Nine Ways to Make Your Work Lunches Healthier
By Brian Acton
Committing to a healthy diet can be challenging, especially when you have a busy work schedule. When you’re swimming in deadlines, emails, or client requests, it often seems easier to scarf down a quick, calorie-laden meal and get back to work.
But with a little planning, you can easily maintain a more balanced diet, even when you’ve got work to do. Here are nine ways to make your work lunches a little healthier.
- Pack Your Lunch
If you go out for lunch regularly, it might be time to substitute a packed lunch a few days a week. When you dine out, it’s much more tempting to order something decadent on the menu. When you pack a healthy lunch ahead of time, you’re more likely to stick with that option. Try to increase the amount of lunches you bring from home.
- Eat at Healthy Establishments
When you do go out for lunch, try to frequent restaurants with a focus on healthy food (or at least, more than one healthy option on the menu). When you visit restaurants with a focus on fattening food, you’re more likely to order a meal you’ll regret later. You might want to steer clear of fast food joints altogether.
- Plan Your Meals
Planning your lunches ahead of time takes a little extra work
, but can make a huge difference for the quality of your meals. By planning out lunches and picking up supplies on your days off, you can more easily stick to a healthy plan.
- Cook Ahead
As you plan your meals for the week, you might want to choose meals that can be prepped ahead of time. If you can prepare your work week’s lunches ahead of time, you’ll be able to grab your lunch from the fridge each morning before you head out the door.
- Substitute Fruit and Vegetables
If you want to remove an unhealthy element of your lunch - such as a bag of chips or a candy bar - don’t just eliminate it if you’ll still be left hungry. Replace it with a healthy substitute such as fruits or vegetables, which can be just as filling but much healthier.
- Make Use of Leftovers
Whenever you cook a delicious and healthy dinner, try to make enough to save for lunch. Boxing up leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch is dead simple.
- Find New Recipes
If you’re fatigued by the same lunch day in and day out, it might be time to think outside the box. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring, or even labor intensive. Cookbooks and websites are full of ideas for delicious, simple, healthy meals. Pinterest is a great place to start.
- Bring Snacks
If you feel ravenous by lunchtime, you should try bringing a few healthy snacks to get you through the morning. A few nutritious snacks will keep you energized and prevent you from pigging out at lunch.
- Get Some Exercise
If you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk, your lunch is the perfect opportunity to get in some exercise. Use your lunch break to take a walk around the block or your workplace. You’ll burn off a few calories and give yourself a refreshing break.