The 4 Things We Never Knew About Lunch
Research-backed reasons to rethink your midday meal (and don't worry, dessert is definitely on the menu).
The Term "Working Lunch" Is Kind of an Oxymoron
One of the most counterintuitive ways to undo a productive morning is to try to power through to the afternoon without a break. Research from the University of California-Davis found that when we skip lunch and try to push on with thought-intensive tasks, we actually hinder our performance, since not having lunch can exhaust our cognitive capacity. Think of your growling stomach as a spokesperson for your brain, which badly needs a rest. You won't lose momentum, we promise.
Alfresco Trumps Aldesko
Sad but true: Four out of five American workers eat at their desks. On the one hand, at least they're refueling. But on the other, they're missing out on a scientifically proven, caffeine-free way to recharge. It's as simple as getting outside during a lunch break. Aha! moments, breakthroughs and "why-didn't-I-think-of-that-sooner?" solutions to niggling issues are likely to come when you've left the workplace and decamped to a natural (or even "nature-like") environment, says workplace psychologist Kimberly Elsbach. (Nature is a known mood booster.)
Photo: Thinkstock/Lauri Patterson
You're Probably Spending Waaaay More Money Than You Realize
The average American spends $18 a week—almost $1,000 a year—on lunch out. Cool (and subsidized!) cafeterias and Wheel of Lunch spinner notwithstanding, if you're looking to save money, you're better off bringing your own lunch and putting the cash toward better-for-you (and often better-tasting) homemade lunches.
Dessert Is Actually a Really Smart Move
If you feel like you're hardwired to crave something sweet after a meal, take heart; it's common. In fact, even health experts do it. Finishing your lunch with, say, a piece of chocolate, as nutritionist Keri Gans does, marks a set "end" to the meal, lets your body know it's done eating and can help you avoid hitting the vending machine for a snack an hour later.