Packing your own lunch means saving money, eating healthy, and even losing weight. Try these delicious recipes!
When you’re away from home and you forgot to bring along the brown bag, it’s all too easy to turn to fast food or, yikes, a vending machine for your high noon repast. Yet, committing to making your own lunches is important in winning the battle of the bulge.
A recent study found that women who ate lunch out at least once a week lost an average of five pounds less over the course of a year than those who purchased their midday meals less frequently. Restaurant meals often deliver fewer nutrients per calorie than homemade ones, which could hinder your slim-down efforts.
What is your best defence against poor lunch choices during the hectic work week? Putting aside an hour on a lazy Sunday afternoon to whip up big-batch meals that make eating healthy at lunch as simple as divvying up portions into takeaway containers before bolting out the door in the morning. Also, think of all the money you’ll save!
And what better place to start than with these nutrient-dense recipes that you’ll be looking forward to all morning long (no hard feelings, snooze-worthy turkey sandwich). Prepare just one of the following make-ahead recipes each week and you’ll be set for more than a month’s worth of body-friendly lunches. And if you need to eat lunch al desko, the beauty of these fresh-tasting recipes is that they don’t require reheating, making them the best thing to happen to desk jockeys since the sticky note.
- Mediterranean Chickpeas with Smoky Tahini Dressing
- Soba Noodles with Chicken and Curry Cashew Sauce
- Caprese Spelt Salad
- Wild Rice Lentil Salmon Pilaf
- Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad Jars
The right snack can help bridge the hunger gap between breakfast and lunch. Here’s how to choose wisely.
The whole shebang
Snacks made up of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts make it much easier to nail your daily quota for vitamins and minerals. Plus, they’ll do a better job at keeping your energy levels up than heavily processed snack foods.
To keep your calorie intake in check, a mid-morning nosh should not hover much over 200 calories. For example, an ounce of almonds (about 23 nuts) delivers 161 calories.
Studies show that protein is a great way to quell hunger pangs. Snacking on Greek yogurt, nuts, hummus, or even a hard-boiled egg can give you a protein boost.
In with the new
As with your lunches, try to breathe new life into your snacks by embracing new foods or being creative with ingredient combinations. For example, try sprinkling hemp hearts onto some plain yogurt. Or stuff some ricotta cheese into low-calorie spicy-sweet peppadew peppers.