Lunch is all about refueling. You power through your morning—whether at work, at the gym, running errands or chasing children around, and by the time the clock strikes twelve, you feel exhausted, impatient and hungry. You need nourishment (and protein!) to get your gears going again! But if you’re trying to lose weight—working to whittle your waist and tone up, too—it can feel like your food choices are limited. Everything store-bought seems to be laden with calories and weird ingredients, and you’re just not sure what to whip together to ensure you look forward to your meal while working toward that flat belly you desire. But we’ve got you covered. The following 9 clean eating and high protein lunch ideas are all under 300 calories, and are totally delicious, too!
Deli meats and cheeses move aside. This sandwich livens things up utilizing the simplest ingredients like whole grain bread, radishes, baby spinach, alfalfa sprouts, beet hummus and avocado. Plus, the oleic acid in avocados’ healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) keep feelings of hunger at bay.
Buddha bowls are a great way to incorporate a ton of veggies into one meal, and this healthy Thai coconut quinoa bowl is no exception. It’s the perfect vegetarian lunch complete with so many weight loss-enhancing ingredients. The ginger and garlic have long been recognized for their anti-inflammatory effects, while the sweet potatoes, rich in fiber, help keep you full longer.
There’s so much goodness in this innovative recipe. Chicken salad is the perfect lunchtime option, but the same old recipe can get boring after a while. This refreshing recipe features mango, kale, red cabbage, sweet bell pepper, green onions and cilantro all beautifully combined into half an avocado. Chicken is packed with protein, which is essential for weight loss, as it boosts satiety and increases post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35 percent!
When a salad isn’t cutting it and a sandwich feels too heavy, these roll-ups are perfect. They’re great to take on-the-go and eat at your leisure, or even have one as a snack in the late afternoon. So easy to make, these cucumber rolls feature one stand out ingredient for weight loss: bell peppers. Rich in vitamin C, they can help to fight off cortisol, a hormone that causes fat to accumulate around the midsection.
Falafels are typically deep fried chickpea patties, but in this unique Mediterranean-inspired recipe, they are baked instead! A whole wheat pita packed with veggies makes this a healthy and delicious lunchtime treat. The chickpeas are rich in protein, while the baby spinach provides a fun crunch that’s low in calories but nutrient-dense. You’ll fill up while eating foods that work to slim you down. Now who doesn’t want that?
Who said salads can’t taste indulgent? This fresh and bright lunchtime meal is full of fun ingredients. Quinoa is low on the glycemic index, which means it won’t spike your blood sugar, causing a sudden crash that will result in sugar or simple carbohydrate cravings soon after. The crunchy addition of the sunflower seeds means more protein, essential vitamins and minerals and fiber.
While classic tuna salad is typically filled with mayo, this recipe uses hummus instead to keep the calorie count down and the protein levels up. The addition of the healthy spice turmeric keeps bloating at bay, while the sliced red peppers add zest and that beloved addition of vitamin C for your weight loss needs.
We’ve been hearing about kale as a superfood for sometime now, but before you think this salad is played out, just listen up to the lively ingredients involved. A delicious vegan and gluten-free salad, it offers an array of nutritious vegetables and fruits like red, orange and yellow bell peppers, carrots, red onion, cilantro, parsley, roasted almonds and avocado. Plus, kale is rich in phytonutrients, such as quercetin, which helps combat inflammation.
The search for the perfect summer salad has ended with this innovative recipe made with corn, jalapeño and deliciously sweet blueberries that can help battle the bulge by providing you with vitamin C, potassium, powerful antioxidants and fiber to assist your digestive system.