Lifestyle

The Best Time to Eat Lunch, According to a Dietitian

There are so many different things to think about when trying to keep a healthy body and mind, especially in college. It's hard to keep them all straight! From going to class to going to various different meetings throughout the day for clubs and extracurriculars, sometimes it's hard to find the time to eat nutritious meals during the day. It can be easy to succumb to finding the fastest thing to eat which is usually processed and unhealthy.

So what should we be thinking about when it comes to eating lunch? Well, when we eat could be just as important as what we eat. It may be time to ditch the quick, pre-packaged foods for lunch and turn to well-rounded meals for a mid-day meal.

I talked with Registered Dietitian, Adrienne Raimo, to get her advice on the best time of day to eat lunch. She says the best time to have lunch should depend on the individual's schedule and hunger level. Raimo says that a good time to take a break during the day is around 12, but really, whenever one has free time is best. She says it's good to take a break when possible to allow the body to focus on digestion. 

If you have an hour or so free during the day, that's the perfect time to grab a salad or sandwich from your university's cafeteria or market. Check out these tips for eating healthy in dining halls. Listen to your body and simply eat when you feel hungry.

If you know that you usually get hungry at a certain time, plan for that and bring food with you, if you won't have time to take an actual lunch break. Try out these portable salads in a mason jar that are perfect for taking to class. Try to avoid skipping meals because this will lead to overeating and eating more junk foods later in the day when you're super hungry.

Skipping meals during the day actually slows down your metabolism. Keeping snacks with you like nuts or a granola bar will help you feel energized all day and taking time during the day to fuel your body will keep you feeling alert and energized. So no matter when you can eat lunch, try to keep it consistent and be sure to give yourself time to enjoy (and digest) it.