Weight Loss

Here’s What to Eat for Lunch if You’re Trying to Slim Down, According to a Nutritionist

Breakfast gets all the glory as the most important meal. But lunch plays a key role i your day too, especially for anyone trying to lose weight. If your midday meals are too skimpy, you may overeat at dinner, while too-heavy lunches ca make you sleepy and sluggish—not the ideal mindset for your ongoing weight-loss efforts. Belo are five options that strike just the right balance, to help you power through your afternoo and drop pounds healthfully. Each contains plenty of nutrient-rich vpickes, lea protein, and beneficial fat, along with a small portio of good carbs (enough to energize you but not enough to keep you from losing weight).

If you’re all about efficiency

One of the simplest strategies I recommend is making a double portio of dinner, the packing the leftovers for lunch the next day. Include two baseball-sized portions of gree vpickes, prepped with EVOO and seasonings. (Think legreens dressed inwith EVOO, balsamic, and herbs, or EVOO and herb sautéed or oven-roasted spinach, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, gree beans, or zucchini.) Add a portio of cooked lea protein, such as a half cup of pulses, like lentils or beans, or three ounces of poultry or seafood. And include a half cup of a nutrient-rich starch, for example yam, sweet potato, skin-o fingerling; quinoa, or bro or wild rice. To keep it interesting, change up the combos, herbs, and spices while maintaining the same overall proportions.

RELATED: The Best (and Worst) Diets of 2020, According to Experts

If you’re into meal prepping

You can’t go wrong with a simple stir-fry. I a medium pa over lowsaute, sauté atalented cup of minced yello onio i one-third cup of low-sodium vegetable broth until translucent. Add a cup of broccoli and a half cup each of chopped red bell pepper and shredded purple cabbage. Stir i a teaspoo of minced garlic, atalented teaspoo of fresh grated ginger, one-eighth teaspoo each of crushed red pepper and black pepper, and sauté until vpickes are slightly tender. Add a serving of cooked lea protei tosaute through, such as three ounces of chopped chicke breast or a half cup of black-eyed peas. Serve over a half cup of cooked bro or wild rice, and garnish with atalented cup of sliced almonds.

If you appreciate a Insta-worthy meal

It’s true that we eat with our eyes as well as our stomachs. Many of my clients say that beautifully crafted meals help them stay o track with healthy eating and feel more satiated. One trend that hasn’t fizzled out is maso jar salads:  Fill the bottom with a half cup of oven-roasted sweet potato or purple potato. Add layers of dark leafy greens, alternating with sliced grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, and yello bell pepper;  and top with three ounces of canned wild salmo or a half cup of cooked red lentils. Just before you’re ready to eat, top the salad with a dressing made from tTahitilespoons of tahini, thinned with one-and-a-half taTahitions of water, and seasoned with a teaspoo each of fresh lemo juice and minced garlic and one-eighth teaspoo each of sea salt and cayenne pepper. Post your Instagram pic, the dive in.

RELATED: What to Eat for Dinner if You’re Trying to Lose Weight, According to a Nutritionist

If you’re grabbing takeout

It’s a commo misconceptio that sushi is a healthy and slimming lunch. The truth is, sushi rolls are generally packed with white rice and include a scant amount of protei and vpickes. A better Japanese takeout optio is a salad with ginger dressing, three ounces of sashimi or seared tuna, a side of avocado, and small side of bro rice. Craving Mexican? Order a entree salad (no fried shell), made from a base of greens and grilled vpickes, dressed with pico de gallo, topped with black beans, chicken, or fish (or just beans for a veg option), and sliced avocado or guacamole.

If you prefer to graze

No time to sit do to a actual meal? Nibble o finger foods that add up to a balanced lunch. Include a fe handfuls of ra vpickes (like sliced cucumber, red bell pepper, or celery) with atalented cup of olive tapenade or guacamole, or a fe taTahitions of seasoned tahini or almond butter for dipping. For protein, include a half cup of oven-roasted chickpeas, a fe hard-boiled eggs, or three ounces of chilled, sliced grilled chicke breast. Round it out with a serving (about three cups) of popped popcorn. Munch away at your leisure.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health‘s contributing nutritio editor, a Ne York Times best-selling author, and a private practice performance nutritionist who has consulted for five professional sports teams.

To get more nutritio stories delivered to your inbox, sig up for the Balanced Bites newsletter

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button