When it comes to healthy eating goals, many people fall short at lunchtime. Packing a healthy lunch takes time and forethought. If you’re in a rush or haven’t prepared anything in advance, you may resort to fast food or hitting the vending machine, which usually means you’ll consume far more calories than you planned and probably won’t get the healthy nutrients you need.
Having a healthy lunch each day means you need to plan in advance and bring something with you. But who has time for that during a hectic morning?
You do — if you follow these simple tips to help set yourself up for a day of healthy eating. You’ll be able to eat nutritious food throughout the day without worrying about being late for work or school drop-off. Here’s how:
1. Cook a big dinner at night
When you’re making a delicious and healthy dinner at home, double the recipe and set the extra aside. Then, pack the extra food into lunch-sized containers and pop it in the fridge. Voila! Instant healthy lunch without any extra time in the morning.
2. Invest in healthy snacks
Many people overlook snacks as a way to get healthier and achieve weight-loss success. But if you stock up on healthy snacks and bring some with you each day, you can help ward off hunger before lunchtime arrives. Eat a snack mid-morning that includes a healthy fat and some protein to keep you feeling satisfied. Think nuts and seeds, hummus and veggies, or Greek yogurt with fresh fruit. When the noon hour strikes, you’ll be less likely to head for the drive-thru — because you won’t be famished.
3. Make Sunday night your chopping and washing night
Few people have time to prep fruits and vegetables during their busy week. Instead, set aside 20-30 minutes on Sunday night to wash and chop up your favorite fruits and vegetables. Invest in some attractive, lunch-sized containers that you love, fill them with your freshly chopped food, and you’re ready to go in the morning. Don’t like to chop? Pick up pre-chopped fruits and vegetables at the grocery store and put them into your lunch containers instead.
4. Make smoothies the night before
Not into cooking? A few of your favorite ingredients thrown into a blender can make a delicious and filling smoothie that can be a healthy lunch when you don’t have time for anything else. Fruit, greek yogurt, some kale or spinach, avocado, and flax seeds or chia seeds give you a punch of protein, fiber, and healthy fats to keep your energy levels up and hunger down.
5. Hit the grocery store for lunch, not the take-out place
If you can’t grab something for lunch before you rush out the door, all is not lost. Instead of going to a restaurant or getting take-out, go to the local market. Many grocery stores carry ready-made salads and healthy soups, sushi, and lunch-sized portions of lean meats with cheese. These are usually much healthier choices than fast-food options or the large portions served at most restaurants.
Eat healthier and feel great
If you’re frustrated by all the conflicting diet advice out there, we can help! At Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers, we will customize a diet plan and wellness program that’s designed for you and your unique needs. Contact us today for your no-cost consultation.
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on October 8, 2018