Once upon a time, workers sat down, relaxed and ate a hearty meal during their lunch hour. That was before the days of always-accessible emails, cell phones and marathon errand lists. All too often these days, our midday breather is foiled by stress, tasks and a never-ending priorities list.
On top of that, when we do find a moment to munch, it’s often to speed-eat whatever salty, fatty, high-caloric foods we can get our mitts on. Let’s change that. Here are five ways to make the most of your lunch hour.
1. Jettison Your Desk
Grab your sack lunch and ditch your cubical as a culinary backdrop. Utilize your break as a time to remove yourself from your workspace. Eat outside, get some fresh air, talk to a friend-just step away. You’ll feel invigorated once it’s time to slide back into your chair.
2. Start Healthy, Stay Healthy
Breakfast is the key to controlling hunger until lunchtime. If you get coffee in the morning, skip the sugary, starchy sweets-like pastries and doughnuts. Slow-burning carbs-like instant oatmeal-will parlay hunger into a healthy appetite by lunch, which can keep you from overeating.
3. Make Your Errands Exercise Friendly
If you can’t avoid running errands during lunch, at least make the most of it. Maximize the amount of ground pounding you can do in an hour and complete your errands as you power-walk. If possible, reach your destinations on foot-studies show midday exercise will help revitalize you mentally and reduce stress throughout the day.
4. Mix It Up
The time you actually go to lunch, that is. Avoid waiting in long lines with the rest of the herd. Take your break an hour sooner or later. If you’re taking a sit-down, business lunch, you’ll find quicker service and smaller crowds. Plus, it will give you more time to actually eat and de-stress, instead of wasting time languishing among the masses.
5. Find Lunch Buddies
One of the best ways to avoid overeating and ensure you stick to a healthy diet is to surround yourself with like-minded people who will help keep you accountable. Eat with co-workers who place an emphasis on health and nutrition. It’s a great way to encourage healthy eating habits while building camaraderie, which benefits any organization.