Even though the craving for takeout might be particularly strong at lunch, simply changing one meal per day could lead to a number of health improvements including weight loss and increased energy. According to nutrition experts, one meal a day makes up a significant portion of our calories. How can we use this to our advantage?
A balanced meal will fill you up more than a burrito packed with all the goodies or a giant cheeseburger. Although the healthier meal will have fewer calories, it is more nutritious and won’t leave you feeling hungry afterward. This allows you to save calories. Over time, you will see changes in your health, including weight loss.
Does this mean you shouldn’t eat leftovers for lunch? Not necessarily. The trick to eating leftovers for lunch is to make sure that whatever you are eating is sufficiently balanced. One of the biggest myths about lunch is that it should be your smallest and lightest meal of the day.
What is a balanced lunch? You’ll want to make sure that you have a protein-rich food like fish, turkey, lentils, or beans as well as a fruit or vegetable – or both. This protein-heavy lunch, when combined with a whole grain, could really help with that late afternoon fatigue.
It is also important to view your meal change in the right way. The changes to your lunch shouldn’t be thought of in terms of calories; instead, they should be considered part of improved health and fighting that afternoon slump you often feel.
For many people, lunch is the easiest meal to change, but it doesn’t have to be the one that is modified in order to reap the health benefits. If lunch isn’t a meal you are ready to change, simply pick another one. The trick is to try changing one meal every day to make it easier to stick to healthier lifestyle choices later on.
Remember, as you modify your meal habits for the better, you are also changing your overall mindset. Eating healthier food or making different choices when it comes to your health can be challenging, but it is possible to embrace such a lifestyle change. As you ease into your new, healthier lifestyle, you are inevitably going to get that “spill-over effect”, which means eating healthier will become second nature in the long run.