Bringing your lunch from home seems like a good way to save money, and cut out extra calories. After all, restaurant food is usually expensive and high in fat and other no-nos required for weight loss. Well, you’re right — and wrong.
The quality of your homemade lunch makes a big difference too, and your lunch box might be sabotaging your efforts! Don't panic just yet; we have a few lunchbox rehab tips that will ensure you are carrying a nutritious and calorically correct lunch to work with you every day.
Fill It With Fiber
Fiber helps to keep you feeling full longer because it takes longer to digest. It will also help to ensure your blood sugar stays level, which will help prevent those mid-day sugar cravings. Fiber based foods like split peas, lentils, and bran can be a perfect addition to your lunch box.
Don't Forget The Protein
Your lunchbox should contain at least 15 grams of protein. Protein is what gives you sustained energy to get through your day without feeling sluggish. Lean meats like turkey or chicken are a good source of protein, as are hard boiled eggs and (natural) nut butter.
Ditch The Sugar
When you were a kid, you probably opened your lunchbox to find a sweet surprise. Those days are gone, but that doesn't mean you have to give up the sweet taste entirely. Ditch the cookies or brownie in favor of fruit. Not only will the fruit give you the sweet kick you’re after but it packs in vitamins your body needs, too.
Do The Math
Weight loss is all about calories you consume versus calories you burn. To lose weight you have to do the math, there is no way around it. Lunch should contain 400-500 calories for the average person doing the average amount of physical activity. Before you even start packing, it is important to count the calories you plan on consuming to make sure you hit your target.
Packing your lunch just once a week isn't going to get the job done. In order for a packed lunch to make a difference on your weight loss journey, you need to do it consistently. Pack your lunch daily, and you'll see a huge difference in your weight and in your wallet, too.
Losing weight and getting fit isn't an easy task. Thankfully, there are things that will help you immensely along the way. Packing your lunch properly and avoiding the cafe temptations is a good start. Check out Ralph Roberts' healthy shopping checklist for food ideas.
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