Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But a healthy lunch is just as crucial to power you for the rest of the day.

Making poor choices at lunch will deplete you of the energy and fuel the mid-afternoon cravings. Taking time to eat a proper nutritious lunch can boost your intake of nutrients, satisfy your hunger while giving you a tasty energy boost.

Here are 6 ways that can help you create a power pack lunch

1) Eat the right portion

Eat enough but not too much. Aim for 400-500 calories. A big meal of steak with appetizer and desert will leave you feeling lethargic while a measly meal of salad will leave your body without sufficient nutrients.

2) Complex carbohydrates

Avoid simple carbohydrates such as white rice, pasta, bagel and soda that can send your blood sugar on a yo-yo curve. Go for brown rice, beans, and whole-wheat pita, fruits instead. These complex carbohydrates release energy slowly and steadily, which help to power you through the afternoon meetings.

3) Load up on fiber

Target for a minimum of 25 g of fiber a day. Fibers form bulk and keep the hunger pangs at bay.  If your lunch plate is a circle, vegetables should form half of the circle. Other sources of fiber are whole grains, beans and fruits.

4) Protein

Protein provides building blocks for repair and regeneration of the body. Again, if the lunch plate is a circle, target the protein to fill one-quarter of the plate. Protein from plants such as beans, tofu, nuts and seeds are full of vitamins, mineral and fiber.

5) Healthy fats

Fats make the meal tasty and more satisfying. However, choose healthy fats instead of the saturated fats from animal protein and deep-fried food. Healthy Omega-3 fatty are found in avocado, salmon, sardines, tuna, nuts and seeds.

6) Proper hydration

Avoid the sugary drinks that are empty calories and spike the blood sugar causing the brain to lose focus. Go for green tea that is power packed in antioxidants and helps fat burning or homemade iced-lemon tea.

Some people could be so busy that there is no time for lunch. But, a healthy lunch break away from the office will help you to recharge and refuel for the afternoon challenges.

What do you normally eat for lunch? Share with me in the comment below.

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