Long hours at the computer, incorrect positions, poor motion, quick meals: life in the office can in some cases threaten our health.
A quick snack at the desk so as not to waste time or, on the contrary, a lavish lunch at the restaurant to try to ‘unplug’ or a sandwich at the bar, but why not, a snack at the vending machine is fine too save time and money.
Different people with different lifestyles, but we must bear in mind that proper nutrition is of great importance for one’s own well-being and the interval of the lunch break is a moment of the day not to be underestimated.
A lack of essential nutritional elements, in fact, or excesses or nutritional imbalances are risk factors for the onset of certain metabolic and degenerative diseases. In addition to this, among other things, a wrong diet involves drowsiness, therefore, low productivity and a reduction in quality levels.
Anyone who goes to the office every day and has to have lunch out and about, however, knows that it is difficult to maintain good eating habits.
What are the most common mistakes of people having lunch outside the home for work?
Many people worldwide do not come home for lunch, this is something that can be done only if you live in a very small community where distance isn’t an issue, nevertheless, today’s busy life at the office will prevent even those employees, secretaries, managers, but also students to get back home.
The alternatives for eating a lunch break like fast food restaurants, bars, canteens, restaurants, and trattorias make it very easy to make a few dietary mistakes.
The most common are excessive consumption of calories and fat, the choice of monothematic dishes, an incorrect distribution of nutrients needed during the day.
Often to these errors is added a sedentary lifestyle, the dangerous cocktail for the line and health. It is increasingly common, then, the bad habit of not having breakfast and spending the morning drinking two or three quick coffee, perhaps accompanying one with a small pastry. The result is to get to the break in aadvanced state of hunger. Even the pastry, in fact, rich in fat and calories, has, however, a very low satiating power for which hunger is felt very soon.
Here then, the lunch easily becomes high-calorie, but fast, because the time available is still very short, from 30-40 minutes per hour and a half including any movement or the queue to sit down. In canteens, in particular, you risk making improper choices dictated by the long fast, then, elaborate first courses (baked pasta, cheese, sausage or bacon), fried main courses with poor vegetable side dishes or with french fries, bread and even a dessert instead of a fruit. A lunch of this kind for those who work a sedentary job is likely to make laborious digestion causing drowsiness, abdominal swelling and heartburn. Instead, it has been shown that a correct diet regulates the level of attention positively, increasing the quality of work and favoring a person’s well-being.
What about those eating only a sandwich?
Sometimes the lunch break is not enough to sit at the table, so the sandwich at the local cafe is the only solution. In this case it is important to know how to choose. Among the sandwiches it is preferable to opt for the simplest, not seasoned (bread with oil or milk are all seasoned), giving preference to common or whole bread. Avoid various sauces and fillings and make the habit of choosing sandwiches with grilled vegetables, turkey, pastrami, cooked or raw ham. In addition, the pre-packaged mixed salads are often found at the bar. They represent an excellent choice compared to the single sandwich because they allow to introduce dietary fiber that increases the sense of satiety as well as vitamins and minerals. Be careful to avoid excessive mix of protein foods, however, (tuna + mozzarella + ham + eggs), but prefer versions that contain one or two types only. Indispensable is to complete this course with bread and fruit.
Eating fast at the desk is a healthy habit?
Absolutely not. The ‘desk-eating’, as the Americans call it, often does not satisfy the needs of the organism, which only benefits from the snack momentarily, but returns just as quickly to make the sensation of hunger feel. The result is a continuous eating throughout the day or, alternatively, an excessive dinner to compensate for the skipped meal. Incidentally, “desk-eating” lovers typically buy fast food snacks at vending machines where it is difficult to realize the calories of the product or what it contains. It is important, however, to enjoy the work interval calmly to avoid a poor digestion due to anxiety. In addition, the lunch break is also a way to “unplug” from work momentarily.
A proper diet should include a good breakfast with milk or yogurt or orange or fruit juice, carbohydrates such as biscuits, rusks or cereals, and, if desired, barley or coffee to start the day and work better .
At mid-morning you can introduce a small snack with fruit or crackers, nothing particularly caloric or high in fat and only if you feel the need. Lunch, then, must be as digestible as possible. You can eat pasta or rice with tomatoes or vegetables or a second course of meat or fish or cured meats, possibly accompanying them always with vegetables and fruit.
It is important to avoid alcoholic and sugary drinks. A lunch of this type, not too caloric, rich in fiber and low in fat, makes sure that post-lunch drowsiness does not occur.
Even pizza, the classic margherita, can be a valid alternative. I recommend limiting the sandwich to cases where you do not have a better alternative. Finally, dinner can be an opportunity to supplement a not very balanced lunch. You must never miss fruits and vegetables accompanied by a single course (first course or second course) or a single dish (pasta or rice with vegetables or meat or fish) or a first course plus a second course. The correct choice can not be standardized, each has different needs that must be respected both in terms of portions and quality choices. When you follow a proper diet you can occasionally grant some transgression without any risk both for the “body shape” and for the health.
Sarah is part of the Team ELC and she helps people discover what makes their life happy, meaningful, and full of ease. She is a writer, meditator and loves painting, an art she happily gets to practice a lot in her spare time.