Lunch Ideas for Work | Part I: 9 Easy Approaches for a Healthy Lunch Break
Lunch at work. Everyone who has ever worked in an office knows this scenario - quickly chuck the leftovers from last night into the microwave for two minutes, then maybe have a quick gander with colleagues or finish off a series at your desk. After a while, this becomes a ritual out of habit and we may find it hard to escape from this circle. However, shouldn’t you consciously be enjoying your lunch break? In this blog post series, we will share some ideas and recommendations into what habits you can avoid at lunch, what a good lunch is made up of and ultimately, how you can make the most of your lunch break too.
Lunch ideas for work: Avoid these bad habits
Lunches at work and in general are of particular importance for the body and your general well-being. They play a crucial role in providing you with energy for the afternoon and studies even point to benefits for your body rhythm. However, why do so many overlook this brief window all too often and what should you be really doing without? We nibble a lot, have various habits and have much on which we can improve.
Simply avoiding the working lunch
To start with, we cannot stress enough that you should never skip lunch. As mentioned above, lunch is crucial for the very fiber of our being. Skipping lunch at work can actually slow down your metabolism and lead to low blood sugar. In many cases, this can make you feel “hangry”, which is a combination between feeling irritable and tired. No office experience is ever a lot of fun when you and your colleagues slip down into this state. It therefore makes a lot of sense to appreciate the most important meal of the day at work. After all, it will make you all the more productive and positive. Your team will be grateful!
Too many sugary carbohydrates
The importance of your lunch on your day is not to be understated - as mentioned above. However, you should also consider that too many carbohydrates during your lunch break can also impact negatively upon your day. Don’t be deterred from carbohydrates in general however - starchy and fiber-rich carbohydrates are an important foundation of your diet and allow energy to be released gradually throughout the day. Having said that, people more often than not have lunch which simply consists of only pasta, rice, potatoes or just bread - everything without vegetables, enough protein and healthy fats.
This dietary imbalance can often leave you feeling out of whack, as we have also noticed that too many people are content with uninspiring meals and portions at lunch. Although the food may look and taste not too bad the previous evening, it often lacks in taste and nutrition 18 hours later. According to studies, starchy carbohydrates should make up just over a third of our average daily intake. The issue here is not that people eat carbohydrates in the first place - it is rather that people eat too much of them. Low carb lunch recipes are trendy nowadays. Although they can be controversial, they could just well be worth looking into.
Lunches at work: Respect the microwave
Upon bringing warm food into work the next day, you may notice that you usually need to stick it into the microwave and watch it go round and round on the lazy susan, awaiting the miraculous ping. You will inevitably see various claims online that the humble microwave is a blasphemous nutrient-killer, making food cancerous by making it slightly radioactive. Although such conspiracies shouldn’t be taken so seriously, we feel that the main meal of the day deserves more respect - it shouldn’t simply consist of unevenly warmed leftovers. The infamous term, “You are what you eat” is still current. Would you rather be fresh and lively or tired and stale?
Break away from your fast food dependence
In Germany at least, if you were to walk two minutes from the office in any big city, you would undoubtedly stumble upon a takeaway stand in any form. The tasty aromas certainly prove enchanting and are irresistible to many people. Kebabs, fries and hotdogs are undeniably tasty. However, we all know that they aren’t good for us all the time.
How many times have you had to brave sideways rain to grab some soggy fries - after having queued many minutes and getting there in the first place at that! Furthermore, buying fast food can prove expensive and time-consuming in the long run. This is when you consider the total time it takes to get there and back - not to mention how saturated fats and sugary carbohydrates impact your health.
Further approaches to improve your lunch at work
We have mentioned a few habits above, which you may or may not be acquainted to and are better off avoiding. These only make up a few however - therefore, the following approaches could also be worth looking into.
- Storing lunch in worn-out and loose containers - hazardous substances could leak into your lunch
- Sitting alone at your desk - where has all the fun gone?
- Continuing to work during your lunch break - your body is not aware that you are having lunch. The feeling of fullness will only appear much later and there is a tendency to overeat (despite not being satisfied anyway)
- Hurrying with your lunch - the same point mentioned above is also valid here. Those who eat too quickly will be full much later.
Fast food, no food or the healthy option?
Here at Smunch, we appreciate the lunch break so much that we strive to provide teams with tasty yet healthy lunches on a daily basis. Lunch breaks are more enjoyable together and count as the most important part of the working day. When you consider that people spend an average of 40 hours per week in the office, the relevance becomes more poignant. In the next part, we will address more ideas for an optimal lunch break. Stay tuned!