Food & Drink

5 Packed Lunches To Give You A Six-Pack

Maximise your midday training with these lunchbox champions

For the lunch-time training heroes, ensure you’re making the most of your efforts with a refuelling meal afterwards. “Exercise will burn junk calories, but a poor diet will still ruin your results,” warns Multipower Sportsfood registered nutritionist, and strength and conditioning coach Drew Price. “The nutrition around your activity is important, as it powers training and kickstarts the recovery process.” No matter the activity, Price, nutrition consultant Alice Mackintosh (alicemackintosh.com) and SIX3NINE trainer Mark Milsted (six3nine.com) have the perfect packed-lunch recipes to make the night before.

Shed fat

Seared tuna with edamame and green beans with vinaigrette

“Don’t overdo the carbs if you want to lose fat,” warns Mackintosh. “Beans, lentils and chickpeas are ideal, as they’re 50 per cent carbs and 50 per cent protein. Roll a 150g tuna steak in black peppercorns and sesame oil, sear in a hot pan. Serve with 80g edamame beans, 70g green beans and 2tbsp vinaigrette. This is likely to help support weight loss and provide energy.”

 

Intensive recovery

Spicy beef tortillas

“High-intensity training such as circuits chews carbohydrate fast, and is hard on muscle tissue, so more protein is needed,” says Price. “Fry 160g lean beef mince in 3tbsp olive oil and spices – 1/2tsp of chilli, cumin, garlic powder. Cook 30g white rice. Dice 3 tomatoes and half an onion, and once the beef and rice are cooked, mix together and add to a tortilla (have two to three) with the salad. Add hot sauce to taste.” 

Boost endurance

Couscous and mackerel salad

“The longer your training session, the more fat you use for energy,” says Price. “[This meal contains] carbs to replenish glycogen used, healthy fats and vitamin packed veg to support the immune system. Prepare 60g dry couscous, and combine with two smoked mackerel fillets, diced peppers, red onion, tomatoes, plus chopped parsley and chives.”

Pack on muscle

Thai-style salmon with noodles

Bulking isn’t just about weights. “The only difference between eating for fat loss and eating for muscle gain is calories,” says Milsted. This salmon dish is calorie-rich and has a hefty 48g of protein to aid recovery. Stir-fry a salmon fillet, add ginger, chilli, coriander and garlic to taste, then a handful of broccoli, carrots and cashew nuts. When cooked, add 125g (dry weight) egg noodles.

Sustained energy

Turmeric-baked salmon with roasted beet, squash and brown rice

“Choose slow-release carbs to replenish energy stores,” says Mackintosh. “Season a 150g salmon fillet with turmeric, and bake. Roast 100g butternut squash and 80g fresh beetroot. The low-GI squash and brown rice help to give sustained energy, and beetroot is rich in antioxidants and nitric oxide, which have been shown to help improve endurance – perfect for marathon training.”

(Images: Corbis; Alamy)