A recent study showed that 2 out of 3 millennials skip lunch in order to ‘get ahead’ at work. While this may save time in the end you will not be more productive if you don’t eat and properly nourish your body and brain!
Turns out, lunch breaks, even short ones, are crucial to a healthy life.
And while your stiff schedule of meetings doesn’t want to budge, your stiff mind and body literally need to budge. So go, remember to move around, get up from your desk when you can, and don’t skip lunch, these worthwhile benefits await you.
You’ll get more work done
Yes, taking a break from work results in increased productivity. When you attempt to power through the workday, your mental health and productivity rapidly decline.
Humans weren’t built to sit still or work for that many consecutive hours. By actively getting up from your desk, going to get lunch, breathing in fresh air, and moving your body around, you will immediately begin resetting your capacity to work effectively.
Data from a survey cited in a Forbes article tells us what we probably already know: about 90% of Americans say that “taking a lunch break helps them feel refreshed and ready to get back to work.”
Think of it this way, in any high-speed road race, drivers come to a complete stop to refuel and get tires replaced so they can have faster, stronger laps for the remainder of the race. If they didn't, they might hit empty or slide completely off the track.
Your body operates the same way. Take a short break to boost subsequent performance.
What are the primary differences between remaining at your desk and quickly gobbling down a vending machine snack versus departing your desk and consciously eating something healthier?
Eating an unhealthy fast food meal at your desk can lead to indigestion and discomfort in your stomach. In turn, this will leave you lethargic and distracted for hours after, infringing on your ability to think and function properly.
When you allot the time and space to focus on consuming lunch, you set yourself up for digestive success. The sole act of getting up from your desk and walking around for even a few minutes aids your digestion and ignites your metabolism.
Yet, for many of us, cooking a full lunch at home is much too time-consuming, and forces us to eat quickly to make up for lost time before starting work again. Aside from experiencing indigestion, you simply won’t enjoy your food as much if you eat in a rush.
Waiting in line to buy lunch or attempting to perfectly time a lunch delivery can cut into your lunch break all the same.
If you want to maximize a short lunch period—say 20 minutes—and consume something nutritious without rushing to get it, slowly sip a full bottle of Soylent for 400 filling calories and a balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats.
Ideally, you would get up from your desk, find a warm spot in the sun to soak up some rays, slowly sip your favorite Soylent flavor, then walk around to prime your digestion before returning to your desk.
20 minutes to feel fully refreshed and ready to go. Can you make that tradeoff?
The magic of lunch and movement
If you eat at your desk during your “lunch break”, you’re accomplishing the “lunch” portion but disregarding the “break” altogether.
Part of what makes a lunch break so healthy is the act of removing yourself from your workstation and allowing your brain and body to destress and take a load off.
According to an India Times article, the simple practice of walking after eating has myriad benefits including:
- Preventing bloating and indigestion
- Stimulating your metabolism
- Boosting blood circulation
- Burning more calories
Walking around regardless of when you eat lunch also works to loosen up your spine and muscles and help rid your body of those kinks and aches that come with staying sedentary for too long.
Banish afternoon fatigue
People often skip lunch over the fear that it will only lull them into a sleepy afternoon state. This, of course, diminishes your ability to knock out those big, looming tasks to close out the workday.
It’s true that if you scarf down a heavy lunch drenched in oil and full of processed meat and refined carbs, you won’t be feeling all so hot. Then again, you won’t be feeling all so hot anytime you eat a meal like that.
Contrarily, if you reach for a balanced lunch and pair it with sunlight and movement, you can maintain a steady stream of energy and conquer the formidable afternoon lull.
Your concentration can improve with just a 20-minute lunch break. The key is to use these 20 minutes effectively by unplugging from your electronic devices, stretching, walking, or moving around, and consuming healthy calories for slow-burning energy.
By all means necessary, avoid big, gut bomb lunches and sugary, caffeinated beverages that will temporarily spike your energy only to make it plummet shortly after.
Is it lunchtime yet?
Did we convince you that a proper lunch break is worth it? Even a short break of only 20 minutes paired with movement and something nutritious can relax you and supercharge the rest of your workday.
If you want lunch ideas for that “something nutritious”, try out a new flavor of Soylent. Making time for lunch doesn't mean you literally have to make lunch every day. We put a meal in a bottle for a reason.
Remain planted at your desk all day, and lose out on increased productivity, better digestion, less fatigue, and a refreshed state of mind.
Take your lunch break, enjoy your lunch break, and enjoy the hidden benefits of doing so.
- The Soylent Team