Bento Lunch Boxes & Diet, What Wikipedia Doesn’t Tell You About ThemKatachiware Japanese Style Tableware
Bento Lunch Boxes & Diet – Many of us struggle to contain a healthy diet, especially during Covid restrictions those extra kilograms keep piling on and there seems to be no end to it. Countless diets are considered but very few help us to reach our weight loss goals.
Most diets are based on making huge sacrifices and lifestyle changes that can be hard to achieve. In this context, a mention should be made about the humble old Japanese bento lunch boxes. They are an innovative way to lose a few extra kilos and achieve our weight loss goals while enjoying the process without making massive sacrifices.
Wikipedia tells us that in Japan, bento or the concept of bento has been around for thousands of years but has only recently achieved a global presence. Japanese employees are seen carrying carefully prepared bento to the office while children also take them to school. Bento serves as a convenient and easy way for preparing a nutritious, visually appealing, and delicious meal while on the go. The packed meal prevents addon of extra tasty snacks that make up calories that we don’t need as well as ensuring that we have a nutritious meal.
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Bento Lunch Boxes & Diet
So how do healthy bento lunch boxes help us to lose weight you might ask? The following bento guidelines form the pillars to bento preparation and philosophy which explains why its popularity is so strong in Japan and the rest of the world.
Bento Promotes Portion Control
Bento lunch boxes can include three to five compartments that vary in size and shape. They can be sealed or remain open as per the user’s choice. The compartments are useful for separating a mix of foods without spilling into each other and can also hold curries, soups, sauces, or dips.
Normally, typical bento lunch boxes in Japan contain rice, meat, or fish, cooked or pickled vegetables, fruit or a small side desert. The many compartments enable varied food items to be packed neatly beside each other in an appealing way. Now, this seems convenient but how does weight loss come into the picture?
The answer lies in the compartment sizes which vary and are relatively small. This provides a built-in control system on portion size, so food items packed into the lunch boxes are restricted to the size of the compartment and therefore you end up eating a portion-controlled meal.
Assists in Calorie Counting
Bento lunch boxes consist of certain quantities of carbs, proteins, vegetables and fruits. A typical Japanese bento comprises around 40% of carbs which normally comes from rice preparations followed by 30% of proteins from meat or fish and the remaining 30% from fruits and veggies. A person who is on a weight loss goal can, however, decide the total calories that need to be consumed from his lunch meal and pack the bento accordingly. Once a good medium has been achieved sticking to the same portion each time helps you to control calories without having to count them each time.
Ensures a Healthy Food Menu
Control on portion size will not solely lead to weight loss; the type of food items that go into the bento box irrespective of their quantities will also be a deciding factor. As per the Bento philosophy, the box is supposed to contain varying portions of balanced food items that go towards providing a wholesome meal. Hence, even though the compartment sizes are small if they are packed with chips, fried chicken and dips loaded with fat in addition to weight adding desserts will not contribute towards the weight loss goal.
Instead, you can ensure a healthy ratio of your bento food contents by using the larger sized compartments for vegetables, smaller ones for carbs and others for fruits and nuts. Fill your bento box with nutritious meals and obtain the necessary food nutrients without packing on the unwanted pounds.
Channels Your Inner Creativity
Packing nutritious meals into your bento as mentioned above does not mean you have to include grain bowls or large salad portions alone. These healthy food options are not workable on a long term basis as they tend to get boring and repetitive. On the other hand, taking a cue from the bento philosophy, you ensure that the food items that go into the bento are not only nutritive but also colourful and visually appealing. You can channel your inner creativity and pack your bento tight with food items neatly arranged against one another. Small gaps between food preparations can be filled with cherry tomato halves, pepper strips, broccoli flowers, radish halves, baby carrots or any other low-calorie food item that will be colourful. The more colourful your bento box, the more appetizing will be your nutritious meal.
On a Summarising Note
Achieving balance is the key to picking successful healthy bento lunch boxes; balance in flavour, mode of preparation, texture and colour. More emphasis is placed on including moderate quantities of varied categories and flavours of food items in the bento rather than categorizing strictly on ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food items. And that is the beauty of the bento box; they are not only as convenient to eat as fast foods are but also as healthy and nutritious as you wish them to be. Use a bit of foresight and some preparation and enjoy your meal whilst sticking to your goal of weight loss.
Like this article on Bento Lunch Boxes & Diet, What Wikipedia Doesn’t Tell You About Them? Read more articles on Bento Basics or understand more about the Top 4 Bento Food Groups and more available from Wikipedia.