Carbs might be getting a bad rap lately, but — just like protein and fats, their fellow macronutrients — they’re a key part of a balanced diet, important for building muscle and keeping your energy up. That being said, going overboard every meal, every day isn’t to your benefit either. You don’t need to cut carbs out altogether, but current dietary guidelines recommend to keep starchy carbs in particular to about a quarter of your plate, according to Michele Fumagalli, RD, LDN, a registered dietitian with Northwestern Medicine. “A lower-carb diet is really just a regular, normal diet,” she told POPSUGAR. “It’s just that a lot of people see it as low-carb because it’s only a fourth of your plate.”
If you’re looking to cut back on carbs, lunch is a great time to do it. Pack your lunch the night (or weekend) before, load it into the work fridge in the morning, pull it out at noon, and presto: you have a pre-made, low-carb meal to power you through the day. Prep these 14 options for a delicious deskside lunch that curbs your cravings and keeps you full and energized until dinner.