A dietitian has revealed the five reasons why you need to take a lunch break – and why not doing so could see you pack on the kilos.
Susie Burrell, from Sydney, said most people never clock between 30 and 60 minutes away from the desk to enjoy a balanced meal.
‘With time our most precious limited resource it is not surprising that many of us prefer to use the time allocated to lunch to get more stuff done,’ Susie wrote on her blog.
But the downside of this is that it has a serious knock-on effect on both our waistline and our activity levels throughout the day.
Dietitian Susie Burrell (pictured) has revealed the five reasons why you need to take a lunch break – and why not doing so could see you pack on the kilos
First things first, Susie said if you take a lunch break, you are more likely to make healthy choices throughout the day (pictured: a healthy lunch choice)
So why is taking a break at lunchtime so good for your health?
1. Your nutrition will be on track
First things first, the dietitian said if you take a lunch break, you are more likely to make healthy choices throughout the day.
When you eat on the hoof, you’re more likely to grab something like sushi, juice, a coffee or a wrap – which often don’t have the vegetables and protein we need to stay satisfied throughout the day.
‘On the other hand, a hearty 400-500 calorie lunch of leftovers, salad and soup plus a sandwich or a serve of hot food is much more likely to keep you full and satisfied until dinner time, helping to eliminate the need for snacking altogether,’ Susie said.
Take the time away from your desk to heat up and eat your leftovers, and your waistline will thank you.
2. You will move more
There is no denying that we sit more than ever, with a great deal of us clocking as many as 10 or 11 hours in our desk chair.
But there is a simple way that you can more more just by using your lunch break.
And Susie said that lunchtime is a ‘key time’ to move a little and up your daily steps.
Even by just going for a 20-30 minute stroll around the park or local area, you can get as many as 5,000 extra steps.
Susie recommends you walk after you’ve eaten to ‘aid blood flow and digestion’.
This will also help reduce bloating and any post-meal discomfort.
You aid digestion by going for a brief walk, and you are less likely to feel bloated after eating (pictured)
3. You will get some much-needed vitamin D
Sitting indoors for hours on end might keep you cosy.
But it doesn’t offer you the much-needed sunlight that helps vitamin D get converted into its active form in the body.
Susie said the recommended amount is between 10 and 20 minutes of sunlight per day to look and feel your best.
The perfect time to up your vitamin D is at lunchtime.
By having a lunch break not at your desk, Susie said you are forced ‘to focus on what is in front of us rather than looking down’ (Stock image)
4. You get a screen break
While you might not realise it, Susie said many of us are guilty of spending far more hours in front of a computer screen than we realise.
But by having a lunch break not at your desk, Susie said you are forced ‘to focus on what is in front of us rather than looking down’.
Even better than just sitting away from your screen is going somewhere where you can see the natural world.
This has been proven to boost your mood and well-being.
5. You get more done
Last but not least, the dietitian revealed that by using your lunch break, you open yourself up to more time for getting things done.
‘Opening up 20-30 minutes of your day to leave the house or office means that you have some extra time to keep the rest of your life on track,’ she said.
Use your break for a quick trip to the supermarket or head to the post office. It’ll mean you’ll have more time in the evening.