My recommendation for lunch is simple. A sandwich, some fruit or vegetables, and a glass of 1% milk. That’s it.
There’s some validity to the whole Jared thing at Subway. I did some research on fast food meals and came to this conclusion – the only nutritious meal at most fast food restaurants is the grilled chicken sandwich – even then, they usually use bad bread.
Your best bet is a sandwich shop where you can mix it up a little or, better yet, make your own sandwich and bring it to work. The downside is most restaurants and sub shops never seem to know the nutritional content of their breads. Keeping the 3/5 Rule is very important.
Again. Simple, quick, and boring is the key.
The usual, boring lunch
My usual lunch is a turkey breast sandwich on high fiber bread (the 3/5 Rule), sliced tomato, spinach or lettuce, a slice or two of cheese, and some good horseradish mustard. I’ll usually have a clementine, orange, apple, or banana with it. And, of course, a glass of 1% milk.
Chicken, ham, lean roast beef, or tuna are also good choices. Go very light on the mayo if you’re making your own tuna or chicken salad. Best to use a low fat or no fat mayo if you can stomach the lack of flavor. Remember, the goal is to minimize or eliminate mayo. Ketchup and mustard have virtually no fat but they do contain a little sugar, which is acceptable.
Serving size for meat
Serving size for meat is 2 ounces. Don’t go stingy on the lean meat – it helps to make you feel full longer. For turkey, 2 ounces is 76 calories. Doubling the meat will still keep lunch to around a 500 calorie meal which is what we’re targeting. Better to have double the meat than to eat 2 sandwiches.
If you’re out with a group for lunch, choose something lean from the menu. Grilled or blackened chicken or fish or some other lean meat with real vegetables are good options. No potatoes or fries or chips. Always drink milk if you can but diet soda or water is an OK replacement. It should be noted that research into the effects of diet soda has determined that it increases hunger. 1% milk contains the fat burning calcium that you need while soda offers nothing nutritionally. Go for 1% milk or water if milk is unavailable.
Salads are generally not a good option. Most salads are made with iceberg lettuce, which has no nutritional value, and then they throw in a couple pieces of tomato and cucumber and maybe a few pieces of colored cabbage if it’s a fancy place. It is then drowned with a high fat salad dressing. The nutrition and fat content of that kind of salad is about equivalent to having a cheeseburger.
A serving of steamed vegetables like broccoli or green beans is a much more nutritious side than the salad. If you simply must have the salad, get the salad dressing on the side and dip a forkful at a time into the dressing.
- Turkey/chicken/ham sandwich on 3/5 Bread with spinach, tomato, cheese, and mustard. Glass of 1% milk. 1 serving of fruit
- Baked, blackened, or rotisserie chicken, 2 servings of vegetables, 1 serving of fruit, glass of 1% milk
- Fast and boring
- 8 ounces 1% milk or equivalent in calcium
- 1 serving lean protein
- 2 servings 3/5 Rule bread or grain
- 2 servings vegetable or fruit