Ever since we received the luxury of a refrigerator in our office, I’ve been bringing in a few days’ worth of lettuce, cheese, and lunch meat to make simple (but big) salads for lunch. I usually throw in some olives or sun-dried tomatoes, and don’t use dressing except a little olive oil (or whatever the olives/SDT are packed in – sun-dried tomato flavored oil is really tasty). Once a week I’ll for variety I’ll bring in some kind of heat-and-eat dish to heat in the microwave.
Before that I used to bring in turkey sandwiches I made that morning, or (when I was on a real health kick) canned vegetables. I’d mix something like green beans, brown beans in sauce and corn in a big bowl and eat it. It was boring but cheap and filling. I bring in fruit when I remember too, to keep me from snacking from the candy bar machine.
My normal lunch is, for example, a medium pitta bread, sliced and filled with a slice of ham or chicken, bit of lettuce, slices of tomato and a little pickle (NO, NOT GHERKINS). Washed down with Coke Zero, my new soft drink Jesus. It’s what Diet Coke should have been like all along. They even got the can right (BLACK!).
I’m curious - what does “spending lots of money and eating like shit on my lunch break” mean, in the context of the average white-collar American’s lifestyle?
Well, for me it was fast-food at least 2 days a week, Chinese food, cheesesteaks, chicken fingers. A lot of (delicious) fried, fatty junk. I’m a fairly recent college grad so I was going through a bit of a “Hot damn! I can afford to eat like a king.” phase. I don’t know if that can be generalized to the average white-collar American’s lifestyle.
Anyway, thanks for the suggestions, keep em coming.
Watch out for things like michelinas, many frozen dinners are just packed with salt. Frozen dinners from Marie Callender etc seem to be made with a stick of butter in each box, often breaking 30-40grams of fat. So make sure to read the box before thinking any of it is healthy.
Oh, and my tip: (you are totally gonna scoff at this, but) broccoli and cauliflower make great snacky fingerfoods. They can be a bit expensive if you buy them in the pre-packaged ‘cut florets’ bags, but buying them in their unprocessed form virtually guarantees I won’t eat them because I’m lazy.
They really are good when you get used to them. Plus, they fight cancer, fill you up with useless fiber so you’re less hungry (or make you nauseous which has the same effect on appetite), and allow you to look down on your fellow fried-food-consuming officemates!
Ditto what Delirium said. It basically means eating in food courts at fast food places that are the next step more upscale than McDonald’s and Taco Bell, such that you end up paying $6-8 for a terribly fattening meal (cheesestakes, burgers, deep-fried chicken (er, “Chinese Food”)), with the occasional $15 sit-down terribly fattening meal at a mid-level restaurant (e.g. something about 1/2 of a step above TGI Fridays).
Also the truth. When I lost a ton of weight, I did it all through caloric reduction. I’m not saying this to get into the question of whether it is healthy (no, exercise is good, I get that), but people simply seemed shocked to learn that you can control your weight through food intake, even if you lead a sedentary lifestyle.
I am holding myself to about 2000 calories and am steadily losing weight (235 now down from 255) with basically no exercise. I can’t imagine a scenario where me eating 750 calories a day would be remotely healthy. On weight watchers to lose weight at under 200 lbs they are setting the bar around 1740 calories with no exercise at all thrown in. Actually extrapolating downward to lose weight, not maintain it, with 1100 calories a day on their chart you would have to weight around 75 pounds. So eating 750 calories a day is not healthy under normal circumstances.
I still eat out almost every work day, but i try to eat slightly healthier faire, salads, sandwiches that have healthier toppings (down with Mayo and other useless condiments!) If you have a QFC/Ralphs/RandomGroceryStore with a deli, they tend to have fairly healthy choices at reasonable prices, and in Cali, there is no tax on there deli stuff.