Most people call breakfast the most important meal. However, there are plenty of reasons lunch is an equally vital component of being prosperous. Not only does it supply energy for the remaining work or school day, but it's often a great time to socialize with co-workers. Nonetheless, not everyone makes time for this mighty meal, often skipping it to continue work. However, it is possible to reap lunch's many benefits without cutting into your day. Clear your plate, because here are some tips for a truly healthy lunch:
"Give yourself at least 30 minutes per day for lunch."
Drink more water
Oftentimes, lunch is a chance to enjoy a little pick-me-up, a nice boost of energy for the day's second half. However, popular beverages like coffee, soda and other sugary drinks don't last long, and you'll more than likely just experience a sudden crash a short time later. Instead, enjoy your lunch with a big cup of water. Drinking enough water - the Mayo Clinic suggests half a gallon a day - can help prevent dehydration, which is often associated with feelings of sluggishness. Plus, water has been known to aid in the overall digestive process and improve your skin and kidneys.
Take your time
Many people who do take the time to eat lunch will still rush through, cramming their food down in order to get back to that day's tasks. However, lunch shouldn't serve as some sort of inconvenience, and you should do your best to try and enjoy each meal. Give yourself at least 30 minutes per day for lunch, and try to avoid doing any work-related tasks during that period. This is your time to get away from the grind, and by doing so you, you just might gain clarity on a certain project or issue. Being more patient will also allow you to better gauge your fullness, potentially preventing you from overeating.
Bring your own lunch
In office environments, there's a tendency to run to a restaurant - which are plentiful in the urban areas many companies call home - and buy your lunch. However, studies have found that eating out can add an extra 150-250 calories a day to your diet. For a healthier option, bring your lunch from home. Doing so allows you to prepare everything the night before, which can remove a bit of stress from the next day's agenda. Plus, you get to control the food you actually put into your body, which means you can avoid excess sugar and trans fats and consume healthier ingredients like added protein and iron. You're also setting a good example for your colleagues, helping to spread the importance of eating a proper lunch.
The right space is important
It's not just what you eat for lunch, but often where you eat that can have a noticeable effect. Ideally, try to get away from your desk whenever possible, which minimizes the temptation of working while you eat. Find a nice, quiet area and allow yourself to unwind temporarily so you can come back focused for the last half of the day. However, if you can't get away from the desk, try and make that space a more suitable place to eat. That could mean simply keeping spices and condiments and proper silverware, which can enhance a meal's quality. Or, simply leave enough space on your desk - preferably away from a computer - to actually enjoy a solid meal.