Until recently, I thought I had a good working routine for lunch. If you ever came to see me at lunchtime, you’d find me hunkered over my keyboard, carrot sticks in hand. The lunch was healthy, and I saved about 20 minutes that I could later use however I’d like: starting dinner earlier; spending time with family; or getting an extra exercise session in after work.
All was well with my theory until I read a study on the subject. The study found that people who ate while working (or gaming) on the computer would later eat more than those who weren’t distracted by the computer during their meal. When we aren’t paying attention to what we’re eating, it’s as if the mind doesn’t register the meal and our stomachs end up grumbling too soon after. I knew it was time to change my habits.
I think we all know that if we watch TV when we eat, we consume more calories. But this was the first study I read that showed how the effects of mindless eating can persist throughout the day.
In the process of changing my habits, I went through a period of trial and error before I landed on these three tips that work for me…
- Book lunch with a friend. At least one day a week I get away from my desk to enjoy a good meal and great conversation.
- I resolve to eat at least part of my lunch away from my desk every single day. I might eat carrot sticks & hummus at my desk, but then I take the rest of my lunch to the break room and pray I run into someone!
- I take a green tea walk. I make a cup of tea, usually an hour before lunch, and then I come up with an excuse to go outside and enjoy the fresh air.