move Every Half an Hour: It’s essential to be active through the day, especially when you are working from home, spending hours together sitting in a single position. An enzyme called lipoprotein lipase which is responsible for burning fat in the blood, stalls its “fat-burning activity” when you do not move for a few hours and spend most of your day at the desk at home. Stand up, move around, and reactivate the fat-burning enzyme, also boost up sluggish metabolism.
11. Meal prep for the entire week: Most of us indulge in junk and processed food when we are confused about what to eat. Meal prepping for the entire week (jotting down recipes and cutting and chopping raw ingredients into separate boxes) leaves little room to indulge in unhealthy food. It’s easy to take out boxes of “pre-packed ingredients ” from the fridge and cook them. In fact, note down snacks also in your meal prep
12. Water Preloading: Water preloading is a healthy and almost effortless way to aid weight loss. In this strategy, experts recommend to consume 500 ml of plain water half an hour before each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Such a quantity of water before the meal will significantly stretch your tummy and as a result, there would be lesser release of the hunger hormone “ghrelin.” This means you would feel full with less food and fewer calorie intake. It is an effective strategy to tackle overeating. It’s a fact that most of us do not consume enough water through the day, and most of the times, we are just thirsty and not really hungry. Frequent hunger pangs are most probably caused due to dehydration and if you can provide your body with more H2O, you can lose weight rather effectively. However, if a person suffers from heart or kidney ailment, water preloading should not be practiced without the approval of the doctor because it lead to fluid retention and shortness of breath in such individuals.
13. Do not practice Crash Dieting: Calorie restriction drastically without keeping in mind nutrition can affect the smooth running of body functions. Crash dieting will leave you with little or absolutely no energy to do workouts or exercise, so there you go – multiple reasons why you should not try crash diet. Crash dieting also slows down metabolism and keeps fat burning to minimal. And when you decide to eat, you would most likely overeat!
14. Sip on water every half an hour: Often stress can keep you from drinking your daily amount of water. Make it a habit to keep two bottles on your work desk or on the side table. Just drink as much as you can when you remember. Water is the answer to a lot of problems. Hydrate yourself and sip on water to keep metabolism high and prevent water retention. Keep at least two bottles filled with water near your workstation at home.
15. Connect with Like-Minded People who are Motivated to Lose Weight/Stay Healthy: Again, Rati Beauty community is full of like-minded people who motivate each other to lose weight and get healthy.
16. Lower Stress Level: When you overthink or take unwanted tension, you opt for activities that can be extremely unhealthy, and one of them is “overeating.” Also, stress can increase the level of a hormone called cortisol which leads to weight gain. One key tip to shed those extra pounds is to worry less about situations and stay carefree about the same. Don’t make losing weight a job to do, make it a hobby or passion. This will change your outlook towards it and cause less stress inside your mind. Let’s discuss about how to lower stress to become fit and some tips you can follow to combat stress
17. Sleep Well to Prevent Overeating: If you are stressed and gaining weight, you aren’t getting your mandatory 8 hours of sleep each night. You need to sleep it off in order to get your body working properly. Lack of sleep contributes to stress and weight gain too. You can do dieting and work it out at the gym, but if you are sleep deprived, you are not going to see any weight loss and the overactive hunger hormone from lack of sleep will push you towards overeating. Everything is interrelated which is why doctors highly suggest 8 hours of sleep at night.
18. Exercise a little: When you are stressed, head out for a walk, or a run or indulge in any sport you like. This will ensure that your mind is distracted, and you can take your mind off food, it will also help in shedding some weight. Walking in fresh air can clear your mind and thought process and help relieve stress.