Just as breakfast gives me a much-needed energy boost in the morning, eating lunch fuels the second half of my day—and helps
me stay away from the vending machine mid afternoon.
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Essential Ingredients of a Healthy Breakfast
But when you’re trying to lose weight, every meal—and calorie—counts. (Find out how many
calories you should be eating to shed pounds here.
) You can build a light but filling lunch with these three healthy
ingredients—whether you’re brown-bagging it or eating out.
Making vegetables the largest portion of your lunch boosts your lunch’s total
nutrition (vegetables deliver disease-fighting phytochemicals and essential vitamins and minerals) and gives you a healthy
dose of fiber—a must-have when you’re dieting. Why? Fiber helps you stay satisfied longer, plus research shows that upping
your fiber intake may help promote weight loss. Find low-cal, high-fiber
lunch recipes here.
2. Lean protein:
Adding a little lean protein to your lunch (think: tofu, chicken, fish or
beans) is an easy way to stay satisfied throughout the afternoon—gram for gram, protein will keep you feeling fuller longer
compared to carbohydrates and fat. Pack in the protein with
these high-protein, low-cal lunch recipes.
3. Whole-wheat bread:
Eating whole-wheat bread in place of refined white bread may help you
trim your total body fat, as well as that much-hated belly bulge. A study in the Journal of Nutrition
people who ate about 3 servings of whole grains a day had about 2.4 percent less body fat and 3.6 percent less abdominal fat
than those who ate barely any whole grains at all. Aim for at least three servings of whole grains daily (a slice of
whole-wheat bread equals one serving). Other great sources: whole-grain cereal, oats, bulgur, quinoa and brown rice.
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“Bad” Foods You Should Eat Even When You’re on a Diet