Less Junk, More Good-for-You Food: How to Pack a Better, Healthier Lunch

Bringing your lunch to work is a great way to save money and get balanced nutrition. But are you making these common mistakes with your brown bag lunch? Here's how to pack delicious, healthy lunch (16 Photos)

Arricca Elin SanSone on Sep 5, 2012 at 3:55PM

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Less Junk, More Good-for-You Food: How to Pack a Better, Healthier Lunch

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Mistake: Skimping on Portions

If you’re trying to lose weight, you may think less is more and pack rabbit food for lunch. Well, that’s not exactly how it works, folks. “It’s not just how many calories you eat,” says registered dietician Ruth Frechman, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and author of The Food is My Friend Diet. “It’s what you pack that makes a difference in how satisfied you feel throughout the day.” Don’t worry so much about your lunch’s calories. Take the time to make sure it's balanced instead.

What to Do: “You need a little protein, a little carbs and a little healthy fat to feel full and keep your energy level even,” says Frechman. Preparing a salad? Top it with beans or sprinkle it with nuts or seeds. Got a boring old sandwich? Jazz it up -- taste and nutrition-wise -- with half an avocado. Same goes with snacks. Try a smear of peanut butter on your whole grain crackers -- we bet you’ll eat fewer of them and actually feel fuller.

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