Lunch Rule #5: Choose Healthy Fats
Fat can make your meal more satisfying, but you don't want to load up on the heart-hampering variety. "Try adding avocado slices (or nuts and seeds) to sandwiches and salads," advises Marrs. Homemade dressings made from healthy oils gussy up salads as well. Be sure to use dressing sparingly, and pack it separately to avoid a soggy lunch.
Lunch Rule #6: Drink Up
"Proper hydration should always be on runners' minds, so make sure to guzzle plenty of fluids with lunch," says Scritchfield. If you're a regular at the soda machine, try lightly-sweetened, homemade iced teas, tangy coconut water or antioxidant-packed green tea. "And don't overlook nutrient-dense
low-fat milk," Scritchfield says.
Lunch Rule #7: Slow Down
It's tempting to wolf down a sandwich while hunched over the keyboard, but studies suggest we tend to nosh on more calories than we think when we eat quickly or mindlessly. "Even in the midst of a hectic day, try and take at least 20 minutes to savor your lunch minus the stressful work distractions," advises Scritchfield.
Lunch Rule #8: Plan Around Your Workouts
If you like to run on your lunch break, Marrs says to make sure to eat a small, easily digestible snack of roughly 100 to 150 calories about an hour beforehand. Make sure a run doesn't force you to skip your midday meal. "It's important to leave yourself enough time after your run to eat a well-balanced lunch with carbs, protein, healthy fats and fluids to kickstart recovery."
Lunch Rule #9: Cool in Bulk
A crazy work week can leave you with little energy for preparing nutritious lunches, making it more likely you'll order a fast-food meal combo in a pinch. "Try spending an hour or two on the weekend to rustle up big batches of items, such as pasta salads, taboulleh, sliced vegetables or fruit, soups, stews and chili, so your week's worth of lunches are already taken care of," advises Marrs.
Lunch Rule #10: Embrace Leftovers
Another big time-saver is to make extra portions of dinner and simply bring the leftovers for lunch the following day. An added bonus: the flavors of some dishes, such as soups and chili, only get better after a day or two.
Feed yourself the right fuel for a race near you