Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but that doesn't mean you should eat too little (or too much) at lunch - especially not if you're trying to lose weight.
While skimpy lunches may lead you to overeat at dinner, big lunches can leave you feeling sluggish or tired. What you should aim for every day are lunches that contain lots of nutrient-dense vegetables, lean protein and healthy fat combined with slow-releasing carbohydrates.
Here are three fat-burning lunch ideas that provide enough calories to fill you up and energise you, but not enough to stop you from slimming down!
Three lunch ideas to work into your weight loss plan
A stir-fry is simple to prepare and totally delicious! Add one-third cup of low-sodium vegetable broth and a quarter-cup of minced yellow onion to a medium pan over low heat. Add one cup of broccoli and a half-cup each of shredded purple cabbage and chopped red bell pepper. Stir in a teaspoon of minced garlic and a dash of grated ginger, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Sauté in the pan until the vegetables become slightly tender. Finish by adding some protein: Black-eyed peas are a great option for plant-based dieters, or 85 g of chopped chicken breast for meat lovers. One the protein has heated through, remove the stir-fry from the pan and serve on a bed of brown or wild rice topped with cashews or sliced almonds.
Burn extra calories by eating more fat!
Did you know there’s one type of saturated fat
that encourages your body to burn more energy as fuel. And that only means one thing: You lose more weight.
#2: Salad in a jar
A colourful salad in a jar is as pretty as it is tasty! After all, we do eat with our eyes as well as our stomachs. It’s so easy to prepare one: Grab a Mason jar, fill the bottom with a half-cup of oven-roasted sweet potato. Add layers of leafy greens, alternating with sliced carrots, grape tomatoes and yellow bell pepper. Top off your jar of deliciousness with a half-cup of cooked red lentils or 85 g smoked salmon. When you’re ready to tuck in, drizzle two tablespoons of tahini or squeeze some fresh lemon juice over your salad.
#3: Leftovers from the night before
If you don’t have time to prepare lunch every day, simply make a double portion of dinner every night and pack the leftovers for lunch the next day. Aim to include two servings of green vegetables – think leafy greens like kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, green beans and zucchini – with a cooked portion of lean protein like a half-cup of pulses like lentils or beans, or 85 g of poultry or seafood. Make sure you change up your combinations or add different herbs and spices on a daily basis to keep things exciting!
What’s your favourite filling lunch option for when you’re on a diet?
Note: 5 of 1 vote