Eating well and enjoying a healthy lifestyle can help us feel our best and make a big difference to our long-term health. The average full time employee works an average of 37.4 hours per week. It is important to ensure we have a healthy work life balance, so why not make a change today?
We are often challenged with busy workloads and one in four employees take an average of less than 15 minutes for lunch each day. Yet taking a break, even for 15 to 20 minutes, is a proven way to sustain concentration and energy levels throughout the day. Other benefits include:
- Minimised feelings of tiredness and irritability
- Increased productivity and focus
- An opportunity to receive important nutrients
- Helps structure eating habits and patterns
- Allows you to take a break and relax
While healthier lunch options are on the rise, London’s favourite lunch is….
- Cheese Sandwich
- Ham Sandwich
- Chicken Sandwich
- Other Sandwich
- Tomato Soup
- Vegetable Soup
- Microwave Meal
As Registered Nutritionists we often get asked our top tips for healthy lunches and ways to cut down on shop bought meal deals. Here are some of the things that work for us!
- Plan, plan, plan! What you will cook in advance, then write a shopping list and stick to it!
- Buy in and cook different lunch options in bulk. Non perishable goods are usually cheaper in bulk and you’ll always have something in the cupboard/ freezer. Ideas might include tinned fish/lentils (in water), tinned fruit (in natural juice), tinned soup, frozen vegetables, pitta bread, which can also be frozen!
- Vary the food options throughout the week so you don’t get board, try searching online for different recipes, there are so many out there!
- Prepare hot and cold options e.g. soup in a thermos flask
- Consider how foods will last – ‘wet’ foods, such as tomatoes in a sandwich, can make bread go soggy. Try putting them in a separate container and add just before eating
- Make foods look appealing and exciting e.g. colourful salads, sandwich fillings
- Team up with colleagues and hold a weekly lunch club!
- Keep fruit on your desk or in a staff fruit bowl
- Keep hydrated. Fill a 1 litre bottle of water at the start of each working day and commit to drinking it all before you go home.
- Of course there will be days when you would prefer a shop bought sandwich, try to choose the healthier option by comparing food labels
Healthy Homemade Lunch Ideas
- Egg and cress sandwich on wholemeal bread
- Chopped tomato and cucumber
- Reduced fat fromage frais
- Plain popcorn
- Pitta bread stuffed with chicken and tomato slices
- Tinned peaches in juice with low fat custard
- Small handful of peanuts
- Homemade mini pizza rounds
- Small handful of dried apricots
- Tzatziki with sticks of red pepper
- Tuna and sweetcorn pasta salad with red peppers
- 2 satsumas
- Low fat fruit yogurt
- Granary roll with hummus, lettuce, tomato and cucumber
- Low fat yogurt
- Currant bun
Being physically active is vital for keeping our hearts healthy, and workers that are physically active take 27% fewer sick days than their inactive colleagues. Across the week adults should aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity. Try and fit exercise into your journey to and from work or take time to go for a 10 minute walk at lunch time.
For more information why not get in touch with Edwina or Georgia for top tips on eating well at work – Contact us