Today I want to share with you one of my most powerful tools for having more energy, improved digestion, and reaching your ideal weight.
I tried this out while still working in my stressful marketing job and lost 5 pound in the first WEEK of doing it!
It’s extraordinarily simple yet this one change makes a huge impact on your blood sugar, metabolism and digestion, and that is to… take a LUNCH BREAK!
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Every. Single. Day.
There’s a pile of research out there that shows how productivity increases as you take more breaks in your work day, and major media outlets like Fast Company, TIME Magazine, NPR, and the New York Times have all reported that regular breaks improve productivity and creativity.
Plus it’s been shown that when you don’t take a “productivity break” (aka powering though your work day glued to your desk, fueled on coffee and treats from the communal candy jar) it’s a fast track to stress, exhaustion, and burnout.
No break = No bueno… for you, your waist line, or your biz’s bottom line.
How to make a lunch break part of your life
If you work in a chill environment and can easily take a break for a 30 minute lunch followed by a 30 minute walk I encourage you to mark this time in your calendar as a non-negotiable RIGHT NOW.
Not only will this amp up your productivity and creativity, it will jumpstart your metabolism too! Studies have shown that a walk after lunch helps with digestion and regulating blood sugar. Plus it’s fun to be outside wandering around in the middle of the day, traveling and adventuring in your own surroundings.
While working at my crazy marketing job I added in a 30 minute walk during my lunch break one spring and lost 5 pounds in 7 days without changing a thing.
For those of us with a more rigid work environment I find the hardest part is making the ask.
Sitting face to face with your Boss, worrying what they’ll say or think when you do.
To make it SUPER easy (and low-stress) for you to get in this a magical movement break I’ve created done-for-you scripts to use with your boss and coworkers. STEAL THESE BELOW!
The key is to be firm and direct. This isn’t a “could I… maybe… kinda… if it’s ok with you… take a break….” kinda thing. You need to own it. Your boss will respond to your clarity and confidence.
*It’s important to note that most managers are not required to offer lunch or rest breaks (totally bogus I know), so it’s important to be tactful and express the benefits of letting you take a break over complaining.
And one more thing…
You need to take responsibility on your end for elevating your work ethic, productivity, and focus too. Often we’re afraid or ashamed to ask for a break because deep down we know we could be doing a lot better or getting more done in our work. We might feel that we’re underperforming compared to our peers or job expectations and we think looking busy will resolve it.
It turns out it’s easier to ask for what you need when you know you’re already giving WAY more value than you’re asking for in return.
Shift your focus on working smarter, not harder, having more fun, brining fresh energy into your workplace, and constantly going above and beyond expectations in small but meaningful ways. Again, this isn’t about working like a crazy woman, it’s about developing your power, working systematically and efficiently and elevating your strengths to their full potential.
I know you can do this.
First, check in with yourself. When you’re honest with yourself are you daydreaming or surfing Facebook during the day or maybe being less productive than you know you could be? Now’s the time to dial it in.
Then make the ask!
Scripts For asking for /informing your Boss about your lunch break
If you need to ask:
“I’d like to start taking a lunch break from ___p.m. to___p.m. As long as I’m able to get all my work done and keep up with the pace of the office, do you see any reason for me not to be able to take that time?”
If you need to tell:
“Hey (NAME) just wanted to let you know I’ll be out of the office today from___p.m. to___p.m. You can reach me on my cell if you need anything. Going forward I’m planning on taking this time for lunch if you’re looking for me.”
- Take your meetings offsite and over lunch. Bonus points for walking to and from the restaurant.
- Institute “walking meetings:” take your meeting to the road and get in some exercise while seeing the creative juices start to flow!
- Find a healthy salad bar/Whole Foods/vegan/vegetarian restaurant nearby that you like and eat there before walking back (a walk and a quick sit-down lunch woo hoo!).
- Call ahead for something from said place above so it’s ready when you get there and eat it sitting down, use the remaining time to take a brisk walk. You’ll get lunch and a walk in before your coworkers are even back at their desks with their to-go’s!
- Or just go full out: my Dad’s secretary worked for the company for 20+ years and every day she would pull out a table cloth and put it over the conference table with some nice plates and silverware and enjoy her beautiful homemade lunch. Now that’s doing things like an f-ing BOSS people. Let’s all be more like Barbara.
Perfect comebacks for snarky co-workers
*It’s important to note that most things we think people are saying about us are in our heads. Most of the time people aren’t concerned with us as much we think they are.
If you do have annoying co-workers, then just use these done-for-you scripts!
(Or consider working in an environment where the group consciousness is such that they get it’s possible to do great work AND take great care of yourself. Because, why not?!)
Coworker says: “Well look who decided to join us again… ”
You say: Nothing. Clearly this person is more concerned with being an asshole (or unable to find the courage to ask for what they really want in life) than they are about contributing to the business’s bottom line. Rock out your work and gracefully and diligently and focus on what you can control.
Coworker says: “Where WERE YOU? We needed X and you were nowhere to be found!”
You say: “Did you try my cell? I didn’t see a missed call. You can always reach me at xxx-xxx-xxxx if something comes up. I’m sorry things got stressful on your end. What else do you need? And just so this doesn’t happen you again, I’m typically out of the office from ___p.m. to___p.m or on my lunch break, but I am always available in case of an emergency.
Coworker says: “Where are you going? Don’t know know X is due by 5pm. It’s all hands on deck.”
You say: “Yes, and I have my part ready to go. I’ll be back by ___p.m. if you want to touch base and make sure we’re all set by 5pm.”
Coworker says: “You take a LUNCH BREAK?!”
You say: “Yep. Everyday. I feel so much better and get way more work done when I do.”
Now I want to hear from you!
- Which of these appeals to you? Are you ready to commit to asking this week?
- Do you already take a lunch break and walk? How has it impacted your day?
- What questions or challenges do you have?
*I get back to all comments personally. Let me know how I can support you in making this important shift.
I am absolutely shocked that lunch breaks are not a global thing. I’ve never worked in any country (I’ve worked in 4 – England, Australia, Germany, Brazil) where lunch breaks are not normal and usually legally required. I can’t imagine having to ask for one. Wowsers!