Lunch Mistakes That Are Making You Fat

You may think you’re eating a healthy lunch, but some diet destroyers are hard to spot. Learn the 4 most common lunch mistakes you could be making and how to avoid them.

Lunch Mistakes That Are Making You Fat

Lunch Mistake #1: Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter

When you take the fat out of peanut butter, there needs to be something added back in to make it taste good. Low-fat peanut butter has added sweeteners, such as the fine sugar used to make icing. Every tablespoon of reduced-fat peanut butter has a teaspoon of sugar in it. It’s better to go for the real thing. Just be careful about portion size.


 

Lunch Mistake #2: Whole Grain Chips

Whole grains provide valuable fiber that can aid digestion and clear toxins out of your system faster. However, whole grain chips can pack a lot of calories and fat in one bag. It’s crucial to read the nutrition label to see the total amount of fat and calories you’re ingesting. Some bags of chips can pack as many as 300 calories and 14 grams of fat per serving. That’s more calories than you’ll find in French fries.

Lunch Mistake #3: Tuna Salad

The mayonnaise in tuna salad can pack on 500 calories and 30 grams of fat. Make a healthy version by skipping the mayonnaise in favor of healthier alternatives like lemon juice, a small amount of low-fat mayonnaise or a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

Lunch Mistake #4: Minestrone Soup

Salt is the secret saboteur in this dish. One bowlful can contain as much as 600 grams of sodium. That’s more than one-quarter of the recommended daily amount – 2300 grams. The healthiest soups are from puréed vegetables, like butternut squash soup.

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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