It is so important to pick smart choices and make your calories work for you, not against you. You could eat twice the amount of calories you need and not get the nutrients your body needs at the exact same time. If you don’t pick the right foods to eat at lunch, or any other meal for that matter, no amount of food will satisfy you the right way. Also, save your money and your calories by not eating out. Most restaurant choices, even ones that seem healthy, are loaded with excess calories or salt. This can leave you hungry later on, make you tired, give you headaches, can ruin your budget, and can make you bloated and fatigued, robbing your ability to focus.
1. PICK PROTEIN
One of the best diet tips I have for you is to pick protein. Protein is so important for your body on a number of levels. First, it contains the essential amino acids your body needs for healthy brain function, blood sugar regulation, a fast metabolism, and energy levels. Protein calms your stress hormones, and keeps you alert and awake, while being stimulant free, unlike those lattes at Starbucks you might have turned to previously. Protein from foods like salmon, tofu, tuna, lean chicken, lean turkey, eggs and egg whites, a healthy protein smoothie, etc. are all great sources.
2. CHOOSE SMART CARBS
If you need more than a salad, no worries! If you’re a vegan and don’t want animal protein on your salad, just add a sweet potato, or some fluffed quinoa to your meal instead. These are smart carbs that digest slowly, and prevent blood sugar swings. They will help to keep you full, satisfied, and fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to stay full and energized throughout the day. I personally adore sweet potatoes!
3. PICK HEALTHY FATS
Don’t try to go fat free. It will only backfire on you, I promise! Healthy fats like almond butter, or fresh almonds on your salad are a great example, as are avocados on a salad, boiled eggs with your meal, a teaspoon of hemp or olive oil on your salad, or fatty fish like salmon or trout. All of these are great sources of healthy fats that will keep your body burning fat and keep your blood sugar stable. Fat also fuels satisfactory hormones in your brain, which tells you that you’re full and don’t need to eat any more. Without fat at lunch, you’ll be hungrier sooner, and your mood will suffer big time.
4. DON’T FORGET THE GREENS
Whatever you do, include some kind of greens. A sliver of iceberg lettuce on a sandwich or a burger doesn’t count! Add greens either through a salad, pack a green protein smoothie, get in a green juice, or eat some steamed spinach or kale with your protein. However you can get in a green piece of produce, do it! Include 2 cups for the best benefits. Greens help keep you full and satisfied, stabilize your blood sugar and cleanse your system. This keeps your energy high, the body in tip top shape and keeps your cells nourished.
5. SKIP THE SUGAR