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What I learned eating lunch at my desk

We all do it sometimes. So busy that there seems to be no other option beside eating lunch at your desk or eating something, anything to keep you going.

Just last week I tried to stealthily eat a bowl of ramen noodles while on a video conference call with the Desk Yogi team because I got caught up in my to-do list before the meeting and forgot to eat. I knew that I needed something to get through the 90 minute meeting and went into survival mode I got busted by my Desk Yogi companions because, as one of the resident foodologists, I am supposed to be a pillar of mindful, healthy, eating etiquette but I didn’t know what else to do.

Unfortunately for the vast majority of us this is the norm at work. According to a 2015 survey conducted by Right Management, 8 out of 10 of workers don’t actually leave the office for lunch, and 39 percent eat lunch at their desk.

The problem with eating while you work is that it often leads to overeating and/or eating easily accessible junk foods which are a major contributor to weight gain, irritability, and performance problems. In scientific terms, eating while you work is a form of distracted eating and, according to the Harvard Health Blog, we tend to eat more than necessary when distracted because we are out of touch with our bodies’ signals of fullness and satisfaction. We also tend to crave simple sugars and carbs because they are the most immediate fuel for the brain. Unfortunately this does not serve you in the long run and could lead to burn-out, low productivity, and weight gain.

The solution to this problem is simple. Eat a balanced meal, mindfully, away from your desk for at least 20 minutes. (You can get an extra boost for your creativity if you eat outdoors.)

Sound too easy? Data collected from the time-tracking and productivity app DeskTime showed that the most productive 10 percent of its users took regular breaks that averaged 17 minutes. And a 2001 study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that each of the macronutrients: carbs, fats, and proteins – contribute to optimal performance of tasks that require skills such creativity, problem solving, and team management.

Desk Yogi’s series Foodology (to be released August 2016) and Eating at Work, featuring myself and Tiffany Carole, can help you find incredibly simple ways for taking nourishing breaks at work workable. Hopefully your work day breaks and food choices will end up better than mine today!

Sources:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/take-a-lunch-break-to-do-better-work/2015/11/05/0a33869e-8275-11e5-a7ca-6ab6ec20f839_story.html

According to the Harvard Health Blog
http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/distracted-eating-may-add-to-weight-gain-201303296037

According to the Institute for Health Metrics- An estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight. Nearly three-quarters of American men and more than 60% of women are obese or overweight. This research is based on research published in the Lancet.

http://www.healthdata.org/news-release/vast-majority-american-adults-are-overweight-or-obese-and-weight-growing-problem-among

Author: Scott Blossom

Scott Blossom is a licensed practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) specializing in acupuncture, lifestyle/diet therapy, and Chinese herbology. Scott has also studied closely with Dr. Robert Svoboda over the last eight years to incorporate Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle therapies into his work. Scott’s approach to yoga practice is based on his studies with hatha yoga master Zhander Remete who founded the Shadow School of Yoga. Scott employs yoga practices therapeutically and as an adjunct to TCM or Ayurvedic therapy when appropriate.

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