Did you know that the working woman eats about 100,000 calories extra per year, or an average of 2,240 calories per week of EXTRA calories. These extra calories could equate to around 28 pounds of weight gain PER YEAR. If you think about it, those are staggering numbers. Not surprisingly, sources of extra calories often include snacks, treats brought into the office, and eating lunch out.
Meal prepping your lunch is one way to ensure that you have a healthy filling lunch every single day of the week. A more filling and exciting meal means you’re less likely to reach for office treats, vending machines snacks, or hit up the drive-thru with a coworker. So, we thought today would be a good time to share how to meal prep a filling lunch that will keep you full!
As a dietitian, I often find that when my clients pack lunches, they skimp on their meal trying to be “healthy.” They usually pack a super dull meal that they don’t look forward too, so they would rather go out even though they have healthy lunch. That’s why we design What to Eat? Meal Plans to be both filling and not boring! We also analyze each recipe and meal to make sure you are getting enough protein, healthy fat, veggies, and starch at every meal, including lunch! These meal components help keep you satisfied and better able to fight your sugar cravings!
If you are building out your own lunch here are the basic buckets you want to hit:
The number one feedback our clients give us about their What to Eat? Meal Plans is how much fuller they feel eating way more veggies than they ever have in their life! We recommend you get at least 4-5 cups of non-starchy vegetables per day to provide optimal nutrient intake! Any kind of veggie except corn, peas, and potatoes fall into this category!
Protein keeps you full, helps rev up your metabolism, and repairs muscle mass. We include at least 100 grams of protein in every meal plan and at least 20-30 grams per meal to aid in weight loss or weight maintenance in our meal plans.
- Grassfed Meat
- Organic Dairy Products
Most people fear the calories associated with fat, but you shouldn’t! Research shows that healthy fat at a meal increases your fullness and may decrease the calories you consume through the rest of the day.
- Olive/Coconut/Avocado Oil (as in a dressing or when cooking your food)
- Whole Fat Dairy Products
To lose weight, a lot of people also skimp on the starch at meals as well. This leads to low energy levels and a boring meal. On the flip side, if you eat predominately carbohydrate-based meals, this can lead to weight gain. We keep our What to Eat? Meal Plans with moderate amounts of carbohydrates throughout the day to help keep you energized, provide fiber, and provide flavor. Usually, around 1/2 cup per meal of added starch will be enough (because remember you get carbohydrates from veggies too), the best sources are:
- brown rice
- whole grains
- sweet potato
- whole corn
If you set up your lunches with this format in mind, you are sure to have success with weight loss and weight maintenance. If you want a little help with your meal planning, check out our plans and pricing page!