In this article:
- Weight loss is a common New Year’s resolution.
- A good lunch for weight loss keeps calories and carbs in check. It helps reduce hunger and stabilize energy to prevent cravings in the afternoon.
- These 7 lunch ideas are balanced and designed to support healthy weight control. They are simple to make and can sub for your regular lunches.
- Lark can give you more weight loss and health tips for the New Year.
Is your lunch helping you reach your weight loss and health goals? Or is it weighing you down? The right lunch choice can help with these.
- Increase energy during the afternoon so you can stay awake and alert.
- Fit into a calorie or carb-controlled diet to lose weight.
- Hit nutrient targets for the day.
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A healthy lunch is balanced and high in nutrients. It is easy to make and convenient. And it is delicious, because you should not eat foods you dislike.
These seven lunch ideas can help you get on track this January and stay on track to hit your 2022 goals.
1. Taco Salad
A restaurant or homemade salad can have over 1000 calories. Excess may come from crunchy toppings, such as croutons or chow mein noodles, cheese, processed fatty meats, and dressing. This taco salad has healthier items and it eliminates the shell that many taco salads have.
Use a base of shredded or chopped lettuce. Add 3 ounces of cooked ground turkey mixed with taco seasoning, ½ cup of chopped tomatoes, ½ cup of corn, ¼ cup of salsa, ¼ cup of fat-free sour cream, ¼ cup (1 ounce) of fat-free shredded cheese, lime juice, 2 slices of avocado, and chopped cilantro. Add ⅓ cup of brown rice or top your salad with 1 small whole-wheat tortilla, toasted and torn into pieces.
2. Whole-Wheat Ramen Noodles
Packaged ramen noodles can be greasy, starchy, and low in nutrients. This alternative is healthy, but also tasty and quick.
Heat ⅓ cup of cooked whole-grain spaghetti, 3 ounces of leftover cooked, diced chicken breast or salmon, and 1 cup of cooked vegetables of your choice in 1 cup of low-sodium broth. Is that enough?! Serve your whole-wheat “ramen” with ½ cup of fruit and ½ ounce of nuts.
3. PB and Strawberry Burrito
This is a healthier and more fun version of the classic PB and J.
Spread 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on a small whole-grain tortilla. Distribute ½ cup of diced fresh strawberries and roll up the tortilla like a burrito. Serve it with baby carrots or cherry tomatoes.
4. Tuna Melt on Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are versatile. In this lunch, they serve as the “bread” in a tuna melt. You can make it on whole-wheat bread or a whole-grain English muffin if you prefer.
Mix together tuna, plain Greek yogurt, a splash of olive oil, lemon juice, diced celery and onion, black pepper, and paprika. Place tomato slices and lettuce leaves on slices of cooked sweet potato. Add the tuna salad and top with low-fat shredded swiss or cheddar cheese. Toast.
5. Hummus Egg Salad on Bagel
This is a tasty and easy alternative to traditional egg salad with mayonnaise. Hummus adds creaminess, flavor, and healthy fats.
Mix 3 tablespoons of hummus with 4 chopped hard-boiled egg whites or 1 chopped hard-boiled egg, 2 tablespoons of diced celery, 1 tablespoon of diced onion, and black pepper. Spread on half of a whole-grain bagel and top with a slice of tomato and lettuce leaf.
6. Cooked Vegetable Whole-Grain Pasta Salad
This recipe gives you pasta salad without breaking the carb budget. And it gives you plenty of vegetables and protein to fill you up. You can use any type of vegetables, and you can cook them before adding them if you do not like raw veggies. You add swap beans, tuna, or cooked chicken. This salad can be perfect for using up leftovers. You can make a big batch and refrigerate it for a few days.
Mix together ⅓ cup of cooked whole-grain pasta, ¼ cup of diced broccoli florets, ¼ cup of chopped red pepper, ½ cup of grape tomatoes, halved, and 2 tablespoons of pitted chopped or sliced olives. Toss in 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, black pepper to taste, dried or chopped fresh basil, a dash of garlic powder, and 1 ounce (¼ cup) of shredded fat-free cheese or crumbled feta. Serve it with fruit.
7. Chicken with Brown Rice and Mushrooms
Leftovers make lunchtime easy and delicious. Per serving, use 3 ounces of leftover cooked chicken or any other protein, ⅓ cup of cooked brown rice or other whole grain, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add plenty of mushrooms and any kind of vegetables.
Heat olive oil and add sliced garlic, sliced mushrooms, and sliced asparagus or other small pieces of vegetables. Cook with thyme. Add chopped skinless cooked chicken and brown rice that has been cooked in low-sodium broth and heat. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.
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This year can be your year! Lark can help you reach your health and weight loss goals without dieting! Lark’s coaching is available 24/7 through your smartphone. Features include daily check-ins, meal logging features, and instant feedback.
You can still eat great-tasting, favorite foods and lose weight. There are ways to eat foods you love while making healthier choices. Lark’s nutrition and weight loss coaching can help you make small changes to stay on track or get back on track if you got a little off during the holidays.
Your health insurance might cover Lark at no cost to you. Click here to find out if you may be eligible for Lark!
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