Trap #5: Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom or a Telecommuter
Having easy access to the refrigerator and the option to eat whenever is a danger now that you're at home. "Without a formal lunch hour, you can lose the concept of structured mealtimes," says Bauer. Plus, you don't have coworkers around to scrutinize your eating habits, which may have been a deterrent. If you're a stay-at-home mom and an emotional eater (you tend to nosh when emotions run high), "the stress from it all, or boredom or loneliness, can cause you to eat to comfort yourself," says dietitian Grossman.
Food fix: Before you dig in, ask yourself, "Am I hungry?" If you're not, do something that isn't food-related to burn off steam, such as taking a walk or calling a friend. If you're truly hungry -- maybe you missed breakfast -- "keep grab-and-go foods around that are good for you," says Cochran, such as canned fruit, low-fat cheese and crackers, canned tuna and soup, precut veggies, fortified cereal, and low-fat cereal bars. When you're working in your home office, ask yourself: Would I be able to eat now if I was in a regular office? As a work-at-home mother of two, that's a question I ask myself to fend off the lure of the kitchen, which is about 20 steps away. Often the answer is no, and I keep plugging away.