Stuck in the Middle – Better Ways to Lunch

So, you’ve got breakfast down with high protein, low cal options and dinner is set for the week with yummy veggies, lean meats, and healthy fats. What about lunch? Are you planning ahead enough? Brown bagging the SAME thing and getting bored? Or maybe you’ve plateaued on the scale and need to switch it up. Follow these tips for a better way to lunch it!

Ch ch ch changes

Packing the same sammie and fruit for lunch? Why not switch it up and add some things in too. Ditch the same bread and meat and opt for some fresh veggies and a new protein (fish, chicken, etc…). Marinate your fish and chicken before you cook it to give it flavor. Add a small portion of quinoa, couscous, or whole wheat grains for a good carb. The rest of the plate? Greens and other colorful veggies! Spinach, zucchini, asparagus – whatever your heart desires. Do some balsamic Brussels sprouts the night before, or dig into some spicy green beans. Try out different recipes at home and pick a few favorites to have for lunch at work or home. Want to switch it up even more? Try some yummy soup recipes! Easy to make and even easier to bring to work and last you all week. Try a low sodium broth, ANY veggies, and a lean protein to keep you filled and full of energy all day.

Lunching’ late

Everybody’s schedule is different. Work. School. Picking up kids. Although there are these responsibilities, it’s also important to eat lunch at a decent time. Studies have suggested that those who eat a later lunch (around 2-3pm), or more than 4 hours after eating breakfast, lose less weight than those who ate lunch earlier (even when eating the same amount of calories). Keeping a food journal can help with when to eat and help to recognize when your body is actually hungry. Prepping lunch beforehand is imperative, even If you are at home for lunch. This will help you eat at a decent time (without having to scrounge or tell yourself “I’ll eat later when I have more time to cook”), and will also help you at the right amount of lunch; even if you are on the go or somewhere else for lunch.

Speaking of somewhere else…

Try switching up where you eat your lunch. Always at your desk? Try eating outside if it’s a nice day, or just eat at the kitchen table at home or work. Get some co-workers together and have a lunch club; eat lunch together, catch up, and trade healthy recipes. Environment is the key to making a difference in what and how much you actually consume. Although, if you have prepared your meals in advanced, you will be ok on portion control, but a different setting may make you more aware of when you are full and when you have “the sigh”!

If You Must…

If you have to eat at your desk while working (deadline!), then use your break for some moving around! After eating a health, portioned lunch, take a break and walk, jog, or just go up and down the stairs. At home? Take a walk around the block a few times, or a mini workout of push-ups, abs, etc…Not only will this burn some extra calories, but it will keep you energized for the rest of the afternoon (which we all know is the sluggish time!)
Lunch is not always expressed as the most important meal of the day, but as you can see, it’s something think about. Maybe this is the meal that we can change up in order to really see a different on the scale, our clothes, and our fitness! Happy Lunching!