Lunch can be a good time to network

It’s no surprise that in today’s busy workforce people have taken to eaten at their desks. While some may think it’s helping them to save time, what they may not realize is it could be affecting their waistline.


Toronto-based dietitian Daniella Wolf warns that desktop diners (those who eat lunch at their desks) “run the risk of weight gain due to the mindless munching and unbalanced food choices they often make.”


She explains if you eat while you are distracted by phone calls, e-mails and spreadsheets, you ignore your fullness cues and tend to overeat. Practising this habit daily is enough to cause weight gain.


In a time crunch, desktop diners often head for the closest vending machine and their lunch may consist of a chocolate bar or bag of chips (or in some cases, both). These poor nutritional choices wreak havoc on energy levels, nutrient intake and weight control measures.


Lunch is also a social hour. Having lunch with your coworkers or boss is an important way to build relationships, so leave your desk and join the conversation. Skipping the chance to be part of the team and to interact with peers can have a negative impact on your career since work-related dialogue often takes place over pizza or sushi. During lunch, you can develop camaraderie with other employees and make valuable new contacts.

Think of lunch as an extra opportunity to network and get ahead while you take a much-needed break from staring at your computer screen. Your pay­cheque — and your waistline — will thank you.

Desktop dining

  • If you must work through lunch, here are some of dietitian Daniella Wolf’s suggestions for more sensible desktop dining:

  • Bring a healthy lunch from home. Even if you are busy, you can still munch on nutritious foods.

  • Keep your meal portion controlled. Bring food in single-serve containers so you won’t overindulge.

  • Take at least five minutes and taste your food. Distractions make us mindlessly overeat.