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Overview

Now that 2016 is underway and routines are getting back to normal, your healthy intentions may be back to normal, too. Whether or not you slipped up a little during the holidays, you may be more determined than ever to eat right.

Breakfast may get the most attention, but lunch can make or break you, too. Think of burgers and fries, cheesy beef burritos with nachos, and meatball sandwiches from the fast food restaurant down the street from work. Think of pizza that shows up in the lunch room. Think of the chips, candy bars, and cheese crackers from the vending machine down the hall when you skip” lunch.

Lunch can break you if you’re caught unprepared, costing you hundreds of extra calories each day. But it doesn’t have to. If high-calorie, low-protein, low-nutrient lunches are regular for you, it’s time to healthify your lunch! This week’s challenge can help you do just that.

Getting Started:

In most cases, packing a lunch is the best choice. It lets you control exactly what and how much goes into your mouth. The first step is to make sure you are set up for taking your own lunches. You need some small containers with tight-fitting lids, a set of cutlery – small-sized if that’s what you are using at home to help yourself eat slower – and a lunch bag, preferably insulated.

Think of some ideas for healthy lunches. They can be as simple or gourmet as you like, as long as you stick to the basic weight loss surgery guidelines: start with Protein, go for veggies or fruit next, and consider a small amount of starch. To get you through the day, you can also pack a few healthy Snacks with protein, such as hard-boiled eggs, string cheese sticks, and celery with non-fat cream cheese.

Then get ready to make your healthy lunches. You may need to go shopping for any ingredients you may need for this week’s lunches, especially if you’re used to going out. Don’t forget foods such as yogurt or Salad Dressing that you might want to keep in the workroom fridge.

The Next Steps

Do whatever prep work and cooking that you can ahead of time. That could include cooking and dicing chicken breast, boiling a dozen eggs, and peeling, washing, and cutting carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber coins, and other raw vegetables. You could also make some recipes such as three-bean salad or tofu broccoli stir fry so they’re ready to go during the coming week.

Each night, plan your lunch for the next day and pack as much as you can. Don’t forget to put your water bottle next to your lunch bag so you remember to take it, too. Finish the packing in the morning, and enjoy your lunch every day this week!

Make It Last:

How did you like this week’s challenge? Did you feel that planning ahead led you to making healthier choices at lunch? Did packing your lunch help you avoid going to fast food or sit-down restaurants? Did you feel proud of yourself for making the healthy choices?

If you think packing your lunch might be something you want to keep up, you might be able to improve on the process as you get used to it. Maybe you’ll find that you need a specific size container, or maybe you’ll realize you need to set aside some time on the weekends and a few minutes each night to get your food together. Whatever it is, practice makes perfect!

Keep those lunches healthy, and you’ll be sure to feel better and get a little closer to your weight loss and health goals this year. Happy New Year!

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Great post Alex. Bought two Jaxx fit packs at Sam's club just for this purpose. I do okay when I am at the office but when I travel, I lose it. I'm going to start trying to pack lunch and Snacks for when I'm on the road. http://m.samsclub.com/ip/jaxx-fitpak-with-portion-control-containers-leak-proof-containers/prod19545059

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Packing my lunch at night for the next day removes the headache for me of trying to figure out what to have for lunch. There is usually enough of dinner left over that I take that. It's also saving me a TON of money. My work ordered sandwiches from a gourmet sand which shop yesterday and it would've been $15 for a meal that was too heavy, too starchy, and way too many calories. I saw people after lunch who looked like they were going to fall asleep they had stuffed themselves so much. Glad I wasn't one of them!

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This is one of the key changes I've made recently. Bringing my lunch to work always results in me eating healthier and with proper portions. I always bring two s nacks too, like an apple and a grapefruit. So far so good!

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I often cook in batches on the weekend and freeze some lunches for grab and go, others go in the fridge, so I can mix it up. by cooking ahead and freezing I can have variety in my weekly work lunches, and not feel like I am eating the same thing every day and oh the headaches that are avoided because I am only making them out of the right foods for me at this time and in the right amounts.

I simply don't have the ability to have a high mental function first thing in the morning. :lol:

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