Research has proven time and again that what you eat for lunch impacts your mental and physical energy and has a direct effect on your work performance. And it’s not just that – the health benefits of lunch reach far beyond your work output; it can also shape your overall health.
Every meal can have an impact on your health, but maybe none so much as your lunch. “It’s just one meal!” you might be thinking, but that’s simply not true! Eating a quality and healthy lunch has the power to make or break the rest of your day!
The Hard Facts
The truth is, skipping lunch (or any meal, really) creates a domino effect on your wellbeing. Approximately 3 out of 4 people who skip meals fail to consume enough essential vitamins and minerals needed to stay healthy and energized. Even worse still, skipping lunch causes your body to go into “starvation mode,” which triggers those intense cravings for fatty, greasy, salty, convenience foods.
The body’s response to a skipped meal is to overeat to try and regain the nutrition it missed out on. The result is usually consuming lower food quality and more calories than if you had just eaten lunch in the first place.
Basically, skipping a meal isn’t simply missed, it creates a domino effect that’s hard to recover from!
Lunch Fuels Your Brain and Body
Have you ever felt super sluggish after working through your lunch break? Over 70% of employees say the number one reason they don’t take their lunch break is because they have too much work to do. However, the strategy of skipping lunch to make time for more work actually works against you.
Skipping lunch is associated with mental fatigue and poor memory because your body hasn’t gotten the nutrients it needs. In fact, passing on your mid-day meal can cause your blood sugar to drop which makes you feel sleepy, weak, and even disoriented in some cases. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to be irritable and experience brain fog, which can create a cycle of depletion.
On the other hand, eating a large lunch or an unhealthy lunch can cause a spike in blood sugar, which can lead to mental fatigue. It can also backfire and cause you to eat worse food later in the day! (And a whole new set of problems comes with that, too…)
Eating a balanced lunch complete with healthy foods every day is the key to staying alert, energized, and on top of your A-Game. But odds are when you think of “healthy,” you probably picture chomping down on a salad sans-dressing. The good news is eating clean doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor. Our fresh, chef-crafted meals make it easy to eat delicious and nutritious lunches.
Weight Loss and The Irony of Skipping Lunch
If you’re trying to lose weight, not eating is NOT the answer! Remember how skipping a meal causes your body to go into “starvation mode?” Skipping a meal simply alerts the body that you’re at risk for starvation which means it stores more calories in preparation for “survival” later on. This causes your metabolic rate to slow down and your carb-cravings to go into overdrive.
Studies find that skipping meals lowers your metabolic rate and you burn fewer calories. It’s a lot like removing a workout from your day! So not only will you consume more calories by the end of the day, but your body burns less of them off.
There’s plenty of research that has proven time and again that those who skip meals are more likely to be overweight or obese. Starvation is not the answer. If you want to lose weight or avoid putting on extra pounds, then you must eat!
What Else Can Happen If You Skip Lunch
There’s a big association between blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, higher BMIs, and more in those that eat less throughout the day! Young adults who skip meals are likely to eat more added sugar, have a lower nutrient intake, and have a lower Healthy Eating Index than those that ate a well-balanced lunch. Other things that can happen when you skip lunch can include:
- Feeling anxious
- Being at a higher risk for nutrient deficiencies
- Developing digestion issues
- Being at a higher risk for developing an eating disorder
- Slowing down your metabolism
- Losing the ability to focus
- Lack of healthy skin, hair, and nails
- A decline in overall health over time
While these may take time to develop, you’re certainly not doing yourself any favors playing a risky game of lunch skipping. Fitting in your lunch break is a simple way to save yourself a possible future of lengthy and scary health problems.
A Good Lunch = A Good Life!
Making sure you have a satisfying and healthy lunch every day can prevent the above issues from ever happening. And of course, it can help you avoid the dreaded hangry syndrome (which is pleasant for anybody).
A good lunch keeps your metabolism going strong, which in turn results in better, healthier body systems overall. Whether you want to lose weight, be more productive in the afternoon, or just feel better, the key lies in taking your lunch break.