When I say don’t eat at lunch, I’m not advocating starving yourself, you should utilize that hour for activity versus eating!
Many of us work desk jobs and have one hour lunches. I can’t tell you how much my life has improved by going to the gym or outside for a run instead of eating my lunch in the break room. Here are a few tips for how to make this happen.
1. Plan your meals/snacks accordingly
I always plan an 11:00 a.m. snack so that I’m not starving through my lunch workout but I’m not stuffed either. I also plan meals that are easy to eat at my desk after ward. No tacos for this gal, I pack salads, soups, meals that I can put on my desk and eat forkfuls in between emails, documents and phone calls.
2. Find an Activity You Enjoy
My gym offers 40 minute lunch time classes and every day is a different class. Yoga, HIIT, Zumba, Cycle. I love the variety and I love the motivation I get in class. This makes it easier to motivate myself to go at lunch.
In nice weather, I am all about running outside in the nearest park.
3. Pack Accordingly
Before you leave in the mornings make sure you have your gym bag and that you have everything you need. Planning on going for a run? Make sure you have headphones and socks, Yoga? Remember your mat. Always have shoes. I have been stuck a few times where I didn’t pack shoes because it was yoga and I got a later start and would have gone for a run but didn’t have the shoes.
4. Try to Keep 1 p.m. Free of meetings
This isn’t always possible I know. But if you can, when scheduling meetings leave the block of 1- 1:30 p.m. free. This will give you time to eat, cool down, drink water and get back into a working frame of mind.
5. Let Co-workers Know your Plans
My co-workers know I go to the gym at lunch. And because they know, they try to make sure meetings are wrapped up by 12, they won’t stop in at 11:55 for a debrief, they understand why I run out of here at lightning speed right at noon. It’s also good motivation because if you opt to skip a workout you get asked “No gym today? Why aren’t you working out?”
6. Stop worrying about your red face or messy hair!
This is a huge one! This is what keeps most women from doing a lunch time workout. They don’t want to come to work a sweaty mess. But I sometimes tell myself I’d rather be a fit sweaty mess than be perfectly quaffed and overweight. So stop worrying about it! The redness in your face will go away after about a half hour of working. As for the hair, on days I know I’m going to sweat a lot I style my hair in a ponytail or bun. On days where I won’t sweat as much (yoga, easy runs) I’ll wear my hair down to work and twist it up into a clip. The clip doesn’t leave a ponytail line in your hair after.
7. Be Flexible
This is the most important. You have to be flexible because your schedule is always changing. I’ll find myself in meetings that run late, or asked to business lunches or out with friends and you have to accept that these pop up once in a while. If you got out of work late and missed a class, still go to the gym and do your own workout on the floor.