The LEAN Team

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Free health and nutrtition tips

Regular Mealtimes - Scheduling time in your diary to eat lunch 

"You may often feel too busy and stressed to stop whatever you’re doing, but taking a 20-minute break from working can re-energise and help productivity when you return back to the task after a break", says Tony Hirving RD.

"One in five workers and one third of women say they never eat lunch - and 40% of those who do lunch take less than 15 minutes. So if you work 46 weeks of the year, and skip your hour lunch, that’s 230 extra hours, or over 28 days of free time you’re giving to your company!" 

"People who skip meals during the day, and then eat lots in the evening, are more likely to be overweight than people who eat regularly throughout the day".


Common Myths and Misconceptions

  • “Lunch is for wimps!” - Lunch is for productive people who want to benefit from taking 20 minutes out to relax and refuel – the rise in blood sugar following the meal aids concentration and brainpower. Giving your mind and body a break, even for 20 minutes, can help increase your productivity and mood.
  • “Eating lunch makes me sleepy in the afternoons” - The body’s daily natural rhythm (circadian) dips in the early to mid afternoon and this is why you often experience a drop in energy levels at this time. To combat this, eat a starch-based low fat lunch to top up energy levels for the afternoon ahead. If you eat a large lunch or drink alcohol with your lunch, this will tend to make the dip feel worse. Many people counteract this with a cup of coffee after lunch (up to 4 cups of tea or coffee a day is an acceptable intake). Make sure you are getting plenty of rest at night so that you are not sleepy because of tiredness.

 

Tips and Tricks

  • You schedule time for everything else, so make lunch equally important and schedule time for that as well. Write it in your diary as you do other appointments – say always somewhere between 12 – 2pm. Treat it as a very important appointment (and that's what it is - a 'timeout' gap for your benefit).
  • If you are expected to attend meetings over lunchtime, suggest that sandwiches and fruit are provided – avoid those plates full of chocolate biscuits and pastries. You can often have sandwich platters delivered – request light fillings and ask to have mayonnaise and sauces on the side – you’re paying, so ask for what you want.
  • Block out time in your diary – if you have an online or electronic diary, set this so that it cannot be over-booked by someone else without your permission
  • Arrange to meet a friend for lunch at least once a week – ensuring that you take time out of the work place to eat a meal.
  • Make a week’s worth of sandwiches at the weekend, pop into individual bags and put them into the freezer. Take a bag out in the morning and your sandwich will be defrosted by lunchtime (put a note by your keys or on your bag so you remember to take them with you).
  • If you need to work or travel over lunchtime and are not sure if you will be able to buy lunch, take a sandwich from home to ensure you have something to eat when you are hungry.

 

We all like to be healthy and to be sure that we're doing the best we can for ourselves, and our families, health.