3 Healthy Business Lunch Ideas - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

You’ve been on point with your workout routine. You’ve been prepping your own healthy lunches and dinners. You are all set to lose those extra pounds gained this winter. Then, you get invited to a business lunch (or dinner, or networking event). You don’t want to be that person who everyone at the table side-eyes for asking too many questions about how a dish is prepared, and you don’t want to make your fellow diners feel awkward by eating too little Here are three tips to make a business lunch healthy.

How to Have a Healthy Business Lunch

Cut Down on the Liquor

Studies have linked moderate consumption of alcoholic drinks–especially mixed cocktails–to weight gain. Most of this is due to the calorie content of sugary mixes and juices added to cocktails. For example, one margarita can have more than 150 calories, compared with a white wine spritzer, which has less than 100.

If you just can’t get through that lunch or dinner without a stronger spirit, experts recommend nixing the chasers altogether and going with a top-shelf option on the rocks. For example, an ounce of 80-proof vodka, gin, rum, or scotch contains 64 calories and the same amount in 100 proof varieties has 80 calories. The average neat cocktail contains 1.5 ounces of liquor, so you’re still keeping the calories lower than if you’d gotten that Bloody Mary or Long Island Iced Tea.

Look Up Menu Options and Plan Ahead

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends researching the meal options at restaurants and checking online menus if available for nutrition information before a business lunch. If you’re being invited to a business dinner or lunch, request a particular restaurant that has a diversity of healthy options.

If you’re at a conference, nutrition buffs recommend skipping the donuts and muffins and going for fresh fruit or juices. You can also ask if vegetarian or non-meat options are available.

If All Else Fails, Doggy-bag Half Your Meal

We know; this can seem like an obnoxious and annoying request, but some restaurants will oblige a request for a doggy-bag. If you can discretely ask a server to take half your meal from the start and put it aside for taking home, do it. If that’s not a possibility–or you just cringe at the thought–the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests visualizing how your portion should be and eating accordingly.


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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.

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