Don’t skip lunch to lose weight…grab a wrap?
By Andrea Riggs, Nat’l Fitness Expert & Author
If your goal is to lose a few pound for the spring (like 80% of moms and working adults), you may be actually sabotaging your success by skipping meals, especially lunch. When you eat, your metabolism works to break food down into smaller, usable parts. When you skip a meal, your metabolism is turned off and thus “not working” to burn off your daily calories. And when your metabolism is “not working” to break down food, it begins to permanently slow down and sabotage your good intentions to tone and tighten your body. Then, the next time you do actually eat something, your now slower metabolism is not able to break the food down quickly, and as a result the food is stored as fat.
The lesson learned, is that in order to maintain a healthy weight and even lose weight, it is essential that you eat regularly throughout the day to keep your metabolism “working” for you. Recent research has found that five to seven small, regularly timed meals eaten over the course of a day will help train your metabolism to burn calories faster.
That said, women especially need between 350-600 calories for lunch as fuel to sustain us through a hectic working day. This will help keep your energy and concentration during your workday, much better than a cup of coffee or quick snack bar. These well timed calories at lunch will helps keep your blood sugar level – the body’s fuel system which draws on glucose -stable.
Keep in mind, to also not eat too many calories – more than 800 – you will become sluggish and even fall asleep. This is because a high intake of carbohydrates encourages the body to produce serotonin, the chemical which brings on lethargy.
So what’s an ideal lunch? Approximately 400 calories and a mixture of vitamins, minerals, fat, carbohydrates and protein. The healthy carbohydrates and fat provide energy and protein is essential for the structure and function of the body.
I recommend eating lunch regularly between around 12 and 1pm and plan your carbohydrates for this midday meal. If you leave lunch until late afternoon, you are likely to become over-hungry. A regular lunch time will boost your metabolism and train your body to burn calories faster. Also, this will help with late evening fat burning and metabolism if you commit to no carbohydrates after about 4pm.
Now there’s some good news for the busy and working folks…..if you are on the go, McDonald’s offers a great option for a great-tasting, delicious and healthy lunch choices.
Beginning in April 2013, the new Premium McWrap® has been available at McDonald’s® restaurants nationwide. The McWrap is part of a new entrée line at 350 calories, with an abundance of ingredients and flavors.
As McDonald’s Brand ambassador, my favorite is any one of the grilled chicken varieties – Sweet Chili Chicken, Chicken & Bacon, and Chicken & Ranch.
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