Lunchtime, half past one in Germany: your stomach growls, but the boss is breathing down your neck. Taking a break and eating lunch in peace – there is often no time for that. But in order to “function” at work, your body (and especially your brain) needs to be regularly supplied with nutrients. This also applies if you want to lose a few kilos. Simply cancelling lunch is not a good idea, because the next ravenous appetite attack is already programmed.
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We tell you how to avoid the 8 most common mistakes at lunch and thus lose weight (even) more easily.
1. they constantly postpone lunch
Just finish typing the e-mail quickly, and then … Often, however, it doesn’t stop at the one to-do and your break often shifts further and further back. But even if your stomach is not yet rumbling, you should have lunch between 1 and 2 pm at the latest. The reason:
This is what’s behind your ravenous appetite attacks
Anyone who eats lunch very late risks being suddenly attacked by a nasty craving attack. And what do you prefer to eat when you have ravenous appetites? Sure, fast food and sugar bombs.
Still no time to eat? Don’t break too late! © GaudiLab / Shutterstock-com
In addition, every 4 hours or so, the body receives a new charge of healthy nutrients, such as high-quality protein and long-chain carbs. Otherwise, your metabolism switches to a low flame, which means that it burns fewer calories.
2. they always eat lunch in a restaurant
A convivial lunch with colleagues* clears the mind and is comfortable. But if you want to lose weight, the restaurant is not always easy: The menus entice with many delicious dishes, some of which contain heaps of (hidden) calories. Also the portions are usually very large. Nevertheless, the food is eaten, because you have paid for it. Whereby we would be at a second disadvantage: Having lunch out every day is very expensive.
Our tip: Meal Prep! It is healthier and cheaper to (pre-)cook for yourself. Just prepare twice as much dinner the evening before (for example a curry with rice or a pasta dish) and eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. This does not mean that eating out is generally taboo, just not every day
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3. they eat on the way while walking
Do you always get a snack from the kiosk at lunchtime and then plaster it on the way back to the office? Then we have bad news for you: According to a study, you load up 30 percent more calories than if you were eating sitting down.
Just having something to eat in between meals has nothing to do with a healthy lunch © Estrada-Anton / Shutterstock.com
Ergo: Really make a break at noon and take your time for lunch. It doesn’t have to be an hour. But 15 minutes is enough for a healthy lunch. And really, anyone can shovel those out.
4. you eat your food in front of the computer
Most people have probably already made this weight loss mistake at lunch: eating in the square. How handy, because you can check your emails while you’re putting something in your mouth.
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The problem: Lunch becomes completely secondary, because with your attention you are somewhere else. As a result, not only the pleasure is gone, but also the ability to listen to the feeling of satiety. Many people just keep on eating until the plate is empty, although they may have been full for a long time. This is the same effect as eating chips before TV .
5. you eat too much salad
Typos? No, we’re very serious about that. Here are the facts: Lettuce is low in calories, zero fat, no carbohydrates, and is therefore ideal for losing weight. The only problem is that this only refers to the pure green leaves and raw vegetables such as cucumber or tomato.
If you choose the wrong ingredients, you can turn a salad that you put together yourself at the salad bar in the canteen into a real calorie bomb: the biggest weight loss traps are here: Ready-to-drink dressing with hidden sugar, croutons and (too much) cheese. Even breaded meat or shrimps have no place in a healthy salad.
Green stuff and vegetables Go, ready dressing and croutons no! © Destinyweddingstudio / Shutterstock.com
In future, load more greens and vegetables onto your plate, but avoid too many unhealthy toppings. When it comes to dressing, less is more. A shot of vinegar, oil, salt and pepper is enough.
6. they resort to packaged meals
At first glance, the packed sandwich, supermarket sushi or salad in the plastic box almost looks like a healthy meal. Almost. Because you can assume that hidden fatteners are included here. Ready-made dressing, unhealthy topping, cheap fish substitute. This is neither tasty nor healthy. And have we mentioned the countless preservatives, stabilizers and thickeners?
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Even if we are repeating ourselves: Prepare your own meals rather than resorting to convenience food. With Meal Prep dishes you know exactly what’s in them and they taste much better. It doesn’t have to be every day, but you can manage it once or twice a week.
7. they drink light drinks with their meals
Better to drink water instead of light drinks for lunch © AN -Photographer2463 / Shutterstock.com
Those who eat out at lunchtime or in the canteen often treat themselves to a soft drink. Sugar-free, of course, which is much healthier. Good approach, but unfortunately there is a lack of execution.
Why? Although Coke Light, Zero & Co. do not contain sugar, the substitute sweeteners they contain are basically no better. The sweet taste makes your body believe that it is supplying sugar (energy!), but it does not keep its promise. Your body is waiting eagerly for the announced energy boost and then protests with ravenous appetite.
The perfect drink for lunch would be water. You can spice it up with slices of lemon or cucumber.
8. you skip lunch completely
If you want to lose weight in a healthy way, you should never skip lunch altogether. By cancelling lunch, you will not only struggle with an annoying feeling of hunger in the afternoon, but also with a low energy and performance level. And that’s only because you absolutely wanted to save a few calories. It is not worth it!
Why don’t I answer it?
Your body depends on you to provide it with “fuel” on a regular basis so that it can easily maintain all its bodily functions. If there is no supply, your metabolism simply shuts down and you burn fewer calories. Speaking of calories: …you’ll make up the calorie deficit by the evening. Why? The hunger pit will eventually overpower you and end up in a gluttony. The calories you save will be gone in no time. So: Eat lunch to avoid gaining weight!
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Take at least 15 minutes each day to eat lunch in peace and quiet. It’s worth it – not only if you want to lose weight. A healthy mix of long-chain carbohydrates, healthy fats and plenty of protein provides your body with optimal energy and at the same time keeps you full for a long time without breaking your calorie account.