Losing weight doesn't have to mean feeling hungry, and definitely shouldn't involve skipping meals. Go ahead and get excited about lunch, but consider these tips during that midday meal to help you slim down.
- Go big: Instead of devouring an enormous dinner, research suggests making lunch your largest meal of the day. Eat it about two to three hours after your breakfast or morning snack. Consuming more calories midday than at dinner ensures you have enough time to burn all those calories, and keeps you full enough so you're less likely to reach for huge afternoon treats or crave a huge dinner.
- Go for fibrous fillers: Instead of fueling up on carbs that will make your mind and body feel heavy, go for foods high in filling fiber, such as whole grains and veggies. They take longer to digest so hunger pangs won't cause you to reach for more calories soon after lunch ends.
- Protein is your pal: To sustain your energy, protein is a must. Since a woman needs about 50 grams a day, aim for at least 20 to 30 grams during this noontime meal. You'll be surprised how alert you'll feel come 4 p.m., without needing a sugary treat to keep you going.
- Nature's beverage: Instead of soda or juice, stick your straw in some crisp, cool water. Aside from not affecting your waistline, it'll help fill your belly without filling you up on calories.
- Take an actual lunch break: How you eat lunch is just as important as what you eat. Step away from the computer so you can really slow down and savor each bite; otherwise, you can easily scarf down an entire plate of food without your brain really registering that you ate, which leads to mindlessly consuming more calories than you need.
Photo: Lizzie Fuhr