FOOD & FITNESS / DEC. 10, 2013
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Is Habit-Eating at Work Killing your Diet?

work lunch
istock

A survey - carried out by Wonderful Pistachios in the UK - revealed that a staggering number of British workers eat the exact same thing for lunch every day. Out of 2000 participants, a surprising 1 in 8 claimed to eat the exact same meal for lunch every day! When asked how long they have eaten the same lunch for, many relied “for as long as [they] could remember”. This is a worrying factor, especially in terms of health and diet. With 70% of workers opting for a reasonably unhealthy cheese sandwich, many are putting their cholesterol and overall health at risk of long term damage.

Whilst 25% of participants stated that they didn’t eat the same meal every day, they did admit to keeping to a weekly meal routine; the day of the week determines what they will eat for lunch! But let’s face it, having ham on Monday, cheese on Tuesday, salad on Wednesday (and so on…) is bound to get just as boring as having the same thing every day.

According to the study, 71% of participants stated that they take a packed lunch to work with them every day. It is probably that this is the reason why so many are habit-eaters. After a long day at the office, it is difficult enough gathering the energy to cook yourself a proper dinner, never mind preparing lunch the next day too! Cheese sandwiches are also likely to be most popular because they are relatively cheap to make, easy to prepare and require little thought or effort in the process.

Workers have admitted to spending less time preparing their lunch and even less time eating it because they are just too busy. Shorter lunch ‘hours’ (and I use the word hour loosely here), along with being stuck in a routine and the increasing cost of food, contribute to why workers do not place much importance (if any) on what they eat for lunch. Wolfing down a quick ham or cheese sandwich in under 15 minutes is far more favourable for many busy employees than eating a large lunch that then puts them in a ‘food-coma’. Yes, we’ve all experienced it. That sleepy lethargic feeling you get after you have eaten your meal, making you regret every mouthful!

With most people succumbing to snacking throughout the working day, lunch has become less important and so many workers do not feel any need to jazz up their lunch meals. In order to maintain a healthy diet, you need to prepare healthy meals for work, and what’s more – vary them! Even if you are not keen on taking the full 60 minutes for your lunch, try to do so at least twice per week – you will see the difference to your health, diet, weight, and productivity in no time!

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