Lunchtime is an essential part of the day. It provides you with a much-needed break and the energy needed to get you through the day. I understand a drive-thru is a convenient option. It is quick and tasty. Unfortunately, it is loaded with hidden fats (not the good kind), calories, and sodium. Not to mention...its easier to order the fries with your meal. If you are trying to lose weight or improve your overall health, packing your lunch is a big step. Here are some great reasons why:
It's more affordable
Less temptation to eat unhealthy food
What you are eating for lunch is just as important as packing. Your afternoon energy is dependent on what you are eating for lunch. If you are filling up with bread or sugar, you have assured a major afternoon crash. Packing a proper meal is about getting the right combination of nutrients to feel great and have the energy to get through the day. Because we want to give you the best information we asked the experts. We asked Tina Durham, an MSACN nutritional consultant. What are the best tips for packing a healthy lunch? Here is her advice.
1. Change your white or wheat bread to whole grains or pita. Carbohydrates are great for your body. You just want to be sure they are carbohydrates that will slowly release. This prevents your afternoon "crash." When reading labels, you want to have 1 gram of fiber for every 10 grams of carbohydrates.
2. Eat something from every food group: carbohydrates (the good kind, remember the ratio), protein, fruits/veggies. Dairy is NOT a food group! Dairy can be very inflammatory and cause digestive issues.
3. Keep it simple! Use leftovers from the night before. Always cook bigger dinners so you can get a few lunches out of it!
Chose a day of the week to prep a few lunches, so they are easy to grab. If you wait until the last minute, you are sure to forget or run out of time. Also, use your lunchtime to walk away from your computer. We have discussed this before. Your body will not absorb your food properly if you are multi-tasking. This is a sure way to get indigestion, nausea, or heartburn. Eat mindfully and away from your desk, if possible. Make it fun, make it healthy, and, most of all, make it balanced!
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