Before we start to choose the right kind of food for lunch, please allow me to reiterate our goal again – weight loss!!
Breakfast and lunch are literally 2 major meals of the day, some calls it the inverted pyramid diet plan. It’s as easy, simple and self explanatory. Our body craves for energy and fuel after a night long sleep to kick start a day, you will find yourself fully blissful and dynamic when you start every morning with a quality breakfast. Our lunch is also an important diet of the day, but of a little smaller portion than your breakfast, and we should carefully choose what to fit onto your dishes just not to ruin the effort and result. Come home to have a big dinner after a tough day would be most people’s habit. If you want to be successful with your weight management, you should be more control with your dinner. Dinner should become the smallest portion of your meal during a day as we tend to enjoy the evening on a couch until bed time, having smaller meal will do good to your digestive system and yet reduce the chance of those extra pounds on your belly.
In order to achieve our goal, we should avoid foods which are high in fat, sodium, sugar and carbohydrate as much as possible. We need to adapt a sense of these rules in order to gradually knowing, seeing and feeling the benefits that comes forth (changes do not happen overnight).
For future reference, sauce and dressing on our pasta and salads should also avoid, whether because they are unhealthy or because they cause weight gain.
Meal Prep Benefits
When you prepare your food, you know exactly what ingredients are used, you know what you are eating and you certainly understand what health benefits they bring. It is suggested to prepare your lunch boxes for 3-5 days to save the hassle, all you need are sufficient amount of containers, this also helps to keep your refrigerator neat and tidy. No matter they are glass or plastic containers, it’s totally up to you. But I would suggest to have containers with compartments to separate dry and wet foods.
Here are some benefit of meal prep.
- You will control the portions
- You can use your favorite healthy ingredients
- More nutritionally balanced diet
- Low sodium, low sugar and MSG free
- Better control of diet planning
- Help with weight management
- No more “must avoid” food on your dish
- You will save money and time
Meal Prep Formula
The golden rule of a clean healthy diet should be distributed into a ratio of 60/30/20.
60% of fiber, 30% of proteins & fat and 10% of carbohydrates. Some serious body fitness gurus consume carbohydrates only before exercise and training to provide fuel for muscle functions. Our body transform extra carbohydrate into glycogen, that will result in weight gain in a long run.
- 60% fiber. Green vegetables, avocados, fruits
- 30% proteins & fat. Chicken breast, turkey, salmon fillets, cheese, yogurt, eggs are good source of proteins. Or edamame, avocados, lentils, chickpeas, tofu…..these are options of plant based proteins and fat.
- 10% carbohydrate. Go for good source of carbs, plain white rice is high glycemic indexed food that will boost blood sugar so it is not considered a good carb. Replace that with slice of whole grain bread, quinoa, rolled oats, potatoes and sweet corns, etc.
How to cook
By now you should have a strong concept to identify what are the good ingredients for your meal prep, here we come to the point to have them cooked and prepared the way they should be so that our works will not be jeopardized at this last step.
- For vegetables, try to eat them raw if all possible just slightly boil. Pan fried vegetable may cause the consumption of extra amount of fat, so replace with extra virgin olive oil can assure the fat quality. It’s best to eat raw or boil them in a pot of water with sprinkle of pink salt (or without). If you use the latter method, make sure you only boil them for a short time to retain the nutrients and micro minerals.
- Chickens, turkey, salmon fillet, etc. Grill is a good and comparatively healthier method to cook them. As mentioned above, pan frying will add to the amount of fat intake that’s contradictory to our purpose of fat reduction. It is suggested to use as little fat as possible for a more achievable and successful weight control planning.
- Carbohydrates. Again, grill, boil and steam are good cooking methods than pan frying or deep drying. This is how we could ensure to limit the intake of fat.
Improve Taste of your Prep Lunch
The intake of sodium (salt, chicken power, etc) should be limited to about 1 teaspoon per day. However, it is easy to trap in high sodium food at supermarket, fast food, burgers, junk food, etc. Excessive intake will cause many health issues and also body edema, thus weight gain.
For fat (oil), our body, skin, hair……needs oil but the choice of oil is key and important to balance our heart health. Omega-3 rich oil such as fish oil, coconut oil and olive oil are the best alternatives than lard, animal fat, peanut oil, etc.
Many people think meal preps are tasteless, but don’t be bothered, it isn’t necessarily be the case. Actually there are many healthier seasoning options than you can think of and yet makes your dishes equally tasty. It’s just a matter to habit. Go ahead to replenish your condiment shelf with these, you will start to find out doing meal prep can be fun and joyful.
- Five spices
- Garlic powder
- Dried Herbs, e.g., thyme, rosemary, basil, nutmeg, etc.
- Vinegar, e.g., red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, etc.
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Homemade tomato sauce
- Homemade pesto sauce
- Tahini sauce
- Hummus sauce
I hope you see light in the tunnel after reading this post. I walked through what you are walking through today. There were mysteries along my way to health and fitness goals. Nowadays, there are many more good food options and they can be easily found out there at supermarkets, if you purchase them online, they will be delivered to your doorway, that’s just available on your finger tips without needing a long drive or any commuting. The time saved can be well spent on finding more quality healthy recipes and exercises. That really makes fitness life a lot more attainable today. The key is self-discipline, exercise every day, eat clean, change habit, make a plan and commit to it, be persistent.
Viola, you will soon see a new you, you will be excited by the compliments you receive every time when a friend sees you, you will thank yourself for the works done and you will be proud of yourself.
Let’s work on this together!!! Go Go Go……