Your stomach has been growling since 10 a.m., and it’s finally lunchtime. What are some low fat lunch ideas that will satisfy your hunger and not sabotage your diet? Try these ideas!
Soup is a great lunchtime choice, especially on cool fall and winter days. It will warm you up (and the liquid will fill you up), and most varieties are low calorie. Avoid cream-type soups; those with vegetable or tomato bases are usually lower in fat. Pair the soup with carrot and celery sticks or a stick of string cheese.
It’s true that many sandwiches are diet busters, but they don’t have to be. Start with two slices of whole grain bread and add a slice of turkey or chicken and a slice of low fat cheese. Choose low fat condiments such as mustard or relish. If you have access to a small grill, you can grill the sandwich to give it extra pizzazz – voila, it’s a panini!
Add a piece of fruit for variety.
Salad is a familiar low calorie, low fat standby – or at least many people think so. If you order a chef’s salad from a restaurant though, you may be shocked to learn that it tops 1000 calories! Keep your lunchtime salad diet friendly by using only low fat items such as lettuce, veggies such as tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and green peppers, and by ditching the cheese. If you’re trying a low carb diet, add a protein such as a hard boiled egg or chicken.
Be aware of the fat and calorie content of the dressing you choose, and use dressing sparingly. Dressings are often the highest fat and calorie portion of a salad.
Fruit is a refreshing, low fat food for lunch. Try cutting up an apple and eating it dipped in peanut butter. Or, chop up some fruit you have at home to creat a delicious fruit salad. If you make your fruit salad ahead of time, beware of apples and bananas which will turn brown. A sprinkling of lemon juice should help with this.
Bananas are another excellent lunchtime choice for dieters. Try pairing a banana with a steaming bowl of oatmeal to add some whole grain goodness to your lunch. This will keep you full for longer.
Fish is a healthy food that most of us don’t eat enough of. Try a piece of a lowfat fish such as salmon. Grill the fish and serve it on a bed of whole wheat rice, perhaps with some steamed veggies thrown in for color and variety. Healthy and filling!
Watch the Beverage …
Whichever lunchtime choice you make, beware of your beverage. Choosing water or a diet drink will keep your calorie count low. Drinking juice, while healthy, can easily add a couple of hundred calories to your lunch. Regular soft drinks can add that amount as well, without adding any nutritional benefit.
Making wise lunch choices will keep you functioning at your best throughout your day.