Lunch can be a tricky thing. So many of us find it difficult to make time to eat it in the first place, let alone make sure it is healthy and nutritious. If you have a busy schedule, then I know that lunch can seem like the world’s biggest annoyance! Breakfast is what wakes you up and turns you from zombie to a functioning human being and dinner is like the light shining at the end of the tunnel. Yet lunch seems to be the nuisance that always creeps up on you, but thankfully turns you from hangry to happy. Here are some lunching habits you may be doing daily that could be seriously ruining your weight loss.
Eating At Your Desk
Admit it - you are a desk diner. This is SO common. People across the world eat their lunches at their desks because they simply don’t have time to go out and have a break. I know it can be easy to say “oh, but you must make the time” and “surely you can spare half an hour?”, when you don’t have a list of looming deadlines that never seems to get smaller. If you are serious about losing weight you may need to get your priorities in order. The reason eating at your desk is so bad for you is because you are not focused on your food - the number one way to overeat. When you are sending emails, taking calls and sorting through your documents, how much you are eating is the LAST thing on your mind. Eating at your desk also means you aren’t getting any exercise, I’m not saying you have to bust out a pump class during your lunch break, but you should at least go for a ten minute walk to get your heart pumping and blood flowing. If you sit at your desk all day you will be less active meaning your calorie intake should be less. This is where it gets difficult because even though you aren't moving, you are also absentmindedly grazing on your food. Are we coming to the same realisation yet? Yup, overeating plus no movement may lead to weight gain, and that’s before we even take a look at WHAT you’re munching on.
Always Buying Your Lunch
It may be convenient to constantly buy your lunch or go out with co-workers each day, but this could also be causing you to stack on unwanted weight. If your lunch of choice is to eat out at restaurants, be aware you don’t always know what they are putting in your food therefore you can’t control what goes into you. Another thing to keep in mind is that whilst many places have lunch menus, the ones that do not are serving you a main sized meal that is probably too big a portion size in comparison to what you really need. This can, yet again, cause you to overeat. If you are the type that prefers to buy pre-packaged sandwiches or frozen meals because they are convenient and easy to heat up in the office, you may also be at risk of weight gain. This is because they are usually full of hidden calories, not to mention added artificial ingredients. The best thing to do is to take your lunch from home, allowing yourself a “treat” lunch out once a week. If you really dislike packing your lunches each day, a great tip is to make more dinner than you need, this way you can take the leftovers for lunch.
Waiting Too Long To Eat
If you think waiting to eat lunch is better for you, you might be so hungry by the time it comes that you overeat waaaay too much. It is important that you eat a snack between breakfast and lunch so that you keep your belly happy and your mood in control. If more than 5 hours has passed since you have eaten breakfast, you will probably overeat at lunch. Try to time your meals daily so you have a rough idea of when you should be eating to keep your body happy. I always prefer to eat lunch before 1pm, because if it is any later then I am usually starving! In short, eating a wholesome lunch at the right time can reduce the likelihood of excessive snacking.
Drinking Diet Fizzy Drinks
There is nothing better to wash down your lunch than a guilt-free soda, right? If you think drinking ‘zero calorie’ drinks is a guilt-free treat you can have to accompany that rather boring salad, think again. Diet fizzy drinks are usually FULL of artificial sweeteners which can end up making you even hungrier than before, not to mention their potential to cause fatigue and bloating. Nutritionally, they don’t give your body anything that it needs and they are basically a waste of your health and money. If you like the fizzy taste try putting fruits into sparkling water or squeezing lemon into it. Once you make the swap, you will get used to it and never want to go back to sodas again!
Not Eating Lunch At All
This is the biggest no-no! Granted sometimes time gets away from you and before you know it is 3pm and you are wondering where the day went. If you purposely skip lunch and deal with the hunger pains to ‘save’ your calories, then you are making a terrible mistake. Your body needs nutrients to run properly and keep you alert and working like clockwork. Additionally, by skipping meals you are potentially doing more damage than good to your metabolism - which starts to slow and, in turn, doesn’t burn calories efficiently. Even if you have to set an alarm and force yourself to eat it is a chore worth doing, your body will thank you for it.