Brace yourself against the winter chill with a packed lunch perfectly picked to keep you warm. For the many Brits who call the great outdoors their office, carefully choosing certain ingredients can make you feel a little bit toastier or give you an energy boost, to help you complete the job on a winter’s day.

We’ve put together three lunchtime meals that’ll keep you going in the wintry conditions. Learn what they are and how choosing certain ingredients can give you the spur you need.

1. The Slow Release Winter Warmer

Slow Release Winter Warming Lunch

Keep warm this winter with a portion of oatmeal. It’s a great thermogenic food perfect for the colder months because it’s filled with phytochemicals and nutrients that release energy slowly throughout the day to keep your body warm, protecting you against the frost. Top with fresh berries to give your snack a great flavour while the natural sugars give you a welcome quick burst of energy as you start the home stretch of the day.

Beef is great when you find yourself in chilly conditions because it is a fantastic source of iron, which is crucial for producing red blood cells and circulating your blood. The high calorie and fat content found in beef makes it the perfect fuel for your body, and the ideal meat to keep you warm in winter. Partner with wholemeal bread and make it a sandwich; high-fibre carbohydrates raise your metabolism, which in turn heats up your body.

Finish off with a slice of ginger cake to complete the perfect packed lunch. Ginger enhances the thermogenic benefits of the rest of your meal and helps blood circulation in our bodies making it a great source of warmth. And a delicious snack!

2. The Heart-Racing Half Time Meal

Warming Half Time Lunch

A hearty portion of leek and potato soup can do wonders for you, providing enough energy to keep you warm all day. That’s because leeks are rich in antioxidants and vitamins that help your heart pump blood around the body more quickly, preventing coldness to your limbs, keeping you warmer. On the flip side, potatoes are a complex carbohydrate, and so require high amounts of energy to break down. Because your body is working hard to digest your food, your body heat rises. You’ll practically be getting a sweat on whatever the thermometer says outside.

Speeding up your metabolism is a great way to warm your body, and eggs are great for this. Adding a small scotch egg to your packed lunch could not only raise your metabolism, but the vitamin B12 found in the egg assists in red blood cell formation and breaks down body fat, giving you a much-needed energy boost on a chilly day.

Cinnamon possesses plenty of warming properties, so think about introducing it into your lunch with a delicious cinnamon bun. The spice improves metabolism and particularly helps those with poor blood circulation, ultimately keeping your vital organs warm and preventing you from feeling a chill.

Finish off your lunchtime with a cup of tea, adding a spoonful of honey for a warming touch; not only does it give your brew a festive sweetness, but it is great for raising your metabolism to protect you from chills. If you can’t get your mitts around a fresh, hot cuppa, brew a batch for your Thermos before you leave.

3. The Spicy Midday Break

Spicy Warming Midday Lunch

Start off your perfect packed lunch with a handful of dried fruit. Rich in nutrients and minerals, dry fruit combats anaemia (deficiency of red blood cells or haemoglobin) and is best served in small portions, so your body can efficiently absorb the goodness. Combine the soft and chewy fruit with crunchy nuts full of protein for a perfect, energy-packed pairing.

A warming curry can be the perfect cure for a winter chill. You feel your body temperature rise after spicy food because capsaicin, found in chilli peppers, bolsters your metabolic rate and increases the enzymes that metabolise fat.

For the rice, it is important to choose brown or wholemeal because these are complex carbohydrates that take longer to break down. Because your body is working harder to digest your food, your body heat rises, meaning you’ll be warmer for longer. Chicken is a great option for the meat, owing to its high protein level and lean nature giving it amazing thermogenic benefits.

Combine warming honey and ginger with your lunchtime cup of tea and feel the benefits throughout the rest of the day. This sweet addition to your drink raises your metabolism and helps to circulate blood around your body, generating heat to get you through the bracing weather.

Some foods react with our bodies to give us warmth, directly or indirectly, so choosing the right foods can help you to repel the chill even on the coldest winter’s day. Take one of our perfectly picked packed lunches with you and keep warm throughout winter - and don't forget that a nice juicy tax rebate can warm even the coldest heart, so find out if you're eligible today with RIFT's free tax refund calculator!