Woman Eating Meal Image
Woman Eating Meal Image
(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

The easy lunch hour tricks that will help you lose belly fat once and for all.

Still eating your lunch at your desk, gobbling down a sandwich in the car or skipping it completely because you're so busy? STOP!

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but lunch definitely comes a close second. That’s because if you eat too little and you'll end up reaching for that late afternoon pick-me-up; pile up your plate and the calories soon add up.

The key for how to lose belly fat is about making the most out of your meals – that means getting lots of nutrients and vitamins, not calories! Making sure you eat properly is vital for your health (not to mention weight loss) at all meals, but sadly, lunch is often the meal that we end up skipping the most. Whether it’s because we’re too busy to eat or opt for larger breakfasts or dinners instead, we often give lunch a miss. Or even when we do allow ourselves a little bit to eat in the middle of the day, it’s often a quick and hasty affair. That means unhealthy food choices and not allowing our bodies enough time to digest properly. All of which can cause health problems. For anyone who wants to learn how to lose belly fat, getting clued up on these lunchtime tricks is essential.

From the foods you need to avoid to the one simple change that can help you eat 30% less, our lunchtime guide for how to lose belly fat will have you making the most out of this important meal in no time. We’ve even got a super filling – and highly nutritious – lunch recipe that will kick start your weight loss and keep you satisfied until dinnertime.

Discover the perfect recipe for a slimmer you with these diet-friendly lunchtime tricks...

Find more health and diet tips here.

Beware of the salad bar

Beware of the salad bar

The salad bar is a great option if you need a quick fix that's nutritious too, but if you're stocking up on the same greens everyday your taste buds will soon become restless. Cue reaching for those naughty add-ins like croutons or creamy salad dressings. The solution? Pack a homemade salad that's geared to your taste buds - we've got plenty of delicious salad recipe ideas to keep it interesting.

Don't skip lunch altogether

(Image credit: F1 Online / Rex Features)

Don't skip lunch altogether

We're all guilty of skipping meals by accident sometimes but purposefully avoiding lunch altogether is a really bad idea. Your body and brain need fuel every four hours or so to stay on form. Without it, you risk reaching for salty and sugary snacks to ward off those hunger pangs, and overeating when preparing that evening meal. That old diet adage that only eating two meals a day will help you lose weight doesn't ring true either - experts say missing a meal slows down your metabolism so the calories you are taking in aren't used effectively.

Avoid fizzy drinks

Avoid fizzy drinks

Thought that cold fizzy drink was waistline friendly because it's 'diet'? Wrong! Zero-calorie sweeteners not only cause bloating and fatigue, but make you feel hungrier because your body isn't getting the nutrients it craves. Try fizzy water with fresh lemon instead.

Swap that shop-bought sandwich for soup

(Image credit: Charlie Richards)

Swap that shop-bought sandwich for soup

You might think you're reaching for a healthy option, but shop-bought sandwiches are often hiding all sorts of calorific nasties. If you want to kickstart effective waist-whittling, lunch should be protein and vegetables. Find lunch without starches unsatisfying? Try a chunky vegetable broth like our chicken soup recipe. It's really filling!

Break for lunch around 1pm

Break for lunch around 1pm

If you're flying through that to do list, it can be tempting to push your lunch break back until later in the afternoon. But, by 3pm you'll be ravenous and likely to make poor choices in search of a quick fix. Step away from whatever you're doing at 1pm instead and try not to return to your screen until 2pm. Research suggests our brain fails to recognise we're full when we're distracted, so don't be tempted to check those emails!

Sit down when you eat

(Image credit: Rex Features)

Sit down when you eat

Wolfing down your lunch on the move is a real no-no. Research suggests we consume 30% more calories when we eat standing up.

And sip on water all day

And sip on water all day

Thirst is often confused for hunger so simply upping your water intake can make all the difference to how much you eat at lunchtime. Fill a litre bottle and try to finish it before 1pm.