Lunch break at the office: tips and advice for healthy and balanced eating at work

During the week, there is sometimes barely enough time to cook for dinner, and it is even worse when it comes to preparing take-out food for the office lunch break.

The problem is that it's hard to pay attention to what you eat when you have lunch outside every day, especially when you want to be careful not to gain weight, and it's worse when you have a short lunch break, which makes you catch the first thing to swallow in a hurry.

Eating quickly, and without paying attention to what is in our menus, is harmful to digestion and results in weight gain, poor distribution of nutrient intake which has had many consequences (lack of energy, health problems ...)

What not to do for a well-balanced lunch break

First of all, I would like to come back to the classics of mistakes that should not be made during the lunch break if you want to be careful with your body:

Eating too quickly:

It's not always easy when you're in a series of meetings and you have to swallow the first sandwich that comes along in 10 minutes. The problem with eating too quickly is that it is difficult to feel full, and you eat more, because the satiety mechanism arrives in 30 minutes.

Moreover, by eating fast, we chew less, and the stomach receives the food in pieces that are too big, which makes it work harder and leads to pain, a feeling of heaviness and sometimes even nausea... not great when you are in a meeting!

Eat the first thing you find

Fast-food, kebab or panini, if these choices are fast and often economical, it is not your organization that will thank you!
Soda, sworn enemy number 1:

At the bakery, fast-food restaurant or any other restaurant, menus are often accompanied by a drink, and that's where the one mistake you shouldn't make comes in: sweet, caloric, carbonated soda.

Weight gain, badly distributed fats, disturbed digestion, will be part of the consequences.

The choice to be made to accompany your meals is undoubtedly the bottle of mineral water or a lemon juice!

Skip the dessert or the starter:

  • ·        Thinking that the main element of lunch (a dish, a sandwich or a salad) will do the trick to fill your stomach and keep it light is a mistake.
  • ·        It is important to pay attention to the quantity to facilitate digestion and ensure a good supply of nutrients to the body.
  • ·        Taking a small salad as a starter and a light dessert such as fruit will help structure a balanced meal.

Drink too much during the meal :

  • ·        Emptying an entire bottle of soda or water during a meal causes the stomach to fill up too quickly.
  • ·        This decreases the energy composition of the food, and even though the feeling of fullness will come quickly, you will be hungry again very quickly and the call to nibble will be heard.
  • ·        It is best to drink before lunch.

Sandwiches or salads in the bakery: be careful what you find there!

Even if we tend to think that sandwiches are healthy and wholesome (chicken breast, tuna, raw vegetables...) pay attention to what they are made of. They are often filled with sauces (like tuna mayonnaise or seasoned raw vegetables sandwiches) and the bread is sometimes quite caloric.

Choose wholemeal bread, turkey or chicken breast sandwiches, or classic cheesy hams without butter.

The same goes for salads: be careful with their composition. Bread croutons with cheese, a sauce full of oil or mayonnaise, fried chicken ... Make sure you make the "healthiest" choice if you want to watch your figure above all.

Eat only vegetables or raw vegetables

Some people think that to ensure a balanced breakfast and avoid weight gain, a raw vegetable salad or vegetables alone are enough, but this is not true.

A portion of vegetables should be combined with a starchy food (rice, bread, etc.) and a protein to ensure satiety and regulate glycemic intake. This will also prevent poor afternoon snacking.

Eating a balanced diet is not rocket science!

Properly distributing nutritional intake at breakfast provides the body with the energy it needs to get through the afternoon without succumbing to the temptation of sweet and fatty snacking and allows the brain to function properly. Eating on the run, snacks, sandwiches and other ready-made meals weakens the body.

Your meal, no matter what form it takes, must include a portion :

·        protein (egg, fish, meat...)
·        vegetable

·        starchy

For dessert, prefer a good portion of fresh seasonal fruit to any other delicacy. Also remember to keep yourself well hydrated between meals.

How to have a healthy breakfast at the office?

If you eat out, avoid choosing the most caloric sandwich (full of sauce, cheese, fat) or the panini or croque-monsieur, prefer vegetables or raw vegetables to French fries and don't take any additional sauce.

As I was saying earlier, also be careful with the composition of salads, there are many things behind this "healthy" connotation (a "salad" can be stuffed with sauce, cheese, breaded and fried chicken...).

Also make sure to choose water rather than soda, fruit rather than muffin... If you want to treat yourself to dessert, choose pastries such as custard or fruit pie rather than a pastry filled with cream!

You can also order a dish that will be delivered to your office. This will allow you not to waste time on the way and to be able to take a real break. The trick is not to succumb to greasy pizzas or fast food. Many restaurant chains offer balanced take-away menus.

You can also have lunch in a supermarket, as long as you take a good look at the composition of the food: make sure that it is balanced and with as few additions as possible. It should be as close as possible to a home-cooked meal!

Cook quickly at home, to make sure you eat healthy!

The best option is to cook your own lunch. This ensures that you know what you are putting on your plate, and that you are sure to bring the nutrients you need to balance it.

And so that the problem of time or inspiration is no longer an excuse, you can read this article on a top 10 of dishes for balanced lunches that are quick and easy to make and take to the office.

The best way to take your lunch to the office is to buy a bento lunch. This small Japanese lunch box is a compartmentalized, airtight and ecological box.

You will be able to put your starter, main course and dessert in different compartments and easily take your lunch with you!

Advice in case of small hunger :

Despite having had a good meal at lunchtime, you can still be hungry at snack time.

In this case, instead of rushing to the vending machine and gulping down a twix or a mars, have a healthy reflex: a fruit smoothie with no added sugar, a low-fat yoghurt or fromage blanc with a little honey, a piece of fruit, some dried fruit, a slice of wholemeal bread... there's something for everyone!

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