All health fanatics will tell you to avoid eating a hearty lunch at work. Firstly, because it has a way of sending your brain signals to stop everything it’s doing and focus on digesting that oversized burger you just hogged, which in turn leaves you slouching in your chair trying to keep yourself up for the rest of the day. The second reason why you should stop eating heavy lunches is because you’re risking gaining weight. When you eat a big meal, your blood glucose shoots up for 30mins, it’s better to use up this increase in blood glucose than to let it accumulate. Thinking of moving to more healthy foods?
If your belly is grumbling in the later hours of the afternoon, it means you didn’t have the right meal during lunch. Before you know it you’ll be going reaching out for a chocolate bar or your bag of chips to quell your hunger. The best lunch meals should keep you feeling full until dinnertime.
Instead of eating big meals consisting of red meats, rice, and cheese, look for healthier options containing the following:
Depriving yourself of complex carbohydrates will leave you feeling fatigued and too exhausted to be productive at work. Complex carbohydrates provide you with a burst of energy that helps you get through the rest of the day without feeling the need to munch on unhealthy snacks.
Eating whole-grain foods containing complex carbohydrates earlier on in the day will shoot up your energy levels and will take all day to burn through your system. Unlike sugar and caffeine, the energy levels you receive from complex carbs won’t ever ‘crash’. Having whole-grain complex carbs that are found in oats, whole-grain bread, and sweet potatoes will keep you energized throughout your day with no afternoon slump.
Many healthy foods that consist of complex carbs also happen to be very nutritious. Whole-grain foods are rich in fiber and are necessary for the health of your digestive tract.
Protein is digested at a much slower rate than other food groups which is why having a protein-rich meal will keep you full for longer and provide you with enough power to last the whole day.
Nutritionists recommend salmon for lunch meals because it is not only rich in protein but also has a large quantity of omega 3 fatty acids. Chicken is another low-fat source of protein that can be incorporated into pretty much any meal whether it be a salad or steak. Lean meats aren’t the only sources of protein; they are also found in beans, lentils, and Greek yogurt.
For the sake of maintaining a fat-free diet, many people skip out on dairy altogether. Low-fat dairy products have many benefits. Consuming low-fat dairy products can help prevent hypertension and Type II Diabetes. They also contain calcium; research shows that the antihypertensive effects of calcium received by the consumption of low-fat dairy products can help in managing weight. It promotes weight-loss by increasing your metabolism.
Low-fat dairy products like cottage cheese and ricotta cheese are also healthy foods and a good source of proteins, you can incorporate them in your salads and sandwiches.
You can also make delicious smoothies using low-fat yogurt along with a variety of healthy ingredients that will give you all the nutrients you need. Many healthy restaurants will have a healthy shake to drink when eating a sandwich or wrap. If you’re trying to lose weight and tone your body to get that slimmer waist then consider replacing meals with nutritious smoothies that contain ingredients from all food groups.
A bowl of assorted fruits is the perfect substitute of for dessert after lunch. Unlike sugary foods, a bowl of fruits won’t cause you to crash later in the afternoon. Nutritionists recommend that you consume at least 2 ½ of fruits every day. If you are not the greatest fan of fruits then try sneaking them into your meals. For example, you can put slices of green apple in your turkey sandwich to give it that freshness or you can add bananas and strawberries to a bowl of oats.
As tasty and fulfilling a big burger or steak may look for lunch, you’re much better off with a whole-wheat sandwich, wrap or pasta. Choose quinoa over rice for lunch to avoid feeling bloated and fatigued. A slice of chocolate cake for dessert may provide you with a world of pleasure for a few moments but the rest of the time you’d be struggling to keep yourself awake.
Carla Adams is an enthusiastic dreamer and a workaholic to achieve that. She is a blogger, writer, basketball player, technology and fashion freak. For all the updates follow her on Facebook.