Was your New Year’s resolution to lose weight or get healthier? It’s almost mid-January, and that means that 29 percent of those who set New Year’s resolutions Jan. 1 have already fallen off the wagon. We know. It’s not easy to stick to new goals when you’re balancing a work or family life, especially if you’re frequently on the go or have a bad habit of grabbing a cheeseburger and fries at lunch. Still, there’s hope.
The best way to establish better eating and exercise habits is to plan them. Schedule them into your daily calendar. And yes, that most likely includes planning your healthy meals the day before. The office can be a land mine of leftover pizza, breakfast treats and birthday desserts, but that doesn’t mean you have to indulge. Plan ahead so you’re not tempted to partake of fatty snacks by bringing a healthy lunch.
Check out our list of our favorite healthy lunches you can prepare quickly and take to work.
5. Lean turkey burger or veggie burger with a baked sweet potato.
Yes, you can lose weight and still have hamburgers! Lean turkey burgers are simple to find and brands like Morningstar make a variety of tasty vegetarian burgers. Instead of a carb-heavy bun, use two large leaves of romaine lettuce. Skip the greasy condiments and use mustard, onion and tomato. Bake a sweet potato by wrapping it up in foil and take it to work! You can even bake a few at a time to prepare for the next day.
4. Quinoa with dried fruit and chicken
Cooked quinoa is quick and simple to make and can be stored in the fridge for days. Due to its growing popularity, more grocery stores are carrying it. To sweeten it up, add some dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, mangos or goji berries and throw in some baked chicken breast for protein. Incredibly filling and delicious.
This one’s a no brainer. But your lunch salad doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless. There are so many varieties of greens that it would be a crime not to experiment outside your go-to salad filler of romaine lettuce. Purchase pre-packaged bags of arugula, baby spinach, chard, kale or frisee. Add vegetables like cauliflower, beets, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes or broccoli. Throw in some low-sugar fruits like berries and whatever protein source you’d like. Just make sure to stay away from heavy dressings and choose light vinaigrettes instead.
Choose vegetable and broth-based soups instead of cream-heavy varieties. Chicken vegetable, butternut squash, pumpkin, broccoli or chicken noodle will most likely be your best bet. Soup is a simple, convenient way to bring your lunch to work. Just make sure your brand isn’t laden with preservatives, chemicals and heavy creams.
1. Protein shakes
One of our favorite meal replacements options is a protein shake. It doesn’t sound like much fun, but you can choose your favorite flavors (chocolate or strawberry, yum!), bring some fresh or frozen fruit to work and blend it in your office kitchen. Yes, it sounds crazy, but mini, single serving size blenders cost around $20, and its an investment that pays for itself. Select brown rice, whey or egg white protein options, mix with a base of almond milk, coconut milk or water, add some fruit and blend! It’s just as filling as a meal.