How often do you find yourself scarfing down a burger, a club sandwich, a bag of chips, a donut, or something else unhealthy because it’s all you’ve got for lunch?
Sadly, I think you’ll find the answer is “more than you should”.
It’s tough to find a balance with your daily meals. You’ve got to find a lunch that’s healthy, filling, and easy to bring to work—a taller order than most people realize.
Often, we just end up throwing something quick and easy together and tell ourselves we’ll “do better tomorrow”.
But here’s a happy truth: healthy lunches don’t have to be difficult to make, messy to eat, or leave you hungry after you’re done. You can prepare quick, simple meals that are also incredibly good for you, filling, and easy to pack for work.
Check out our nine simple ideas for your weight loss-friendly lunches:
Chicken Breast Wrap
Chicken breast is one of the healthiest proteins on the planet! Not only is it low in fat, but it’s packed with protein and minerals your body needs. Best of all, it’s wonderfully filling, especially when paired with the right carbs and veggies.
Grill your chicken breast, cut it into strips, and wrap it up in a flour tortilla with all your favorite taco fillings: lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, chipotle (or chipotle mayo), and a few slices of pickled onions. Bring this meal to work with a small packet of hot sauce, and you’ve got a feast you’ll enjoy every day!
Leave the sugar-y, flour-packed muffins alone, and instead break out your own healthy lunch!
Dice onions, tomatoes, spinach, and garlic, and fry it lightly in a skillet. Cook low-sodium sausages or bacon on the side, then pour all of your ingredients into a muffin baking tray. Finish by pouring in beaten eggs and top with a few shreds of cheese, then bake until the egg muffins are done. It’s a protein-rich treat that you can heat up in the microwave for a quick and easy hot lunch!
Potatoes are higher in carbs than you might like, but they are mostly complex carbs that are good for your health. Plus, they’ll take longer to digest in your stomach, so they’ll keep you full for hours.
Cut your potato into bite-sized cubs, and steam until soft. Mix in celery, corn, pickles, two boiled eggs, and a light drizzling of olive oil and vinaigrette, with a hint of mustard and paprika for a nice little kick. Bring that to work, and eat either hot or cold for a delicious and nutritious lunch.
Grilled Steak Salad
Throw a steak onto the grill, slice it into strips, and bring it in a container you can heat in the microwave. In another container, pack a salad of mixed dark greens, cucumber, and bean sprouts. Top it all off with your favorite dressing and a bit of shredded cheese, and you have a salad made in heaven.
Who says lunch has to be a simple meal? You can make it delightful and delicious with a complex-tasting stir fry.
Use shrimp as the protein, and stir-fry them up with garlic, ginger, scallions, a cup of shredded carrots, onions, bell peppers, and some shredded cabbage. Add soy sauce, sesame seed oil, and a bit of Sriracha as the flavor base, and stir-fry until all the veggies are cooked. With half a cup of white or brown rice, it’s a well-rounded dish that everyone in the office will envy.
Pasta Salad in a Jar
This is a marvellously simple and wickedly tasty meal you can make in a matter of minutes!
Pour a couple of tablespoons of dressing into the bottom of a mason jar, and add in cubed tomatoes, sliced black olives, some pasta cooked al dente, a bit of spinach, and feta cheese. Seal tightly, and when it comes time to eat, simply invert the jar to “dress” your salad and mix with a spoon.
Southwest Chicken Quinoa
Bring the delicious flavors of the Southwest to work with you in this deliciously healthy meal.
Saute onions, garlic, green peppers, and sliced chicken breast in a pan, and season with cumin, chili pepper, salt, and black pepper. Add in a small can of whole tomatoes, and cook until bubbling. After crushing the tomatoes with your cooking spoon, stir in ¼ cup of quinoa. Keep the mixture cooking until the quinoa is soft and ready to eat. Pack it into a small microwave-safe container, with a bit of hot sauce and some shredded cheese on the side.
Switch up your favorite sandwich and make it exponentially healthier by adding a bit of Omega 3-rich fish into the mix. It’s hearty, filling, and very good for your health!
Pack all of the ingredients for a BLT (grilled bacon, whole lettuce leaves, and a sliced tomato) in an airtight container, along with a thin-sliced, lightly-seasoned strip of salmon. A bit of mayo, some mustard, and a hot sauce of your choice will make this sandwich an absolute treat.
Grilled Pork Mediterranean Salad
Season your favorite pork chops lightly with salt and pepper, throw them onto a grill, and cook until perfect. Slice them into strips and set to one side.
Mix up a Mediterranean salad of shredded lettuce, tomatoes, feta cheese, basil, cucumber, and olives. Pack it in an air-tight container, and bring the salad dressing in a separate container. When the time comes to eat, mix the salad, dressing, and the grilled pork to make yourself a hearty, filling salad that will keep you satisfied for hours to come!
These lunches don’t require a lot of effort, and they’re easy enough that you can make them either the night before or in the morning before leaving. Bring them with you to work and you’ll find it’s much easier to stay on your weight loss diet while still enjoying every bite of your home-made lunches!
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