eating lunch - Does eating lunch help you lose weight?

  • Eating lunch speeds up your metabolism
  • Lose weight by eating brie, bacon and peanut butter
  • Take the 7 day eating lunch challenge

My last few posts were about bread and they got me thinking about high school and how I used to bring a salad for lunch. The ingredients? Vegetables. Plus a low-fat, store-bought dressing that I’d pour into a (clean!) Kodak film case.

Then I’d run between 10 and 17 kilometers after school with my cross country team.

eating lunch - Does eating lunch help you lose weight?

One day I blacked out during my run.

Over all the years I ate salad for lunch I was overweight.

Why?

Because after days of feeling hungry and depriving my body of it’s basic needs I’d end up over-eating.

I didn’t realize at the time, but I was caught in a vicious cycle of starving, binging and often purging, through exercise and other means.

My experience may be EXTREME but it highlights a common mistake people make when trying to lose weight. Whether you:

  1. eat small meals and then end up snacking
  2. eat a salad instead of a meal and then end up snacking
  3. skip meals because you over-ate and then end up snacking…

The result is the same.

You confuse your body.

How?

Under-eating followed by over-eating slows down your metabolism. Then you gain weight.

But don’t worry! You can break this self-defeating pattern by getting your body into a healthy eating routine.

Eating lunch helps you get into a routine

Once I started eating 3 balanced meals and balanced snacks when I was hungry between meals I lost weight.

Meeting your body’s needs regularly speeds up your metabolism and helps you reach and maintain a healthy weight naturally.

When preparing your balanced meals, choose whole foods as often as you can. Remember, natural food (rather than processed) takes time to break down so it keeps you full longer and you eat less.

Eating lunch challenge

Now that you understand why eating a balanced lunch regularly helps you lose weight, you’re ready to take the eating lunch challenge.

While your goal is to eat a balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s important to make small changes. So let’s start with lunch!

Over the next 7 days get your body into a healthy lunch routine.

For some people this might mean adding an apple or a dairy product (full fat is the healthiest) to your lunch. For others it could mean including a sandwich.

To help you get started here are the 7 sandwiches I ate over the last 7 days—they’re basically what I’ve been eating for lunch over the last 18 years that I’ve been a healthy weight.

Eating lunch Day 1:

Peanut butter and banana

eating lunch - peanut, butter and banana

Eating lunch Day 2:

Tuna, mayonnaise, a squeeze of Sriracha sauce to give it a kick, onion and celery with tomato & basil

eating lunch - Tuna, mayonnaise, a squeeze of Sriracha sauce

Eating lunch Day 3:

Cheese, cucumber, tomato, mayonnaise & basil

eating lunch - Cheese, cucumber, tomato, mayonnaise and basil

Eating lunch Day 4:

Avocado, brie, tomato & basil

eating lunch - Avocado, brie, tomato & basil

Eating lunch Day 5:

Egg, mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce, onion and celery with tomato & basil

eating lunch - egg, mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, onion and celery with tomato & basil

Eating lunch Day 6:

Classic bacon, lettuce and tomato with mayo & basil

eating lunch - classic bacon, lettuce and tomato with mayo & basil

Eating lunch Day 7:

Smoked salmon and full-fat cream cheese with capers

eating lunch - smoked salmon on full-fat cream cheese with capers

When I was overweight I would NOT have eaten even half of one of these sandwiches for fear of gaining weight. During the 10 years I struggled, I thought I had to eat less than everyone else. I was sure I was born with a slow metabolism.

At the time I had no idea that all my food restrictions and being off and on diets was confusing my body.

After 10 years of eating in a disordered way I was completely frustrated. I decided it was more important to be healthy than to be thin. So I brought some order to my eating by getting into a healthy routine via a balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I was shocked that this healthy pattern:

Please note:
Along with each of the 7 previous sandwiches I either had a latte or milky coffee made with 3.25% milk and a piece of fruit or sliced vegetables (like tomatoes, cucumbers and/or carrots) to make the meal more balanced.

Eating lunch challenge: Troubleshooting

Sandwich:
These sandwiches are just ideas. Often I’ll eat a cheese, tomato and mayo sandwich a few days in a row because it’s fast to make and I always have cheese in the fridge.

Bread:
All these sandwiches were made on the bagels I made from the easy bagel recipe I posted here. However the same sandwiches would be just as good on white bread, a wrap or any other bread you fancy.

Filling:
Include a higher-fat filling on your sandwich when you’re eating lunch. Remember, fat from a natural source is part of a balanced meal, which helps you lose weight naturally. Eating fat also helps you stay full so you can concentrate on your real goals. Staying focused on what you care about helps you lose weight. And that’s not all! Eating fat prevents cravings. And cravings often lead to overeating.

Meal Prep:
Your goal is to eat a roughly balanced lunch made mostly of whole foods. Don’t count calories or weigh your portions. Stop getting lost in the details! Just assemble a sandwich.

What to expect after a eating a balanced lunch:
You should feel full! It’s good to feel full after lunch. Then you’ll know you’ve met your body’s needs, which keeps your body happy and thus, your metabolism ticking! It might take some time to get used to the feeling. Don’t overthink it. Just eat a balanced lunch and get busy with the work or fun you have planned for the afternoon. If you’re hungry again before dinner eat a balanced snack.

What if you’re hungry right after lunch?:
Get busy. Sometimes it can take 10 minutes or so to feel satiated after a balanced lunch. If you’re still hungry, eat a balanced snack. Then try eating slightly larger portions the next day when you prepare your balanced lunch.

Are you up for the 7 day eating lunch challenge?

Stop eating low-fat salads for lunch made with processed dressings. Processed dressings are full of artificial ingredients that confuse your body and make you feel hungry.

eating lunch - how many ingredients are natural

Eating lunch helps you lose weight

Take the 7-day eating lunch challenge. It will remind you what a healthy meal looks like and how good it feels to give your body what it needs.

Make Today Count

make today count - the10principlesGet into a healthy lunch routine. Make today count! Eat a balanced lunch today.

Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow.

Does eating lunch help you lose weight?

Next Steps:

Take the 7 day lunch challenge. Start eating lunch! Ask a friend or family member to join you. Then consider how you can make your breakfast and lunch more balanced. Whether you’re eating very little most of the time or too much, you can turn your present choices into healthy habits. Sign up for my newsletter (below) and you’ll receive one of the best habit-building strategies I learned.

Stop “breaking all the laws of science” and start working with your body. Meet your body’s needs regularly. Eat a balanced lunch made of real food.

What does eating lunch usually look like for you? What’s your favourite sandwich?

  Buy Now - It took me 10 years to lose 10 pounds

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Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it

Eating lunch helps you normalize your relationship with food and lose weight.