It may come as no surprise to hear that we’re pretty big fans of meal prep..
When you compare bringing your own lunch to work instead of buying lunch, the benefits quickly add up. Bringing your own food means healthier, tastier and cheaper options.
So in that vein, I’m going to go through some of the main ways eating out may hurt our progress, and what we can do to minimize the effect of these things (other than bringing your own lunch. Which you should do. Starting today).
The sneakiest extra calories of all come in the way the food is cooked. Extra cooking oils and butters can dramatically increase the total calories of your meal, without it even feeling like you’re consuming a calorie dense meal. Instead, baked, grilled or boiled options are your friend, as deep frying or pan frying can cause the food to soak up a lot of oil.
These are another way in which a meal’s total calories can add up very quickly. Not only are these sauces typically high in fat (making them extra calorie dense) but they are usually added in excessive amounts to your meal. Remember, the only thing your local café/takeaway shop is interested in is making you think their food is delicious, so you’ll come back again and again. The easiest way to do that? Smother food in oil or butter. To combat this, ask for any sauce, gravy or dressing on the side. That way, you get to control how much of that condiment you use. You’ll probably end up using less than half of it, which is going to markedly reduce the meal’s calories without impacting on its taste or your enjoyment.
Don’t Use Lean Meats
Lean foods are not suuuuuper exciting. It’s much easier to make chicken thigh or marbled steak taste better than chicken breast or lean beef, so that’s what the large majority of restaurants are going to use. Unfortunately, once again, this greatly boosts the calorie count of the meal, without increasing its volume in any way. This means that you’re getting more calories, for less food. No thanks. Instead, opt for lean cuts of meat in your salad/wrap wherever possible.
When buying lunch, you’re almost honour bound to get a drink with it, right? This is another great way to throw an extra couple of hundred calories on to an already high calorie meal. The best option is to BYO water bottle, both for your wallet, your health and the environment. The next best thing is to grab a Kombucha, water or diet soft drink.
So, next time you’re grabbing lunch out, remember some of these tips to help protect against accidentally overdoing it on your regular lunch outing. Or save money, time and calories by spending 5 minutes on Sunday plating up your weekly Your Prep order. Your future self will thank you.