Healthy lunch strategies are crucial in a world where being strapped to the office desk is seen as a virtue. With lunch meetings and lunch team-building sessions ruling the roost come 1 pm every day, it’s time to get smart about healthy lunches. So, delete that junk food restaurant number from your speed dial. Say no to daily lunch desserts. And step over to the healthy lunching lifestyle. Here are some healthy lunch strategies that’ll help you eat healthy even when the boss wants pizza…
Picking your way through fast food
You did see that salad option on the menu. You do know that a dollop of mayonnaise will make your meal unhealthy. And you get the fact that where there’s a fry, there’s also a grill. If the nutrient value was the only deciding factor in picking lunch, you’d be eating healthy every day. But it’s difficult to ignore those trans fat aromas, and the salty, crispy French fry goodness. How about cutting back on what you can and limiting what you can’t? Opt for fast food restaurants no more than once in two weeks. Once there, cut back on unhealthy sauces and fries. Pick steamed and grilled foods, and run a mile away from all-you-can-eat gigs.
Do you really need that appetizer?
Apart from keeping you away from work a lot longer, appetizers add to your calorie intake while seeming perfectly harmless. Those four tiny spring rolls that barely touched your appetite while you were deciding what to eat for lunch – already upped your daily calorie intake by 500! And if your weight loss plan only allows 1500-2000 calories a day, you’re in deep trouble. So skip the appetizers. But if you absolutely must, go for the broths, soups, and steamed appetizers that aren’t fried or heavy on your calorie budget.
Pack a smart lunch
If packed lunches are your thing, then beware of portion sabotage. One box with a single storage space is not the ideal lunch packing equipment. Buy a lunch box with compartments as per recommended food group consumption. Follow this simple thumb rule – half the plate should have veggies. The other half should be split between protein sources and cereal. Therefore, a three-part box divide will serve you well. Add a fruit on the side, some water and lemonade/coconut water/buttermilk like beverage and you’re set to face the day with your smart lunch.
What about that Italian place for lunch? Special cuisine place restaurants are always a better bet when deciding where to eat lunch. Follow these simple steps to landing a great lunch
Ask for sauces on the side. This will help you control how much you mix with your food. Limit carb intake. So avoid that breadbasket or extra rice order. And if you must, then eat whole grains and coarse grains as opposed to refined. Opt for food cooked with methods like steam, grill or stir-fry.
A packaged and processed lunch is never a good idea
While skipping a healthy lunch and opting for that bag of chips sounds like you’re committed to working, it’s quite injurious to your overall health. And let’s face it – you can still type away while munching on an apple, so it isn’t the workaholic status you’re feeding with the packaged stuff, it’s your unhealthy food cravings. Here are some great healthy snack ideas on the go that’ll keep you munching on healthy food even when you don’t have time to grab a quick lunch.
Healthy juices over aerated drinks
If you must sip something with lunch, then anything short of a martini is avoidable. And leave the martinis for Sunday brunches. Stick to healthy juices or lemonades. A very healthy juice that is fast becoming available in nearly every lunch haunt is the humble tomato juice. With loads of essential nutrients, tomato juice is an excellent source of everything from antioxidants to vitamins and iron. Besides, it’s quite filling too. Make tomato juice a part of your healthy lunch strategy, and you’ll be lighter for the trouble.