Fab five for your fat-burning lunch

Up until lunchtime, the body is still drawing from the fat which it received for breakfast. So now it’s a good idea to give your body something that’s low in calories and doesn’t contain much fat. Now is the time when you want to try to cut back a bit on the calories. When your goal is to burn fat, you have to adjust the portions of what you’re eating to signal your body that changes are being made to your nutritional habits. Try to avoid falling into the dieting trap - that is, drastically reducing your calories suddenly. Focus instead on a slow and steady reduction, with the aim of taking in fewer calories as your body burns in one day. Reducing your calorie intake by 300 – 400 calories a day is usually sufficient to achieve gradual and sustainable weight loss. Below are five simple tips for reducing your calorie intake.

Veggies, veggies, veggies

Broccoli, peppers, tomatoes or spinach - vegetables are your fat-burning friends. They help to detoxify the body, plus they’re full of vitamins and fiber, yet low on calories. Particularly beneficial are artichokes and fennel. These are both fat-burning boosters which improve digestion and cleanse the liver and the gallbladder.

Carbohydrates – the energy providers

We’re particularly vulnerable at lunch time for experiencing fatigue: drowsiness, a loss of motivation and feeling exhausted when we’re not even halfway through the day. What our bodies need at this time is a lift – and healthy carbohydrates are the best way to get it. However, a huge portion of pasta or rice or a generous helping of potatoes au gratin won’t provide the lift you’re looking for – in fact, they might make you even more tired. Eating a sensible portion of pasta with vegetables or a few potatoes (eaten with the skin on) are healthier options rich in fiber. Fiber enters the blood stream slowly, which is why it allows us to feel fuller for a longer time. Another great choice is whole grain rice, which detoxifies and has diuretic properties.

Fish & tofu – muscle building fat burners

For those who enjoy meat, having a tender rump steak for lunch is an excellent choice. This steak is lean with little fat, it stimulates the metabolism and aids in building muscle mass. Meat however, is not a must – tofu is a great alternative and complements veggies and other ingredients well. It’s also extremely low in calories and has a very beneficial effect on metabolism. Here’s a little tip for seasoning tofu and meat: Use chili, pepper and spices such as turmeric and paprika generously. All of these are great for cranking up your fat-burning capacity and getting your metabolism into high gear.

Don’t forget to drink!

It’s easy to forget to drink, especially when you’re at work and deeply focused on a task. Fortunately, your lunch break provides you with the perfect opportunity for keeping your body properly hydrated. Water keeps your body burning fat - without enough fluids the body isn’t able to generate energy at full capacity. Carbonated mineral water which is rich in calcium particularly stimulates fat burning. If you’re looking to lose weight, drinking 1.5 liters a day can help. Tip: Spruce up the flavor factor by adding lemon or cucumber to your water.

It’s important to make sensible choices for your lunchtime meal. When you’re under a lot of pressure at work and sitting for a long time in front of your computer, you and your body really need this time-out. Use this break to get away from your desk and eat a healthy lunch to keep your body’s fat-burning mechanism on track. Prepare your lunch at home in the evening or in the morning before you go to work, or scout out restaurants close to your workplace which offer tasty, healthy meals.

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