takeout craving at lunch is strong.
making daily visits to the sandwich shop or wolfing down a
container of oily pasta leftovers — perhaps indulged in
after a tough meeting or slow day — can add up in more ways
your habits for just one meal a day can improve your health,
energy and even weight, experts say.
can have a big impact," said Jill Weisenberger, a
registered dietitian nutritionist and author of "The
Overworked Person’s Guide to Better Nutrition."
"One meal a day is a significant portion of our
calories alone, the difference is stark.
balanced meal will fill you up more than a packed burrito,
Weisenberger said. That burrito might be 800 calories, or a
jumbo burger could be 600. But a balanced meal that doesn’t
strand you with hunger can be created for 400 or 500 calories
— or even fewer.
saving calories that way," she said. "Over time, in
six months, in a year, you definitely are going to see a
weight effect, and you’re going to be happier."
for lunch are fine, she advised; just make sure it’s a
smaller, balanced version of what you had for dinner.
think lunch is supposed to be skimpy, but if you eat enough
and it’s balanced, it’s amazing what it can do," she
recent lunches included black beans and rice — plain yogurt
on top — with raw carrots, cauliflower and a grapefruit. A
meal crafted from leftovers featured chicken and green beans,
with a side of blackberries.
want to see somebody with a protein-rich food, so that could
be turkey or fish or black beans or lentils or cottage
cheese," she said. Add in a fruit or a vegetable —
preferably both, she said.
Pedersen, a nutritionist who created the High Impact Health
said a game-changer would be swapping out a sluggish lunch,
for example a deli sandwich. Instead, she suggests, swap in
quinoa or bean bowls or tossing together a salad with a bit of
chicken, seafood or lentils.
that steady drip of energy with vegetables and protein, even a
whole grain, could really help that 3:30 fatigue," she
said to think of your meal change not through a calorie lens
but instead about that slump you feel a few hours after
the 3 p.m. chocolate chip cookie craving," she said.
isn’t your toughest meal, pick another — grilling chicken
for dinner ahead of time or taking time for a substantial
call it the setup for the day," said Jim Karas, head of
Jim Karas Personal Training and "The Ultimate Diet
REVolution" author. "Nobody is going to benefit from
eating a yogurt for breakfast. That’s not smart at all. That’s
going to set you up to be starving."
the true positive outcome can come when changing one meal
alters your mindset. After you swap out one each day,
hopefully you feel better, leading to healthier decisions —
taking the stairs or grilling a batch of chicken for a week’s
worth of healthy meals.
making the choice," Kara said, "you’re hoping for