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| Health and Fitness

10/12/14

Lunch bail: Why your lunch is letting you down

From sandwiches to salads and even the occasional buffet, you lunch ultimately is letting you down.
With so much focus on preparing a balanced dinner and making sure you don't skip breakfast, you might be putting less thought into your lunch, whether you are preparing it at home the night before or stepping out and grabbing something quick on the go.
Lunch often is the most difficult meal to eat healthy for two reasons: misconceptions and lack of time. The latter isn't hard to figure out given most people only get 30 minutes for lunch, and that typically leads you in the direction of a fast food restaurant, since you don't have nearly enough time to sit down at a restaurant and the drive thru is your best friend at the moment.
That mentality doesn't really fly if you choose the right fast food stop and also take at least a minute or two to check out the menu. Most fast food places, granted, don't exactly have a bevy of healthy options, but you might be able to find at least a few items that won't make you feel worse by 2 in the afternoon. The real misstep at lunch as it relates to fast food is assuming that a salad is your best bet. Sadly, that isn't always the truth particularly when you factor in the dressing, cheese and other fatty toppings that take a healthy salad and turn it into something less enviable.
If you want a salad, choose wisely when it comes to fat content and dressings available. You also want to stick with side items or main courses like baked potatoes, chilli and grilled chicken. Once again, calorie killers like bacon, cheese, fried chicken and fatty meats make fast food a tough sell.

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Even when you are taking the time to make your lunch at home doesn't necessarily guarantee you success, either. We often think of luncheon meats like ham and turkey being our lunchtime salvation as far as fat content is concerned. While those meats are traditionally lower in fat than salami, bologna and pepperoni, they still have just as much sodium as their fattier counterparts. If you want a sandwich for lunch, try buying an already made roasted chicken and peeling off the white meat and making that the staple of your sandwich. That type of bird won't cause your sodium content to fly off the charts. The other parts of your lunch box should consist of fruits, vegetables and skipping the junk food and sweets, at least most of the time.
You don't have to make lunch quite the laborious meal as simply choosing smart, exercising patience in how you order or prepare food is more than enough to ensure your midday meal won't drag down the rest of your eating day.

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