Holiday Challenge: Bring your lunch from home

As part of CCHD’s ongoing holiday challenge, we are challenging people  to skip the fast food or takeout and bring your lunch from home! Compared to the food you prepare at home, restaurant food comes in larger portions, is higher in calories and unhealthy fat, contains fewer fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and less fiber.

Many Americans skip lunch altogether, which is ironically not good for the waist line. Cutting out entire meals from your day can slow your metabolism and tell your body to burn fewer calories. Skipping lunch can even increase the number of high-calorie items you purchase from the grocery store, which in turn affects your calorie intake for the whole week. You also are more likely to eat more at the next meal, more than making up for the calories that you skipped at lunch.

If you are someone who skips lunch, make it your goal to eat lunch at least 3- 4 times this weekIf eating lunch is already part of your daily routine, your goal is to prepare it from home for one week.

Get Creative.

Lunch can be anything from the traditional sandwich and a piece of fruit to a reboot of leftovers from the night before. Get inspired

to pack a lunch that you look forward to eating.

Pack your lunch the night before.

Save time in the morning by planning and packing your lunch the prior evening. Prepare your lunch while you cook dinner to cut back on the time and dishes you use.

Ensure your food tastes fresh.

Sandwiches and salads can get soggy if you make them too far in advance. Toast your sandwich bread and store your salad dressing in a separate jar to keep your food tasting fresh when lunchtime arrives.

Balance your meal.

Make sure your lunch contains fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and protein. Protein in particular will help you feel full for longer, keeping your afternoon cravings at bay.

Report your progress (what did you eat for lunch?): Post photos and recipes on our Facebook page!

** This information came from the “Eat Smart, Move More, Weight Less” Holiday challenge. Want to join the challenge? Click this Here!**