You only drink a coffee
No problem if you have a coffee on the way to work, but if you have not eaten anything before, you may eat a lot too much later. “Skipping meals can lower your energy levels, increase cravings throughout the day, and slow down your metabolism,” says Krissy Kendall, science editor for bodybuilding.com. So if you’re not hungry in the morning, munch a protein bar or a hard-boiled egg, then when your belly starts to scold a few hours later, eat something more substantial like gruel, Greek yogurt with berries or a roast with peanut butter. If you opt for yogurt, see our super protein recipes.
You like improved coffees
For some people, the lunch is boiled down to one of those commercial coffee coffees but stuffed with sugar, cream, or even syrup . Clearly, they are caloric bombs! “If you do not ask for skim milk, the one you serve in these cafes is usually 2%, or even 3.25%,” says Anna King, a dietician at Indiana University Hospital. If you choose a large size, the additional calories of milk at 2% (330 calories and 8 g of fat) compared to skim milk (270 calories for 0 g of fat) could over time make you gain weight. Add a few bags of sugar, and 45 to 60 calories add up. If you quietly reduce your sugar intake, you may discover that you actually like the taste of coffee.
You prefer sugar to proteins
“Stop sweet foods such as muffins, pastries and cereals stuffed with sugar and additives, advises Kenny Mauer, founder of Mauer Sports Nutrition. These foods make you feel tired and lethargic and make you fat. “If you’re craving sugar in the morning, you’ll suffer from protein deficiency all day long. In addition to being essential to your muscles, proteins are ideal for people on the diet because their body needs to work harder to assimilate them, so you’re full longer. And if you start eating protein at lunch, it will be easier for you to reach your daily dose, a minimum of 56 grams for a man and 46 grams for a woman. Better to try to swallow protein at every meal. “Eat simple foods such as eggs, chicken, beans, vegetables and nuts are the best, but if you’re traveling, a protein bar can do the trick, “Kenny Mauer suggests. If you are a vegetarian, see what are you better sources of protein. And for sugar, see its effects on your brain, this information could influence you on your morning choices.
You choose bad carbs
Muffins, pancakes and cereals may be the stars of lunch, if they lack fiber, they may cause you to gain weight. “Fiber slows down digestion and gives you a level of energy that will last for long hours and keep your appetite under control,” reports Krissy Kendall. Think about it: do you often feel hungry about an hour after having tasted a pastry or a crepe made with white flour syrup? This is because these carbs lack fiber. According to Health Canada, women need 25 grams of fiber a day, and men need 38 grams.
Your bowl is too big
Do you eat cereals rich in fiber and protein? Excellent news ! Keep an eye on what’s falling out of the box, because even though it’s a good thing, it’s easy to eat too much. According to a 2014 Consumer Reports survey , 92% of people would be putting too much grain between 24% and 92% when they use a 12 ounce bowl and 43% to 114% more when they take a bowl of 540 ml (18 ounces). A larger bowl may mean that you consume two to three times more calories than the suggested portion, which is usually around 175 and 275 ml (3/4 and 1 ¼ cup). So, before you serve your cereal tomorrow morning, take a measuring cup.
Your smoothie is too sweet
Buying a smoothie at lunch may seem both convenient and healthy. Basically, it’s a fruit salad, right? Not really, actually. “The base of the smoothie is mostly a fruit juice mix, which can cause sugar volume to go up,” says Anna King. If you make your smoothie at home, you’ll do it with real fruit and add skim milk or unsweetened soy milk, which will really lower the sugar content. “Any sugar supplement results in a rise in blood sugar and possibly weight gain if you make this choice on a daily basis. Here are five good reasons to reduce your sugar intake.
You drink juice
No doubt: a good fresh juice is a great way to get your daily fruit and vegetable – but it’s still an inadequate lunch. “Juices lack fiber and protein, so you feel hungry and tired soon after you get them,” says Krissy Kendall. Do not give up your habit of drinking fruit juice in the morning. “Combine it with a lean protein such as an egg or Greek yogurt and very high fiber foods” – a slice of wholemeal bread or a cup of oatmeal, for example. Learn more about fruit and vegetable juices.
Your lunch comes to you in a box
Packaged foods can be very misleading. Reading on a label “contains as much protein as an egg”, “gluten free” or “low in sugar”, encourages us to put these products in our grocery cart with the feeling of having made the right choice. “Take a closer look,” says Krissy Kendall. You’ll discover that these products often contain more fat and sugar to replace gluten, and incomplete protein sources to boost their total protein content. “In other words: do not be fooled by health claims that are not measurable. Here are 15 foods you should never buy.
You only eat “lunch” foods
You never take off the combination of these few classics: cereals, eggs, toast, pancakes and oatmeal. You eat fruits at lunch and vegetables at noon or in the evening, but never at lunch! If you recognize yourself, do not hesitate to break this mold. Adding fiber to your breakfast will fill you up longer (goodbye to the small 10-hour snack bought in a machine and synonymous with weight gain) and allow you to reach your daily dose of fiber. Do you like bread and eggs at lunch? Take some bread, a few slices of avocado, and top with a soft-boiled egg. Raise your ground oatmeal, walnuts, dried cherries and cinnamon. Add to your scrambled eggs spinach or remaining vegetables the night before. Here are nine others health lunch ideas.
You buy low fat peanut butter
If you’re thinking of making a healthy choice with low fat peanut butter and whole wheat bread, we have bad news for you: low fat does not mean better for you. Although low-fat peanut butter is a little less fat (about 4 grams less), it also contains fewer peanuts as manufacturers add sugar and twice as much salt as in regular butter, is not bad for your line. This also translates into a nutritional deficit insofar as the peanut’s fat is mono-unsaturated and therefore good for the heart. Do not be afraid to take regular peanut butter or, better yet, take a natural one that contains only peanuts and a little salt. See where to find other good fats.