I eat lunch at work every day around 12:00 noon. By mid-afternoon, I’m starving and hunting for snacks. I end up snacking until I leave. For lunch, I eat a yogurt and a piece of fruit.
While I am a big proponent of an afternoon snack to keep you well-fueled until the end of the day, my hunch is that your puny lunch is literally feeding into your nonstop afternoon feasting. In fact, a lunch of only yogurt and fruit is closer to a perfect afternoon snack than a satisfying midday meal.
My best advice to help you put a lid on the afternoon munchies is to eat more at lunch. Yep, it’s true. A hearty lunch can help you avoid the “I’m so hungry that I can eat anything that isn’t moving” afternoon state of mind. For a lunch with staying power, make sure you have some lean protein, whole grains, tons of tummy-filling veggies and some fat.
A lean roast beef or turkey breast sandwich on whole wheat bread with light mayo or mustard, piled high with lettuce and tomato, along with a tossed salad with a light salad dressing would work like a charm. A hearty vegetable soup can be a warm way to replace a cold salad on brisk days. Or try leftover grilled chicken or any lean meat on a salad tossed with dressing and stuffed into a whole-grain pita. It will take two hands to eat this hearty lunch.
Note: Don’t try to skimp on lunch by eating only the sandwich or just the salad. You will come up short by mid-afternoon.
I’ll bet a lunch date on me that eating more at midday will help you curb your afternoon hungers.