Homebased business neophytes often expect their toughest challenge to be maintaining productivity. Little do they know one of their most trying challenges will be maintaining their weight. After all, resisting the temptation to indulge in nonstop munching gets tough when the kitchen - with its abundance of leftovers and snacks - is just steps away.
Making this homebased hazard even tougher to avoid is the lack of a typical 9-to-5 structure with a defined lunch break. It's easy to get so busy you forget to eat, then gulp down a lot of fast, fattening food when you realize you're famished.
Candace Paul, a naturopathic doctor and a coach in natural health and nutrition, offers these tips for fighting the food monster:
- Keep a large bottle of water on your desk and drink frequently. "The more water you drink, the less hungry you are," Paul says. I don't know how much water actually contributes to appetite control, but it's good for you. I keep several plastic bottles with sport caps on my desk and near my computer. And if they get knocked over, they won't make a huge mess.
- Graze. Eating several small meals throughout the day keeps you from gorging at lunch or dinner. I'm satisfied with three meals per day but have found the key is to eat reasonably before I become ravenous.
- Don't cook during the day. Avoid doing things that fill your house with delicious food aromas, like putting on a pot of soup to simmer. Not only does it create a less-than-professional atmosphere if clients visit your home office, it surely stimulates your appetite. I save preparing elaborate meals for the weekends when I'm not working, and limit weekday lunches to cold salads, sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly is my favorite) and easy-to-heat leftovers or frozen meals.
- Keep healthy snacks handy. Paul keeps a large bowl of fruit nearby. You can also have a plate of cut-up raw veggies or other low-calorie snacks at your desk. I prefer to keep those foods out of the office and in the kitchen; it makes me think twice about what and why I'm eating if I have to leave my workstation to go get it.
Jacquelyn Lynn left the corporate world more than 12 years ago and has been writing about business and management issues from her home office in Winter Park, Florida, ever since.