Healthy Lunch Makeover

Hungry by 4 p.m.? Gaining weight? It's time to make your midday meal healthier.
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Barley-Vegetable Salad

Most women grab a salad for lunch -- or yogurt and an apple -- and think they're making a smart choice. Yet these so-called light lunches leave us lethargic, cranky and hungry by late afternoon. Before long, we're heading to the vending machines for a Snickers bar.

To beat the bad-lunch trap, you need to rethink your food choices. The key, say experts, is to eat a lunch with staying power.

"Ideally, lunch should give you the energy and nutrients to keep you going through the afternoon," says Joy Bauer, R.D., a nutrition consultant in New York City and author of The 90/10 Weight Loss Plan (Renaissance Books, 2001). "It should contain about twenty grams of protein and about eight grams of fiber." And it should have no more than 700 calories, adds Kathleen Zelman, R.D., an Atlanta-based spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

But that doesn't mean giving up the lunch you love. To help get the maximum mileage from your midday meal, we've taken four of the most popular lunches women eat and given them makeovers.

Continued on page 2:  Salad: Before and After

 

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