Lunch break at work: how it benefits your diet and health

For most of us, taking an actual break to enjoy our main meal at work with our colleagues seems to be some kind of a ‘luxury’ as we usually end up rushing over lunch at our desks. To talk with numbers, a recent study conducted by TotalJobs in 7,135 Britons showed that 1/3 of employees spent their whole shift stuck behind a desk!

But have you ever imagined that a proper lunch break away from our computer screens could have a significant positive impact on our health and our relationships with other people? Below, you can find out more!

Taking your lunch break helps you eat better!

Most of the times, skipping lunch break at work leads to an uncontrollable feeling of hunger afterwards, which then results in over-eating during the rest of the day. If we, however, have a proper meal, at the right time and based on how hungry we feel at that moment, our dietary choices will certainly be more conscious. Meanwhile, the non-rushed consumption of food will enhance the feeling of satiety. Of course, it is important to say that eating at a slower pace will make us enjoy each and every bite, which can help us -to a degree- eliminate the stress and negative emotions that are overwhelming us at that moment.

How can we achieve all the above? We can plan and prepare our meal from home or enjoy a light lunch at work with our colleagues, such as a vegetable or salmon sandwich, chicken burger with rice, legumes, veggie dishes (cooked with olive oil), fish with raw/boiled vegetables. However, in case that we choose a dish with more calories- let’s say a risotto- what we can do is share our portion with a colleague or have a lighter meal for dinner in order to better control our daily energy balance. What does that mean? In order to maintain our body weight, the calories we get from foods and beverages should be in balance with the calories we “burn”, including our basal metabolism, our daily activities and, of course, physical exercise. Practically, in order to be able to compensate to some extent the excess calories of a meal like that, it is good to consume a lighter dinner (e.g. yoghurt with fruit and a few nuts or a chicken salad with a little corn) and/or be more active during the day so that we “burn” more calories and get the balance straight.

Lunch break can have a positive effect on your body and spirit!

After many hours of sitting in front of your computer screen, changing your posture and moving in general could help reduce joint and muscle pain in the neck and back. Moreover, “disconnecting” your brain from the computer and the light emitted helps you regroup your thoughts and reduces mental fatigue symptoms and concentration difficulty. When your lunch break is over, this change of environment can make you return to work with your “batteries charged” and, thus, be more productive for the rest of the day.

Is a lunch break enough to make us happier?

The truth is that taking a break for lunch gives you the opportunity to spend time with your colleagues, discuss, exchange opinions and ideas, share problems and concerns, laugh with your heart! In this way, you can improve not only your social relationships, but also your mental and psychological health! Remember that laughter has proven to be the best healing power. There’s no better place for a person to laugh and have fun than around a table, accompanied by family, friends or colleagues!

In the end, a simple everyday habit like having a meal in peace with the company of colleagues seems to be a little more worthy of your attention!


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