This happens more often than not.
After that happy lunch break, you find yourself meandering back to your desk with deliciousness hugging your insides then…suddenly, you sit down and five minutes later, the first yawn.
Your eyes begin to water and your view of the computer becomes blurred. Your thoughts too are not as focused. You yawn again and lean back to your chair, with half a thought to get up and get a cup of coffee, or a piece of chocolate, anything to combat post afternoon drowsiness so you could get back to pre-lunch level of productivity.
Well, here’s what I observed from testing out different lunch options such as, pasta, sandwiches, sushi, Chinese takeout, salads, protein bars.
In a pinch, if you want to avoid the snooze-fest then eat a light lunch, and always make sure you get out of the office to eat (even if you brought your lunch). Don’t just order in and sit and wait.
What I’ve found is that the little pre-lunch walk helps to ease stress and in turn we end up making better food choices. Getting up and going out to eat also combats ‘the sitting disease’.
And when you finally sit down to chow down, whether it be a restaurant or a park, try to pick things that are not carb heavy. After all, you’re not going to run a marathon after work, are you?
As in, a baguette sandwich or a plate of seafood pasta (no matter how yummy it is) is probably a bad idea.
Better options would be a simple salad with some form of protein, or fruit salad with plain greek yogurt to go with it.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that when eating out you really have to read nutrition labels carefully, for example, the Spinach Feta Eggwhite Wrap at Starbucks used to be a favorite of mine. Clocking in at a light 290 calories / wrap, with 10 grams of fat, 19 grams of protein and 33 grams of carbs I thought that it was a healthy lunch option until I realized there are a number of preservatives in the wrap, and also the sodium level is off the charts at a whooping 830 mg, which is a third of daily recommended intake of sodium.
Needless to say I don’t eat the wrap regularly anymore. Nowadays, when I do find myself without a packed lunch, I go over to the Japanese takeout restaurant that’s a little out of my way, nevertheless, green tea and fresh salad mix that cost around the same at Starbucks. The food is fresh and light enough that I go back to work satiated but not stuffed and drowsy.