Oh, hum. It’s the same old boring lunch – carrots, celery, and …water. Ugh. You don’t have to compromise on lunch to lose weight! Eating a healthy, satisfying lunch will propel you through your afternoon into evening. Eating a good lunch will keep you from over indulging at suppertime. Whether you brown bag your lunch or frequent the corner cafe, try these 15 healthy lunch ideas (400 calories or less) to see you to weight loss victory!
1. I Love Sushi
If you are a sushi lover, it is a great low-cal take-out choice for lunch. Loaded with protein, sushi just might keep you from dozing off at 2 pm. Try a California roll with sugar-snap peas for a quality lunch.
Create your own brown bag healthy quesadilla at home for lunch! onevwhole wheat tortilla layered with 1/4 cup fat-free refried beans and ¼ cup shredded taco cheese mix makes a yummy lunch. Fold the tortilla in half, cut into triangles. Serve with low fat baked tortilla chips and concord grapes.
3. Simply Salmon
A great protein, salmon is tasty and nutritious, providing essential omega-3’s that will keep you energized. Pair a three ounce pouch of sustainable salmon with two slices of whole grain bread to create a satisfying sandwich. Add apple slices for desert.
4. Holy Guacamole
So easy, you’ll wonder how you missed this lunch creation. Split a whole wheat English muffin in two (place in the toaster for a crisper version). Spread with two tablespoons guacamole. Add tomato slices and shredded lettuce for a healthy lunch. Onions make a nice topper as well, but not if you are headed for a group meeting after lunch. Finish up with a juicy plum.
5. Savory Tuna
Tuna always makes a nice lunch. In a small bowl, add one can of tuna (drained), ½ tablespoon sweet relish, three tablespoons plain non-fat Greek yogurt, ¾ tablespoon Dijon mustard, pinch of salt/pepper. Place the mixture to a whole wheat pita. Strawberries complete the meal.
6. Italy Picnic
A wholesome lunch that is always a hit – and low-cal, too! Mix two 1/2 ounces prepared whole grain macaroni, two ½ teaspoons organic olive oil, two cloves minced garlic (optional), and ¾ cups thawed frozen peas. Heat and stir until blended. Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese. Serve with three slices of cantaloupe.
7. Spinach Wrap
Wraps are a versatile menu item. You can add your favorite ingredients for a light lunch that will satiate. Lightly drizzle one fresh spinach tortilla with olive oil. Layer with chopped sun dried tomatoes, low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese, fresh diced spinach leaves, and, if desired, sliced deli chicken or turkey. Roll tortilla, slice in half and wrap in wax paper for freshness. Serve with fresh fruit.
8. You’re A Good Egg
Hard boiled eggs are full of protein and vitamins. Create a healthy lunch by slicing two hardboiled eggs onto two slices of whole grain low-fat bread. Add lettuce, tomato and mustard for more yumminess. For additional fiber, serve with two ounces of raw almonds.
9. Terrific Tofu
Tofu isn’t for everyone, but if you season tofu correctly, it creates a delicious lunch option. Thinly slice four ½ ounces of extra firm tofu onto a plate. In a small bowl, stir one tablespoon soy sauce, one ¼ tablespoons almond butter, and ¾ teaspoon sesame seeds to create a delicious tofu marinade. Stir tofu and marinade. Serve chilled with shredded lettuce and crunchy Melba toast.
10. Summer Salad
- ½ cup chickpeas
- ½ cup finely sliced kale
- ½ tangelo, sectioned and sliced
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon honey
Combine ingredients for a delicious salad that will give you energy to whirl through the afternoon.
11. Lunch Boats
This is a fun way to enjoy lunch (kids like this one, too). Halve two medium cucumbers lengthwise, hollowing out each half, creating a ‘boat’. In a small bowl, combine four ounces drained water packed tuna, three tablespoons non-fat plain Greek yogurt, two teaspoons Dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt. Fill cucumber ‘boats’ with tuna mixture. Serve with an orange or pineapple chunks.
12. Fresh Love Apple Salad
Everyone knows that love apples are actually tomatoes. This is a crisp, fresh salad that leaves you satisfied. Cube one large tomato in a lunch-packable bowl. Add one ounce low-fat shredded mozzarella, one cup finely diced spinach leaves, ½ cup finely chopped onion, one teaspoon olive oil, two teaspoons sunflower seeds, salt/pepper to taste. Toss all ingredients. Serve with Melba toast and fresh strawberries on the side.
13. Power Lunch Smoothie
Smoothies are great lunch options. They are so versatile. In a blender add a handful of freshly de-steamed kale, one banana, ½ cup blueberries, ½ blackberries, ¼ cup chopped walnuts. Cover with one cup of vanilla flavored almond milk and 1½ cups water. Blend until smooth. Serve over ice for a delicious lunch.
14. Veggie Burger
Being vegetarian doesn’t have to be boring! Place a (cooked) veggie burger patty on a whole grain bun. Add a slice of tomato, shredded lettuce, and your favorite low-fat cheese. Serve with sweet potato chips for an extra crunch and flavor.
15. Black Bean Burrito
A great source of fiber, black beans are so yummy. Add ¼ cup black beans to a whole-wheat tortilla. Layer with onion and avocado for a great lunch. Serve with baked tortilla chips and watermelon slices for a delicious lunch.
Lunch doesn’t have to be boring! Spice it up and try something new! There are so many options to keep you on your weight loss journey! Stay on track! Eat lunch, stay satiated and let the weight loss begin!