What Makes a Perfect Lunch?

by SELF Staffers


Johnny MillerJohnny Miller In our October issue, we begged you to "give lunch some love" -- because nearly 85 percent of your eat your desk while multitasking, a habit that leaves you feeling less satisfied and more likely to pig out later. So: What makes a perfect lunch?

Start by aiming for 450 calories total if you're dieting, 550 if you're maintaining your weight and 600 if you're super active. Within these guidelines, shoot for:

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55% carbs You want the complex kind (whole-grain bread, brown rice, produce) that digests slowly for lasting satiation so you won't be hungry soon after.
Goal 55 to 83 grams; at least 6 g fiber

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20% protein
Lean but hearty sources, such as chicken, shrimp, turkey bacon and lowfat yogurt, help build calorie-burning muscle mass and rev metabolism.
Goal 11 to 34 g

25% fat We're talking the healthy monounsaturated type found in nuts, avocado and olive oil that curbs hunger and prevents fat storage--not the saturated stuff.
Goal 13 to 18 g; 6 g saturated, max

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