The importance of lunch
with Kumud Gandhi
As much as eating a healthy lunch, it’s important to actually take a break from the morning’s activities to consolidate your thoughts, particularly if your work demands concentration. Eating at regular intervals, and eating lunch, is vital to a healthy, balanced daily diet.
If you’re working in an office environment then it’s even more important that you step away from your desk.
A recent study suggests that as many as one in four people is too busy to take a break for lunch, and one in three people eats lunch at their desk. The average person takes less than 20 minutes each day for lunch away from their desk. Why? According to research, many people work through lunch in order to save time and avoid working late; in reality it rarely works out that way.
Lunch to reduce stress
Taking a lunch break and nourishing the brain with food, oxygen and water will lead to better work in the afternoon than continuously staring at the computer screen. In fact, I’d say taking small breaks frequently is key to keeping the brain as active as possible and avoiding the build-up of stress in tiny amounts. If you habitually eat whilst you’re working, or at your desk, elevated stress levels lead to increased cortisol, which leaves fat accumulation in the body. There is also more chance of you overeating, because the distractions from work cause you not to realise that you’re full until you’ve eaten too much.
The key is: look forward to lunch as another activity and plan what you’d like to eat, as it is going to affect your performance for the rest of the day. It’s important to pack a few of your 5-a-day into this meal, and keeping it fresh and lively is vital. By swapping some of the usual lunchtime suspects for colourful and healthy alternatives, you could significantly change the way you feel in the afternoon and – critically – your energy levels for the rest of the day see 'good food for lunch' for some great ideas.