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Jumpstart Your Weight Loss with 7 Simple Lunchtime Changes

Whether you're on a serious weight loss journey or you simply want to feel more energetic in the afternoon, making these simple tweaks to your lunchtime routine will leave you feeling light and fit and in no time.

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Vegan sandwich in lunch box with carrots and nuts - healthy food to go concept, wood background, copy spaceShutterstock/Oleksandra Naumenko

Pack your own

To save some calories and a few bucks, commit to packing your lunch every day rather than eating out. Make sure to load up on healthy fiber and protein to keep you full all afternoon. Don’t be afraid to pack yourself a little treat too! This can help you fight the temptation of hitting the burger place next door with your friends. For some ideas to get started, try any of these simple sandwich recipes.

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Taste of Home

Up the protein

Adding some protein to your daily lunch is an easy and delicious way to keep you full all afternoon. Enjoying some protein like grilled chicken breast or a black bean burger can keep your blood sugar levels from fluctuating throughout the day. This will kill cravings and help prevent that 3:00 cookie that you’ve become accustomed to.

Try any of these satisfying, protein-packed salad recipes to get started.

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Young woman with lemonade and laptop in cafe, closeup;Shutterstock/Africa Studio

Ditch the soda

Looking for the easiest lunch change to make? Get rid of that soda for good. Studies show that your daily fizzy drink can increase your risk of being overweight by 65 percent. If water is too boring for you, try an unsweetened iced tea, sparkling water or any of these tasty infused water recipes.

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Shutterstock/BaLL LunLa

Heat it up

If salads have become your lunch go-to, try switching things up with a warm meal like this turkey asparagus stir-fry. When your food is hot, you naturally eat slower and realize that you are full sooner. Hot food also lets off a delicious aroma, signaling to our brains that we are satisfied more quickly.

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Pappardelle pasta with tuna, in tomato sauce. Served on a blue plate, white boards in the background. Top view.Shutterstock/gkrphoto

Try a blue plate

Investing in a blue plate for your office could save you major calories each year. Studies show that eating off blue plates actually causes us to eat less at meals. Not surprisingly, the colors that encourage us to eat more, yellow and red, just happen to be McDonald’s brand colors.

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Empty plate with silver cutlery on wooden backgroundShutterstock/Africa Studio

Supersize your utensils

We know that eating off a smaller plate can help us eat less, but the same cannot be said for our utensils. A study at the University of Utah found that diners who used larger forks ate less, while still feeling just as satisfied. The researchers believe that using a large fork shows you that you’re making progress in that big plate of pasta, while a smaller fork wouldn’t show a dent. This signals to our brains that we’ve had enough.

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Man writing in a notebook in a cafeShutterstock/wavebreakmedia

Write it down

If you have fallen into the habit of eating at your desk, don’t shut that notebook just yet. Keeping a daily food journal may feel a little cumbersome, but it packs big results. Writing down everything your meals is proven to help you make healthier choices. And when your lunch is as delicious as any of these healthy meals in a bowl, you won’t mind taking a moment to record it.

Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.
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