Over 2 out of 3 American adults are considered overweight or obese; over 1 out of 3 are obese. As we eat more takeout and lead more sedentary lives, weight becomes more of a widespread issue.
You yourself may be overweight or obese, and you might be looking for ways to get healthier. One way to start is by overhauling your diet.
But eating healthy doesn’t have to mean sacrificing on flavor. Here are 6 healthy lunch ideas for weight loss that are guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds.
Salmon is a fatty fish that’s chockful of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as protein and other nutrients. It has a unique flavor that makes it vastly different from meat. Plus, you can combine it with other things on this list, such as eggs or leafy greens.
If you’re a fan of sushi, you can eat it raw. If you’re having sushi rolls or nigiri, you can even sub the white rice for brown if possible. Or, better yet—eat it on its own as sashimi so you’re not ingesting extra calories from the rice.
An alternative to sushi is smoked salmon. This is also “raw,” but since it’s smoked, it’s completely safe to eat and has a strong smoky flavor. You can add slices of it to salads or put it in a bagel with low-fat cream cheese.
Not a fan of raw fish? Not a problem. You can serve it up either pan-fried or baked in the oven.
You can also sprinkle bits of cooked salmon over your salads, or you can make it the star of your meals. Since it’s so full of proteins, you can sub it instead of a piece of steak. It’ll fill you up for a fraction of the calories.
If you just can’t get the hang of salmon, there are other fish that provide the same benefits, such as trout, sardines, mackerel, and herring. Give those a try if you want to break away from salmon.
Eggs are a wonderful food to incorporate into your diet. This small food definitely packs a punch. It has a ton of protein, as well as plenty of minerals, carotenoids, and vitamins.
It also has lutein and zeaxanthin, which help you fight diseases. So not only can you lose some weight by eating eggs, but you can also fend off things like age-related macular degeneration.
A huge benefit of eating eggs is there are so many ways to cook them. You can have them boiled, scrambled, fried, or poached. And you have even more choices if you choose fried eggs, such as sunny side up, over easy, over medium, or over well.
They’re quite versatile when it comes to meals too. You can have a fried egg as a side, or you can put a poached one in a healthy version of eggs benedict.
Also, you can boil some eggs and bring them along with you for a portable snack. Even if you have a busy schedule, all you have to do is reach into your bag, peel the egg, and get a quick pick-me-up!
If you’re having trouble reaching a caloric deficit to lose weight, you should consider adding avocados to your diet. These are high in fats, which may seem counterintuitive to eat when you’re trying to lose weight.
However, they’re high in a healthy kind of fat: monounsaturated (MUFAs). If you eat these fats, it’ll make your hunger go away. It’ll also stay away for longer too.
You do have to be careful to not eat too much, as it’s packed with not just fats, but also calories; the key to a successful diet is reducing your caloric intake.
The greatest thing about avocados is they’re easy to add to any meal. Just cut one in half, take the pit out, slice it up, and serve it as a side. Or you can put it on toast to follow a millennial trend.
If you’re not a fan of eating avocados plain, there are other ways to incorporate them into your diet. For instance, you can make some guacamole or make spinach-avocado sauce for pasta (make sure you choose ones that are whole grain).
Another easy way to eat avocados is by putting a few slices into your sandwiches. Since sandwiches are so versatile, you can switch up the ingredients every day and not get bored with what you’re eating.
4. Leafy Greens
If you hate salads, hear us out first! You should give leafy greens another chance, as they can help you stay full for longer and not eat as many calories. Plus, they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that keep you full of energy.
Some leafy greens include:
- Collard greens
- Beet greens
- Swiss chard
- Bok choi
As you can see, your options are far more varied than just romaine lettuce, so that means you don’t have to eat salad every day.
There are a few ways to prepare these leafy greens; not only can you eat them raw, but you can also steam (or boil) and stir-fry them. With a little bit of salt and garlic, you can turn bland veggies into something you crave.
If you don’t enjoy these leafy greens on their own, you can also try incorporating them with some other healthy foods. For example, you can put spinach or kale into an omelet or frittata. That way, you can get some servings of leafy greens in without them being the main stars of your dishes.
No, we’re not talking about heartbeats you can feel throughout your body. Pulses is a food group that contains lentils, chickpeas, peas, and beans.
Pulses can be a huge weapon in your diet arsenal. Just a handful of any of the above can keep you energized and full for hours to come. This is because they’re rich in protein and fiber.
If you like experimenting with cooking, then you’ll love add pulses to your repertoire. From Latin America to Africa and India, cultures from all over the world incorporate pulses into their foods.
For example, India has something called dal, which makes for a hearty bowl of lentils for lunch. Or there’s shakshouka from the North African region; this is a tomato stew with poached eggs and chickpeas.
If you’re trying to keep lunch on the light side, you can make a Greek lentil salad. You can even add some chickpeas if you wish.
For those who love to get creative with their meals, we promise you won’t ever run out of new recipes to try when it comes to pulses.
If you’re used to grabbing a dessert after every meal, those calories can quickly add up and you may find yourself packing on the pounds fast. But considering sugar is pretty addictive, it may be very challenging to give it up.
The good news is, you don’t have to. Instead of reaching for a candy bar, brownie, or slice of cake after lunch, you should pick up an apple, peach, or bowl of cherries instead.
Many fruits have fiber, as well as plenty of vitamins and minerals.
You don’t always have to eat them alone either. For example, you can make a wholesome yet tasty parfait with some yogurt, a little honey, grains, and berries. Yogurt is also good for weight loss, so that’s a plus!
You can also get creative with your salads. Berries and slices of pears or apples can not only give your salad a bit of sweetness, but also some texture. You may find that the fruit provides enough additional flavors and sweetness that you don’t even need dressing; this can help reduce your caloric intake.
Consider Your Drinks Too
It may be a good idea to get rid of the sugary drinks you have with lunch, such as soda or even lemonade. You may not give drinks a second thought; many people think just because it’s a liquid, there’s little to no calories in them.
But you’d be surprised to learn there are over 400 calories in a liter of soda. If you have a glass of Coke with each meal, you can easily be adding 400 extra calories to your day.
Pair your healthy lunches with some of the best weight loss drinks to get even better results. You’ll also feel better since you won’t have so much sugar in your diet.
Try out These Healthy Lunch Ideas for Weight Loss
Just because these are healthy lunch ideas for weight loss doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste. The best thing about eating healthy is if you get used to it, you’ll never go back to eating junk and fast food.
Considering those types of food are processed, they also don’t keep you full for long. By switching to healthier, unprocessed foods, your appetite will be satiated for longer. As a result, you won’t be reaching into your cabinets, searching for snacks in between meals.
So if you’re looking to become a more wholesome version of yourself, definitely give these lunch ideas a whirl. Eating healthy may be easier than you think it is!
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