Have you ever experienced a kind of fatigue after lunch that keeps telling you to go and take a nap?
Well, that’s most likely due to your lunch choices. Sometimes even what seems like a healthy choice might not be ideal for lunch.
So, in order to help you make the most of your day and to avoid feeling that lack of energy, we bring you 11 food choices you should avoid making during lunch break.
#1 – Wraps
You could say that wraps are an easy alternative when you consider what to eat for lunch at work – because they are easy to make, easy to transport and you can fill them with all sorts of good things. But they have a downside – you can fill them way too much, which will make you consume a bigger amount of food than you would eat in a sandwich, for example. If you prefer the wrap version, just cut it in half and split it into two meals.
#2 – Food from a buffet
You don’t know how many people have handled the food before you got to the buffet and you also don’t know how long it has been since they filled the trays for the last time. Some people experience food poisoning symptoms after eating at the buffet, so be careful when choosing these kinds of places.
#3 – Pasta
Pasta is the love of many of our lives because it’s so versatile and easy to turn into a delicious meal. But it’s also filled with refined carbs, so it kind of falls into the category of unhealthy lunch foods.
The dressing you chose for your pasta-salad can also be rich in sugar, fat, and sodium, which will make your brain feel tired.
#4 – Burgers and fries, fries and burgers
You don’t need to be part of an online nutrition expert group to know that fast food isn’t good for your health.
In fact, they are pretty dangerous, presenting high values of sugar, sodium and a high presence of saturated fat. This will probably show you some of the immediate effects of fast food on health, like heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome and excessive gas and bloating.
#5 – Sandwiches that are already made
Do not get your sandwiches at the gas station – it is definitively not a health and nutrition store. Sandwiches can be a good and fast lunch alternative, but please, make them at home. Use fresh ingredients, try to make a nutrient-rich filling and, if possible, skip the already-made-mayonnaise. Your health will thank you in the long run.
#6 – Veggie soup
Nutrition and healthy eating go hand in hand with the consumption of vegetables, as you should always try to include a fair amount of those natural-gifted-foodies on your plate.
But if you only eat soup, and that soup is made solely with vegetables, we have a problem – lack of protein. This will make you feel hungry shortly afterward and will push you to the path of the vending machine.
Maybe try to include some healthy protein, like chicken, or have a side of fruit or something with whole grain to get the balance of some complex carbs.
#7 – Garden salad
It’s the same as with the soup – garden salads may contain veggies with little to no nutritional value, and you will have to try and make your plate more whole with the introduction of protein.
If you eat meat and fish, maybe chicken or salmon. If you don’t eat meat and fish, try adding some chickpeas. You can also add nuts, seeds or even avocado, as they all contain healthy oils that are beneficial for your nutrition and mental health.
#8 – Granola bars
This is the food of convenience – it fits into your pocket and is a total lifesaver in times of crisis or if you are in a rush.
But granola bars, as delicious and useful as they might be, can be harmful, filled with all kinds of artificial sweeteners or even plain sugar, that will make you feel energized, but that in the bigger picture are no good for your health.
Try to search for granola bars made with whole ingredients or search for recipes and try to make a healthy version of this snack at home.
#9 – Yogurt with artificial flavors
Yogurts are considered healthy food and they can be, but it has to be plain yogurt since a flavored yogurt has as much sugar as a soda.
If you just buy plain yogurt you can add cereals, seeds or fruits of your choice and it will taste just as good but it will also be healthy for you.
#10 – Sodas and their peers
Sodas, energetic drinks, sports drinks – forget about them. They are filled with sugar and are no good for you. They can be a good source of energy when you are looking to get a quick energy rush, but don’t do it too often.
They may also make you gain weight and make you more prone to diabetes, tooth decay and heart or kidney disease.
#11 – That giant office birthday cake
Of course, no one thinks of birthday cake and is like “yes, there is a nice thing to add to my list of healthy lunch ideas”.
But sometimes the cake is sitting at the office, you are hungry and want to satisfy that sweet tooth of yours… and you attack the cake. Well, don’t.
You may eat cake, we don’t want you to skip on all the sweet little joys of life, but don’t go over the top and, please, do not replace your lunch with cake.