What should you have for lunch today? If you’re committed to the whole-food plant-based dietary lifestyle, that question can be a difficult one to answer. That’s because sometimes knowing what you should eat, and knowing how to plan for and prepare those foods, are two very different things.
If you’re struggling to find a plant-based lunch that fits into your busy schedule, we hear you. Prepping and packing a healthy lunch every day is time-consuming and exhausting. Who's got time for that? And if you're eating a whole food plant-based diet, you may find it difficult to go out to eat (although we do have some WFPB dining out tips). But before you decide to skip lunch today, consider the ramifications it could have on your body and health.
1. You're less productive when you skip lunch
Ever heard of brain food? Well, it's real! That's right; your brain actually uses 20% of the energy you eat daily. So when you skip lunch, you're essentially starving your brain and may suffer through an unproductive afternoon. That said, an unhealthy meal can have a negative impact on your post-lunch hour productivity (not to mention make you crave more sugar, fat, and salt). Your best bet is a healthy meal, such as a nutrient-heavy salad, that'll give you the fuel you to need to power through the midday slump and keep you satiated until dinner.
2. Your blood sugar can drop when you skip lunch
When you eat infrequently, you may experience insulin spikes and erratic blood sugar levels. This could lead to brain fog, dizziness, and irritability. Does that mean that anything is better than nothing if you don’t know what to have for lunch today? No, some foods you’re still better off not eating. Instead, if you’re thinking about skipping your midday meal, at least keep some WFPB snacks around to keep your blood sugar up (because hey, you should eat healthily, even when you’re snacking).
3. You may end up overeating later after you skip lunch
I know I'm not the only person to fight off hanger tantrums when I skip lunch. When you go without a meal, you'll probably feel very hungry later in the day, which ups the chances of indulging in some not-so-healthy meals. A Cornell study shows "Even short-term food deprivation not only increases overall grocery shopping but also leads shoppers to buy 31 percent more high-calorie foods." We aren't one for calorie-counting, but if you're trying to lose weight, skipping lunch probably won't help, especially if you're overindulging at night when you are home and less active.
At the end of the day, you don't do yourself too many favors when you skip lunch. Don't have the time to meal-prep? Try our new Lunch Box Bundle, to get healthy, prepared and plant-based lunch delivered to your door. Your Lunch Box Bundle meals are ready to heat-and-eat so all you have to do is take your lunch break.
Bonus: easy WFPB lunch recipes
Still blanking on what kind of meals you can make for lunch today? Check out some of our popular Mamasezz whole-food plant-based lunch recipe options: