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What about Lunch?

Don't skip it - make a smart, healthy plan

Veteran and granddaughter having breakfast together

When trying to lose weight, lunch can sometimes be the hardest part of that journey. You may  forget to eat or not have enough time to make a healthy decision. Stop waiting in line for a lunch that could possibly double your daily calorie needs. There are delicious ways to 'brown bag' a healthy, low-calorie lunch. Start eating smarter with a lunch that keeps you on track with your weight-loss goals and doesn't make you feel tired the rest of the day.

Importance of lunch

Some people may skip lunch entirely thinking it'll help them lose weight. But what you eat at lunch provides your energy for the rest of the afternoon. Choosing healthy foods for your midday meal can help you focus and keep your appetite in check.

When you go without any lunch, you force your appetite to behave badly, often leading to overeating at the next meal. So instead of skipping lunch, stock up on nutritious options and pack your lunch the day before

Lunchtime recipes to try

Next time to pack for your lunch break, try out these delicious recipes from VA's Healthy Teaching Kitchen:

  • Quinoa Salad: A low-calorie, high fiber salad that is packed full of vitamins and antioxidants. For additional protein try adding grilled chicken breast.

  • Chicken Vegetable Stir-Fry: Make your own veggie stir-fry to satisfy any savory cravings. Instead of chicken, you could also try adding lean beef, pork, shrimp

  • Kale Salad with Apples, Cranberries, and Pecans: This crunchy kale salad provides high nutrients and is low in calories. Keep your salad from getting soggy by packing your dressing in a separate container.

Get help from a Dietitian

A one-size-fits-all solution to weight loss doesn't exist. Everyone's metabolism and dietary needs are different. If you are struggling to lose weight, you may want to meet with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Together you can build a personalized meal plan to help you reach a healthy weight. Veterans with a Premium account can use Secure Messaging (sign in required) to reach out to their VA Dietitian.

Track your meals and progress

Keeping track of what you eat is one of the most effective ways to reach your weight loss goals. It helps you stay aware of your eating habits and can reinforce healthy choices. Many find tracking their food choices with a Fitbit or mobile app to be the most helpful. Veterans can track their daily meals online with My HealtheVet's food journal.

Read More

MOVE! Weight Management Program

Healthy Teaching Kitchen YouTube Channel

Deciding How to be a Healthier Eater

Healthy Teaching Kitchen


Updated August 26, 2019