If you have been following the 40-30-30 balanced diet, you know that stabilizing blood sugar from meal to meal is the key to burning unwanted body fat and improving energy levels and overall health. But for many, lunch is the easiest meal to either overeat or skip all together. Lets face it, eating out for lunch every day can be expensive, time consuming and with all of the calories, carbs and fat, can easily pack on unwanted pounds. But you can achieve a daily victory, have great energy levels, improve focus and concentration and burn fat faster all afternoon by packing your own lunch and making it 40-30-30 balanced.
Below are some of my favorite tips and lunch recommendations.
Tip: Forget the “brown bag” and pack your lunch in a cool reusable lunch tote.
Place 4 ounces of low-fat cold cuts, (turkey, chicken, roast beef etc.) on sourdough bread or thin sliced multi-grain bread. If using a roll or bagel, slice and remove the soft inside to reduce the carbohydrate load. Also consider pita pockets or a high-fiber tortilla wrap. Add a variety of “extras” such as lettuce, sliced cucumbers, green or red peppers, onions, tomatoes, fresh herbs and light mayonnaise or drizzle with an olive oil base dressing.
Tip: Avoid bread and starchy carbohydrates all together and choose low-glycemic 40-30-30 lunches such as:
40-30-30 Salads with Fruit
Tuna Salad - (5 ounce can of water packed tuna is approximately 30 grams of protein). Drain one can of tuna and add chopped celery, onion, pickles and two tablespoons of light mayonnaise. Have with 2/3 cup red or green grapes, or slice and add them to the tuna salad.
Chicken Salad - Dice 4 ounces of cooked chicken breast. Add celery, onion, pickles, 2 tablespoons of light mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a fresh apple or chop and add it to the chicken salad.
Greek yogurt cups come in a variety of flavors and fat content and is higher in protein than conventional yogurt. Choose from non-fat or low-fat varieties and add sliced nuts or shredded organic coconut for the appropriate 30% of healthy fat needed for appetite suppression. If your protein requirements are 25 to 30 grams or more, be sure to pack two yogurt cups or you will be hungry in a couple of hours.
Make an extra serving of last nights balanced dinner for a quick and easy lunch. Chili, soup, salmon or chicken breast with grilled vegetables and a salad are just a few examples of meals that can be reheated and enjoyed the next day.
For hundreds of personalized meals and recipes, check out our book,The Formula, A Personalized 40-30-30 Weight Loss Program.
Tip: Avoid the vending machine and mid-afternoon energy slump by packing a Balance bar for that perfect 40-30-30 late afternoon snack.
So start making healthy balanced lunch choices your every day victories. A little nutritional planning can give you big $avings, better energy, and keep you burning fat faster throughout the day.
Joyce Daoust is a Certified Nutritionist and national best selling co-author of:
THE FORMULA, A Personalized 40-30-30 Weight Loss Program.