Your Boss and Dietician Agree: Don’t Skip Lunch

It’s a popular notion that we will get more done if we skip lunch. Today, hundreds of thousands of people alone will skip it in order to accomplish more at work: “I have too much to do. I can’t make lunch today.” “It’s a waste of time. I’ll tough it out and get more done.” “I’m swamped. No time for it.”

Unfortunately this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Dr. Etienne Grandjean, an expert on productivity at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, says eating a good lunch is highly recommended “for both health and work efficiency.” According to the results of numerous studies, performance scores plunge when people skip lunch. They also feel more anxious and tense.

Back to School

To reinforce the point, let’s take work and even adulthood out of the equation. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion reports that children who eat lunch return to class ready to learn. Kids who don’t eat are more likely to be inattentive, disruptive in class, absent or tardy, and sick. They even score lower on achievement tests.

Dilbert Lunch - Chris Byrnes, LLC

Neglecting Lunch Negatively Impacts You

Skipping midday fare can slow your metabolism and cut your energy production throughout the day. The net effect is a ravenous appetite at dinnertime. This can lead to overeating at night and slower burning of stored fat. On the productivity side, cut out lunch on a regular basis and burn out more quickly. Your goal may be to get more done, but you may see significantly less productive workdays.

People will often try to compensate for their lack of energy by drinking coffee or caffeinated drinks rather than eating lunch. Even if this works a little bit, it makes a bad mistake worse. Because now your body and brain must work harder and harder on less fuel. To use an automobile analogy, you’re making your engines work beyond capacity. Eventually, the motors will burn out.

Instead, recharge with a satisfying spread of food on a relaxing lunch break. Think of wherever you eat as your own version of an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. A 20-minute meal break will provide you with hours of energy. It’s worth it.

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