Say YES to 1: Let’s Talk Lunch!

by Kimberly Vanderpoel on January 4th, 2018

If I’m ever going to misstep with my healthy eating goal–it’s at lunch! Whether it’s because we have less control over our choices, we are in a hurry so we just grab something, or we’ve had a stressful morning so we “deserve” those fries.

Did you know that if eat a typical fast-food lunch, you’ve exceeded your nutritional needs by hundreds of calories?
Double Bacon Cheese Burger + French Fries + Small Drink = 1300+ calories
US authorities recommend 2,700 calories per day for men and 2,200 for women.

Healthy Lunches for Eating Out

  • Make a list of your favorite lunch spots
    • Simple Success Tip:
      • Check out their menu online to review healthy options
      • Have 1 or 2 healthy options ready for when you order
  • Pay attention to the serving sizes
  • Skip the buffets
  • Choose foods that are steamed, broiled, baked, roasted, poached, or lightly sautéed or stir-fried
  • Ask for fat-free or low-fat milk instead of cream for coffee or tea
  • Pick food without butter, gravy, or sauces—or ask to have the food without it
  • Choose a lower-calorie salad dressing
  • Ask for salad dressing on the side, and use only some of it
  • Pick drinks without added sugar, like water, fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, or diet iced-tea, lemonade, or soda

Healthy Brown Bag Lunches

  • Add more vegetables such as cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, and onions to a sandwich instead of extra meat or cheese.
  • Accompany a sandwich with salad or fruit instead of chips.
  • When eating a salad, dip your fork into dressing instead of pouring lots of dressing on the salad.
  • Be creative:
    • Try whole grain crackers instead of bread
    • Top your cottage cheese with almonds or walnuts for extra nutrition
    • Hard-boiled eggs are a great protein source
    • Popcorn makes a great afternoon snack
    • Make a healthy dip for fresh veggies
    • Make a wrap
    • Be creative with salad toppings.
  • Plan ahead and make a few extras when you make your evening meal–leftovers are a great lunch.
  • Make lunch size freezer meals for those grab and go days
  • A good rule of thumb when planning your brown bag lunch:
    • one protein
    • one grain
    • one fruit
    • one vegetable
    • one dairy

How about you, what’s your favorite healthy lunch? 

 

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