7. Take Out Pizza – Everyone loves a slice or two of pizza at lunch, but if you are buying it out then you are likely consuming over 500 calories and 20 grams of fat. If you add a soda to that, then you are increasing your calories significantly. In addition, pizza is made from enriched flour, which can cause you to lose energy and productivity throughout the afternoon. If you really want pizza, then make it at home with a thin whole-grain crust and eat that instead of takeout pizza.
8. Bagels – Again, bagels can raise your blood sugar level quickly and cause you to crash in the afternoon due to their white flour and sugar content. Also, most bagels that you buy are excessively big when it comes to portion size. If you really want bagels for lunch, then make ‘mini-bagels’ at home with whole grain flour.
9. Energy Bars – Most people associate energy bars with healthy. They are supposed to give us energy and supply us with nutrients; however, most of them are really just a candy bar in disguise. They are mostly made up of enriched white flour, high fructose corn syrup and sugar. (All things that spike up blood sugar too quickly which causes a crash soon after.) They can also be high in saturated fat. Moreover, despite their claim to be a meal in themselves, you will become hungry again within a few hours because the spike in energy (which is really what they are supposed to do) goes away quickly and you become hungry again. Instead of an energy bar, opt for a whole grain bar that offers plenty of fiber and no white sugar or flour.
10. Smoothie – I had to include this one because smoothie bars are popping up all over the place as a healthier option for lunch, and it is hard to argue that they are obviously healthier than a piece of pizza or hamburger and fries. However, a smoothie is not going to supply you with the fiber needed to keep you full throughout the day, even though it does supply you with a good amount of calories. This can cause you to become hungry again quickly and eat more during the afternoon, which can increase your calorie total for the day and contribute to weight gain. Instead of a smoothie, eat a filling food at lunch and cut back on the calories.
In the end, the above 10 common lunch meals are really bad choices. Instead, eat whole grains, vegetables and fruits for lunch. You will find that by doing so you have much more energy and feel much better throughout your afternoon.