It is 12:15 p.m. and a low gurgle erupts from your stomach. “I should eat soon,” you think, strolling into your afternoon class. But you did not eat breakfast. You have not eaten a proper meal since dinner last night.
2 p.m. rolls around, and you still have not satisfied your hunger. You make a mad dash for work. 5 p.m., you clock out, and you are feeling weak and shaky. You are terribly cranky and dreading the three hours of homework you know you have to conquer that evening. If only you felt up to it this time.
Lunch is an important meal for a college student. Lunch provides energy and nutrients to keep the body and brain working efficiently throughout the afternoon. According to Live Strong, if you are feeling sluggish, eating even a small lunch can renew your energy and help you feel refreshed and ready to take on the next several hours.
Especially since college requires extended periods of concentration and focus, students should be loading themselves mid-day with all the carbs, proteins, sugars and fats their bodies need.
Eating in the middle of the day not only helps your physical health; it boosts your mental health, too. Poor eating choices can negatively affect your mood and increase stress. When you skip lunch, your body’s blood sugar level dips, and your mind also plummets to hellish, hangry depths.
Eating lunch also keeps your metabolism active and your gut healthy. Skipping lunch can actually intensify your appetite later and cause you to overeat or make poor nutritional choices.
Your midday meal is also a way for you to slow down and be present. Take the time to talk over lunch with a classmate or colleague at Café 65. Chat up someone next to you in line at Sanitorium Grounds. Bump elbows with an acquaintance on the West Lawn as you dig into your peanut butter banana sandwich from home.
I understand. You have a full schedule, but you need to pencil in time for your own nourishment. Block out a time three to four hours since you last ate to eat again. Set an alarm or a reminder on your phone. Write it on a calendar or the back of your hand or wherever you need to so you will not forget.
A packed lunch made at home is a healthy and smart choice because it gives you control over the foods you eat, and it allows you to eat during your commute or during class if you have to.
Grabbing lunch from a restaurant or cafe if you have the time and money is also a good decision.
If worse comes to worst, grab a snack from a vending machine or pick out a bag of chips at the bookstore. I will not judge what you eat so long as you are putting something into the ol’ tank.
So, from one hustling college student to another, please eat your lunch.