Easy Lunch Ideas: Weight Loss Recipes

20 Easy Lunches That Will Help You Lose Weight

When you’re trying to shed pounds, lunchtime can be a real battle.

“Although there doesn’t seem to be anything special about lunch, consuming regular, healthy meals and reducing snacking may promote a healthier body weight,” says Tom Hritz, Ph.D., R.D., clinical nutrition manager at Mercy Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Aiming for three healthy meals a day, including lunch, can help maintain appetite-regulating hormones and keep your blood sugar stable, making it even easier to resist cravings when they strike, says Hritz.

Related:6 Nutritionists Share Their Go-To Healthy Lunches For Insanely Busy Days

So to keep your second meal of the day on point, we’re bringing you 14 healthy and easy lunches that you can actually get excited about.

(For more simple and delicious recipes, check out the Guy Gourmet Cookbook from Men’s Health. It includes 150 power-packed breakfasts, fast dinners, and big-batch meals you have to try.)

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Despite their status as nutritional powerhouses, eggs are too often knocked down a notch by critics who claim their golden yolks are better avoided. But before you whip up your next egg-white omelet, consider this: The yolks are home to all sorts of goodies that the whites alone are lacking. 

The bad reputation comes from the cholesterol in yolks, says Catherine Shanahan, MD, author of Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food. Yes, there’s cholesterol in there, but, contrary to what we’ve previously been told, dietary cholesterol doesn’t seem to affect blood cholesterol, the type that actually clogs your arteries

Plus, egg yolks are rich in unsaturated fats, including omega-3s, which fight inflammation and offer some protection against heart disease. They’ve also got vitamin D (which seems like it helps with just about everything, doesn’t it?) and B12 for healthy blood and nerve cells. Plus, yolks contain brain-building choline and immunity-protecting selenium—stuff you really don’t want to miss!

The American Heart Association used to recommend sticking to fewer than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol a day, but they’ve since decided there’s not enough scientific evidence to stand by that suggestion. «I think you’d get fed up with eating eggs before you ate too many,» Shanahan jokes. Her pro tip: Don’t overcook the yolks, or some of that dietary cholesterol can oxidize and become harmful rather than helpful. Over easy for the win!

Speaking of eggs over easy, if you’re tired of your old standby, here are a few more outside the box (carton?) egg yolk ideas to consider.

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Prep your perfect side dish. Make your roasted veggies in bulk so you have them on hand all week, says White. Toss broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and sliced red onion in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to coat. Spread evenly on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Pair with rice or quinoa and a chicken breast, suggests White.

Be generous with seasoning. Combine a pan full of vegetables coated in avocado oil with garlic, sea salt, pepper, rosemary, and smoked paprika to taste, suggests Spano. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees until they reach your desired tenderness, typically about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on which vegetables you choose.

Wrap them in bacon. As Kevin from Closet Cooking notes, this salty and sweet combo is super simple: After wrapping your well-scrubbed carrots in bacon, bake them for about 30 minutes, adding a glaze of maple syrup halfway through. Find the full recipe here. (Here are 25 other foods you should most definitely wrap in bacon.)

Spice up sweet potato wedges. You’ll ditch greasy fast food fries after you try these sweet potato wedges. Cut 4 small sweet potatoes (or 2 large ones) into ½” wedges. Toss them with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp chile powder, and 1 tsp salt. Grill over direct heat until crispy. Transfer wedges back into a bowl, drizzle with 1 Tbsp maple syrup and toss with 1 Tbsp cilantro.

Embrace summer flavors. After soaking fresh sweet corn in their husks for an hour, grill them over direct heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning frequently. Once cool, remove their husks and silk and brush with melted butter. Return to the grill until kernels are browned. Sprinkle with hot chile powder and Parmesan. (Find the full recipe here.)

Smother your carrots in butter. And honey. And garlic. Bake until they’re tender for a mouth-watering side dish. Sprinkle with parsley. Find the full instructions here from The Recipe Critic.

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The chicken breast. We all know we’re supposed to love it because it’s a blast of protein, but usually, it just doesn’t taste good. For as common of a meat staple as it is, the chicken breast is also one of the most difficult to master. Be honest— how many times was your jaw actually sore after eating your chicken dinner, because of how many times you had to chew every bite? Or how many times have you actually pondered whether or not cardboard might actually taste better than that hunk of white something you just cooked up?

The truth is, however, that chicken breast just gets a bad rap. That blandness usually associated with chicken usually just indicates poor preparation. The chicken breast is one of the best cuts of meat for soaking up and enhancing flavors. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 10 chicken breast recipes that will change your life. Best part? Most of these recipes were pulled straight from our Recipe Finder, where there are recipes for literally anything you could think of.

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Eating out is not only hard on your wallet, it’s hard on your overall health. Studies have shown that people who eat and cook at home have lower rates of obesity, are better at controlling their portions, and tend to be better about overeating (especially when they aren’t watching TV). And cooking healthy, delicious meals at home doesn’t have to be time consuming. In fact, we’ve put together a list of 10 protein-packed meals that you can make in less than 10 minutes. (If you’re unconvinced of how big of a deal protein is, here’s what you need to know.)

Point is, you know you should be cooking for yourself, and if you’re new to the game, these recipes are a great start. By the way, most of the recipes below are straight from our Recipe Finder, where you can hone your inner Iron Chef with recipes for almost anything you can imagine.

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What You’ll Need:

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks
1 cup tikka masala sauce, such as Maya Kaimal
4 cups cauliflower florets
12 oz carrots, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 red onion, sliced, soaked in water for 10 minutes, and drained
1 lemon, wedged
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

How to Make It:

1. In a resealable plastic bag, combine chicken and tikka masala sauce. Set aside for at least 15 minutes or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Heat oven to 425°F. On a large, rimmed baking sheet, toss cauliflower, carrots, and chickpeas with oil, garam masala, salt, and pepper. Add chicken, discarding excess marinade. Cook until chicken is 165°F, about 30 minutes. Top with onion, lemon, yogurt, and cilantro.

MAKES 4 SERVINGSPer serving: 560 cal, 22 g fat (6 g sat), 32 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 850 mg sodium, 9 g fiber, 58 g protein

One challenge with the single-pan method: All the vegetables roast at once, and you want them to be evenly cooked. Avoid too-crunchy carrots or mushy potatoes by cutting all produce into small pieces of approximately the same size.

Related: 8 Foods to Eat Tonight For a Flat Stomach Tomorrow

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Feeding a bunch of ravenous football fans this weekend? We’d argue that no Super Bowl party is complete without a homemade dip—but whether you’re a fan of cheesy concoctions or fresh salsas, it’s easy to go overboard on your favorite game day grub.

You don’t have to completely cut out queso if you’re trying to snack healthy, though. Want to indulge in a plate full of melty goodness? Go for it! Just try swapping out other empty calories—like potatoes chips for dipping—for more nutrient-dense options, suggests Men’s Health nutrition advisor, Mike Roussell, Ph.D.

Opt for alternative chips like Beanitos (made completely from beans) or dunk snack-sized vegetables for more protein and fiber, which will keep you full so you don’t overeat, Roussell says. This small change will go relatively unnoticed and can make a huge impact on the total amount of calories and nutrients you pack in, he says.

There’s a massive spectrum of dip options to choose from, though, so we’ve rounded up the 10 best dip recipes you can whip up in 20 minutes or less. And for a little added guidance, we’ve ranked them from the healthiest to unhealthiest.

5-Minute Turkey, Avocado, and Hummus Wrap

Recipe courtesy of The Fitnessista (Serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 1 soft tortilla shell
  • Handful of your favorite veggies (try spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini)
  • Hummus (give our Hemp Seed Hummus a whirl for a fiber boost)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 garlic clove, minced Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Crumbled goat cheese

Directions

  1. Roast veggies for about 20 minutes at 350°F with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Top your favorite type of tortilla with hummus (store-bought or homemade), add the roasted veggies and some goat cheese, then bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Slice and enjoy.
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Healthy lunch snack. Stack of mexican street food fajita tortilla wraps with grilled buffalo chicken fillet and fresh vegetables, light grey background copy space
Rimma_Bondarenko/Getty Images

Recipe courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats (Serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons red pepper hummus
  • 3 slices low-sodium deli turkey
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • Pickle slices

Directions

  1. Spread tortilla with hummus, then layer on turkey, avocado, and pickle slices.
  2. Roll, then slice.

Shrimp Avocado Salad

There’s nothing fishy about this satisfying tuna salad recipe from Cafe Delites.

Colorful and flavorful, this shrimp and avocado salad from Savory Tooth is a healthy go-to for lunch or dinner.

RELATED VIDEO: How to Make Thai Shrimp-Stuffed Avocados

Recipe courtesy of Sweet Tooth Sweet Life (Serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 1 can tuna in water, drained
  • 3-4 tablespoons sweet relish
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional mix-ins: onions, baby carrots, cucumbers, celery, corn, dried cranberries, or chopped grapes

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix together desired ingredients.
  2. Enjoy on top of a bed of lettuce, in a sandwich or pita, or scooped up with your favorite whole-grain crackers.
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Preparation flour tortilla wrap stuffed with grilled chicken fillet and fresh vegetables on white rustic wooden background viewed from above. Ingredients for healthy mexican style lunch snack

Banana Walnut Overnight Oatmeal

Before you go to sleep, combine a few ingredients and leave them to sit for the ultimate bowl of comforting oats, like this one from Skinny Ms.

Belly Fat Burning Lunch Ideas for Work

Start to finish: 20 mins

This delightfully easy, and somewhat messy, sandwich packs a punch with sweet balsamic vinegar, artichoke hearts, red onion, provolone cheese and zesty pepperoncini. We love it for dinner as well as lunch. If you’re packing the hoagies to take along, keep the ingredients separate and assemble right before eating to avoid soggy bread. Serve with tomato and cucumber salad.

Black Bean and Rice Burrito Salad

For an easy (and pretty!) vegan-friendly dish, try out this rice and beans burrito salad from Emilie Eats.

Recipe courtesy of The Lean Green Bean (Serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups lettuce
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1/3 cup black beans, cooked
  • 1 cup vegetables (try tomatoes, red peppers, onions, or roasted sweet potatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado or guacamole (then use the rest of the fruit in these tasty avocado desserts!)
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • Sprinkle of cheese

Directions

  1. Place lettuce in large bowl (or, if taking to-go, a meal-prep container)
  2. Add the rice and beans.
  3. Top with your choice of vegetables, plus salsa and cheese, if desired.
  4. Eat cold or microwave for 20 seconds and serve.

Freezer Turkey Zucchini Noodle Lasagna

Whip up a quick and simple (not to mention low-carb) meal with this re-imagined lasagna, courtesy of Sweet Peas and Saffron.

Get the Fall Issue

Featuring delicious weight loss recipes, quick and easy sheet pan suppers, slow cooker tips and much more!

Green Smoothie Prep Packs

Make your breakfast smoothie ahead of time with these prep packs from Clean Food Crush. Start your day or refuel after your morning workout with a quick blend.

Healthy Chicken Pad Thai Meal Prep

You’ll never need to order takeout again with this chicken pad thai recipe from Fit Men Cook.

Mason Jar Asian Salad

Pack your lunch in a trendy mason jar with this paleo- and Whole30-friendly recipe from Tasty Thin.

Mexican Cauliflower «Rice» Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Sprint 2 the Table (Serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 1 small head cauliflower
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, cubed
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • Cilantro
  • Salsa
  • Cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cut cauliflower and red pepper into pieces and place in a food processor or blender. Pulse the pieces until they are the size and consistency of rice.
  2. Transfer «rice» to a medium bowl. Add a splash of water and microwave for 3 minutes to steam. (BTW, this cauliflower fried rice bowl will make you forget all about takeout.)
  3. Top with remaining weight-loss lunch ingredients and sprinkle with cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.

Muffin Tin Eggs

Your muffin tin can transform your eggs into a protein-packed breakfast on the go with this recipe from You Brew My Tea.

No-Bake Almond Cranberry Energy Balls

These no-bake energy ball bites from Skinny Ms are for all the sweet tooths out there.

RELATED VIDEO: These Healthy Energy Balls Taste Just Like Chocolate Truffles

Now that you have the inspiration, it’s time to head to the kitchen. Whether you need an afternoon snack or dinner for the next few nights, these recipes will save you precious time during the week ahead.

One Pan Teriyaki Salmon {amp}amp; Veggies

You’ll rush home for dinner to consume this all-in-one salmon and veggies meal, thanks to the foodie brains behind Creme de la Crumb.

Pasta {amp}amp; Peas

Recipe courtesy of Runs For Cookies (Serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces whole-wheat rotini or penne
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic to oil and cook until garlic is translucent, being careful not to burn it—lower the heat if needed.
  4. Add the peas and cook until heated through.
  5. Drain the pasta when it’s done cooking, then add it to the peas and garlic. Toss to coat and serve. (Related: How to Use Frozen Vegetables to Make Meal Prep a Breeze)

Sea Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

Who needs store-bought salt and vinegar potato chips when you make this kale swap from Gimme Some Oven?

Southwest Chicken Quinoa

Recipe courtesy of Food and Fun on the Run (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder 1
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • Salsa and/or sriracha sauce

Directions

  1. Saute vegetables in olive oil until tender.
  2. Add the spices and chicken to the vegetable mixture and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Combine quinoa and the vegetable mixture, then stir in Greek yogurt.
  4. Stir in cilantro and top with salsa and/or sriracha sauce.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Feeling snacky? These hot roasted chickpeas from Simple Vegan are high in protein and flavor.

Turkey Chili Taco Soup

Recipe courtesy of Skinnytaste (Serves 9)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 pounds 99 percent lean ground turkey (score an extra package for these high-protein ground turkey dinners)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 10-ounce can RO*TEL Tomatoes and Green Chilies
  • 15 ounces canned or frozen corn, thawed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 16 ounces low-fat refried beans
  • 1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
  • 2 1/2 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • Optional: tortilla chips, plain Greek yogurt, jalapenos, cheese, scallions, onions, fresh cilantro.

Directions

  1. In a large pot, brown turkey on medium heat, breaking up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. When cooked through, add onions and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, corn, kidney beans, tomato sauce, refried beans, taco seasoning, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. If desired, serve with a few tortilla chips and your favorite toppings such as plain Greek yogurt, jalapenos, shredded cheese, chopped scallions, onions, or chopped fresh cilantro. Meal prep tip: Freeze leftovers for individual portions for future meals.

Weight Loss Lunch Tips

Here’s what to look for in a satisfying yet macro-smart weight-loss lunch:

Week 1

Serves: 6
Nutrition: 331 calories, 18 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 400 mg sodium, 33 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 9 g protein

We love this take on a classic pasta salad because there are more antioxidant-rich veggies than pasta! Cherry tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, and crumbled feta—key ingredients of the heart-protecting, weight-maintaining Mediterranean diet—are the base for this delicious dish.

Get the recipe fromCooking Classy.

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 381 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 618 mg sodium, 60 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 31 g protein (calculated with all low-fat greek yogurt and mini whole wheat pitas)

This pita pocket is lightened up with the use of low-fat Greek yogurt in place of hefty mayo. This swap allows the flavors of the tuna and chickpeas to be the stars of the show—and helps lower the calorie count.

Canned tuna is one of the cheapest and leanest sources of protein and is full of healthy fats like omega-3s. The consumption of these essential fatty acids has been connected with reduced levels of inflammation, a common culprit of weight gain.

Get the recipe fromCooking Classy.

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 390 calories, 19 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 823 mg sodium, 42 g carbs, 10 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 13 g protein (calculated with 1 cup each chickpeas and cooked farro, ¼ cup each feta, kalamata olives, pumpkin seeds, and 4 Tbsp dressing)

This hearty salad is a basic blend of protein-rich farro and mixed greens. The garnishes—which range from kalamata olives and feta to pepitas and chickpeas—take it to the next level when it comes to taste and, most importantly, nutrition.

This meat-free meal is a surprisingly great source of iron, a nutrient that keeps your metabolism humming. Just one serving of this salad provides 30 percent of the day’s recommended intake.

Get the recipe fromCookie Kate.

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 400 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 532 mg sodium, 29 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 44 g protein (calculated with 1 slice sprouted whole grain Ezekiel toast instead of wrap, 4 oz chicken per serving)

Because wraps will use up a significant portion of your 400 calories (140, on average), we like to turn this wrap into an open-face sandwich. Just smear a layer of hummus onto a toasted slice of Ezekiel whole grain bread, layer on some cucumbers, feta, and tomatoes, and then top with slices of grilled chicken breast.

If you’re feeling up to it, you can simply make your own hummus with the leftover chickpeas you have from the previous day! Not up for the extra cooking? No biggie; just make sure your store-bought hummus is ETNT-approved.

Get the recipe fromCooking Classy.

Serves: 3 (4 cups each)
Nutrition: 325 calories, 16 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 890 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 25 g protein

Most quiches are burdened by excessive amounts of heavy cream and a trans-fat-laden crust—but not this one. These portion-controlled quiches dispense with the heavy dose of dairy and unnecessary crust and instead get their flavor and substance from antioxidant-dense artichoke hearts, spinach, and aromatic onion.

Better than the fact that this recipe takes mere minutes to whip up is that you can easily freeze the rest of the batch for future lunches or even for on-the-go breakfasts! If you’re normally in a hurry in the morning, don’t skip out on the most important meal of the day and learn how to choose the best breakfast for your body goals.

Get the recipe fromGimme Some Oven.

WEEK 2

Serves: 2
Nutrition: 395 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 826 mg sodium, 50 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 20 g protein (calculated with 1 tsp honey, ½ cup brown rice per serving)

Enjoy the taste of sushi without all the unnecessary calories from extra rice! This bowl is a perfect balance of carbs, fiber, and protein. The perfect high-protein substitute for raw fish (which, unfortunately, isn’t the best lunch box protein) is the extra-firm tofu used in this recipe.

If you’re going to eat tofu, make sure it’s non-GMO and organic, like House Foods’ Organic Tofu (you can pick it up at Costco). The reasoning is because GMO soy products may contain traces of pesticides, which have been known to disrupt the composition of your gut—an ailment linked to health issues that range from depression to weight gain.

Get the recipe fromConnoisseurus Veg.

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 373 calories, 22 g fat (3 g sat fat), 650 mg sodium, 37 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 12 g protein

There’s almost nothing better than a spicy noodle salad—well, except for an on-the-go version that can give you a six-pack! The red peppers in this mason jar salad are packed with vitamin C, a nutrient that’s been proven to counteract stress hormones that trigger belly fat storage.

And don’t forget the edamame; these beans provide a vegan source of protein and fiber that will stave off stomach rumbles by slowing digestion and stabilizing blood sugar. This is one salad you’ll definitely keep in your weekly lineup!

Get the recipe fromFoxes Love Lemons.

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 399 calories, 15 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 456 mg sodium, 31 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 33 g protein (calculated with small naan, ⅕ avocado, 3 oz chicken breast per serving, and without bacon or chipotle ranch sauce)

This meal is the bridge between Asian flavors and the Italian flavors you’ll have for the rest of the week. You’ll use up the rest of your avocado and red peppers in this dish, and then you’ll grill up some chicken which will be used in the following dishes.

This personal pizza provides the perfect amount of indulgence while serving up enough healthy, monounsaturated fats from the avocado to keep your brain off your hunger pangs so you can focus on your work.

Get the recipe fromCreme De La Crumb.

Serves: 6
Nutrition: 395 calories, 17 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 395 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 35 g protein (calculated with chicken breast)

Nothing screams perfect summer meal more aptly than this Grilled Chicken Melt with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomato Spread. Instead of calorie-laden spreads like mayo or Russian dressing, this sandwich gains extra flavor with a tablespoon each of sun dried tomato and basil pesto.

It’s full of slow-digesting protein from the chicken breast and some healthy fats from the mozzarella cheese to help maintain blood glucose levels and speed nutrients through your system. And you thought you couldn’t eat sandwiches while dieting!

Get the recipe fromFoodie With Family.

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 372 calories, 16 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 300 mg sodium, 39 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 14 g protein (calculated with ¾ cup spaghetti)

Instead of the orecchiette this recipe calls for, just use your leftover spaghetti from the Asian Noodle Salad! This simple pasta salad is supplemented with ripe grape tomatoes and creamy mozzarella balls.

Mozzarella is one of our favorite best low-calorie snacks because it’s full of satiating fats as well as calcium, a mineral which has been connected to boosting your body’s ability to metabolize fat more efficiently!

Get the recipe fromThe Girl Who Ate Everything.

WEEK 3

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 400 calories, 12.5 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 430 mg sodium, 36 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 40 g protein

Who needs Chipotle when you can whip up your own burrito bowl at home—and have enough leftovers for lunch for the whole week? Whip up a batch of this blogger’s carnitas, pair it with some satiating beans, crispy lettuce, corn and rice, and you’ll be feasting on high-protein lunches all week.

Get the recipe fromFit Foodie Finds.

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 355 calories, 12.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 340 mg sodium, 34 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 28 g protein (calculated with 1/2 serving pork from Carnitas Bowls, 1 cup iceberg lettuce side salad)

A sweet potato is the queen of the slow carbs, meaning your body digests them slowly so they can keep you feeling energized and fuller for longer. Not to mention, sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrients known as carotenoids, which can help you burn fat.

These antioxidants help to stabilize blood-sugar levels and lower insulin resistance, which prevents calories from being converted into fat. Nosh on this vitamin B6-rich meal to give you more energy to burn at the gym after work, and then check out these sweet potato recipes.

Get the recipe fromWhitty Paleo.

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 380 calories, 19 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 38 g protein (calculated with a serving of pork from Carnitas Bowls, Greek yogurt instead of mayo)

Who doesn’t love finger food? Save the calories—and carbs—by subbing out your tortilla shells for romaine, bibb, or iceberg lettuce. To up the staying power of your meal, top off your tacos with some healthy monounsaturated fats from an avocado.

Get the recipe fromFashionable Foods.

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 400 calories, 18 g fat (7.5 g saturated fat), 370 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 43 g protein (calculated with a serving of pork from Carnitas Bowls, 1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, 2 peppers per serving)

Reaching your weight loss goals will be easy peasy when you eat these delicious stuffed peppers for lunch. Just add a serving of carnitas, some onion, corn, and even leftover rice into a vitamin-rich poblano pepper, top with a sprinkling of cheese, and broil in the oven.

Get the recipe fromI Breathe I’m Hungry.

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 310 calories, 12.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 465 mg sodium, 22 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 28 g protein (calculated with 1/2 serving of pork from Carnitas Bowls, regular corn instead of hominy, low-sodium chicken stock)

For your end-of-the-week meal, nothing is easier than throwing a bunch of ingredients into a pot and letting it simmer on the stove. This low-cal pulled pork posole is the perfect recipe for using up all your leftovers.

Get the recipe fromBudget Bytes.

WEEK 4

Serves: 6
Nutrition: 270 calories, 11.5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 440 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 25 g protein (calculated with 2 red bell peppers, low-sodium Tamari, grapeseed oil, honey, bibb lettuce, 1 cup brown rice)

Buy a little over one pound (think 1.25) of ground turkey at the beginning of the week and watch it transform into five amazing lunches. Start off the week with this simple turkey skillet inspired by Thai flavors.

We like serving it wrapped in lettuce and with a side of brown rice. Using lean ground turkey lowers your calorie and fat content so you get more bang for your nutritional buck when you’re on a calorie-restricted diet. It’s a simple swap that helps everyone cut calories.

Get the recipe fromKalyns Kitchen.

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 400 calories, 15 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 700 mg sodium, 36 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 38 g protein

You could always purchase a pre-made Tzatziki sauce, but this recipe shows you it’s super easy to make at home (and it’ll save you from those store-bought sodium bombs). Using pantry staple Greek yogurt as its base means you can whip it up with what you probably have on hand.

Get the recipe fromOur Life Tastes Good.

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