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The best time to get lunch

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Stuffing our faces with take-outs at the desk while typing on the keyboard with one hand is how most working class in Hong Kong spend their lunch time.

While there is no way to reduce the workload to get some decent off time during lunch, the timing which you order your take-out is crucial to helping you reduce calorie intake according to a new study published in the Journal of Marketing Research.

In a field experiment 690  employees of a large corporation ordered lunches through a website of the authors’ design and then researchers examined their lunch orders.

They found that participants selected high-calorie meals when they ordered their lunches immediately before eating, but lower-calorie meals when they placed their orders an hour or more before lunch.  Researchers concluded from the results that ordering meals when one is  already hungry and ready to eat leads to an overall increase in the number of calories ordered.

It was suggested that ordering meals in advance, preferable an hour earlier, is able to help reduce calorie intake.

“The implication is that restaurants and other food providers can generate health benefits for their customers by offering the opportunity to place advance orders,” said Eric VanEpps, researcher in the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.said in press release.

“These findings provide one more piece of evidence that decisions made in the heat of the moment are not as farsighted as those made in advance,” said study senior author George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Ordering in advance not only reduce calories intake, it helps save money to.  It gives you control of what you eat, and after a while, becomes a mindless and positive habit.

It’s also an easy way to track proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and total calories for each day, which helps for those with weight loss goals to meet.

Image: 123RF

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