The Health Benefits of Eating a Larger Lunch

 In Our Blog

Eating habits are different for everyone depending on their fuel requirements throughout the day and of course their hectic schedules.  But, for most Americans, the meal plan looks something like this: A light or skipped breakfast, a small lunch, and a large dinner. Does this sound familiar?  

Though this is typical for most here in the States, when you look elsewhere, like in Europe and Hispanic nations, eating habits are quite different, with lunch being the biggest meal of the day.  Their meal plans are made up of light, nutritious breakfasts, a large lunch and extended mid-day break (usually between 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.), then a small dinner. In fact, lunch in some countries consists of several courses that people indulge in for a few hours.  It’s such a treasured part of the day that stores even shut down so that people can go have lunch with their families.

While many of us here in America don’t quite have schedules that allow for this sort of mid-day break around lunch, it is a habit that’s definitely worth taking note.  Studies actually show that making lunch the biggest meal of the day can have several interesting health benefits. Let’s take a look at a few:

  • Larger Lunches Can Provide Increased Energy Levels – According to health experts, in order to maintain energy levels, people need to consume healthy and nutritious foods.  Our bodies simply can’t operate at their fullest without sufficient caloric intake. So, because lunch is in the middle of the day, it can help to eat a larger, more nourishing meal to help your body stay strong and energized throughout the day.  
  • Larger Lunches Can Help Aid Weight Loss – Many of us probably know from experience that physical activity tends to decreases as the day gets later.  This is often because people generally move around less at night compared to during the day (e.g. running around at work compared to sitting at home), and this can lead to weight gain.  And, eating a large meal before we wind down for the day doesn’t exactly do our metabolism any favors. In fact, this late consumption of extra calories is more likely to get stored as fat.  On the other hand, if you were to make lunch your biggest meal of the day instead of dinner, then that food can be turned into usable energy that will get you through the rest of your busy day, all while burning those extra calories through your regular daily activities.    
  • Larger Lunches Can Increase Your Metabolism –  Though eating fewer calories can lead to weight loss, it’s important not to skip meals.  Unfortunately, whether or intentional or not, with our busy schedules and hectic lives, lunch is often the most skipped meal of the day.  But, when you skip a meal, it actually slows your metabolism, leaving your body with little to no fuel to function at full potential for the rest of the day.  That’s why taking the time to eat lunch is so important. It not only gives you the necessary fuel to energize you throughout the second half of your day, but it also improves your metabolism.   
  • Larger Lunches Can Suppress Unhealthy Cravings – We all know what happens when you don’t eat well or enough during lunch – you just end up starving, hangry and craving junk food later in the day.  But, if you stop to eat a larger, nutritious meal in the middle of the day, your mind and body will be better equipped to make smarter decisions. You will be more full and energized, and therefore less tempted to reach for junk foods and snacks.

To maintain energy levels so that you can perform and function to the best of your ability each and every day, consider incorporating larger lunches into your daily routine.  Of course, this is not an excuse to overeat. A larger lunch should still be well-balanced. But, if you do it right, you can enjoy these health benefits and more. 

We’re the best West Loop lunch spot – hands down!

Grab lunch with us any day of the week at Chicago Waffles in the West Loop!  We’re open Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. or Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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