Quick Healthy Lunch Ideas for Weight Loss
Eating a healthy lunch while balancing a busy schedule can be challenging. You want to eat a healthy lunch but you don't have time to cook a real meal. This is even tougher if you're trying to lose weight. Thankfully, there are lunch options that are quick, inexpensive, taste decent, and will help you lose weight.
Frozen food is quick, convenient, inexpensive and surprisingly healthy.
There's a stigma attached to frozen food but in some ways frozen food might actually be healthier for you than regular food. For example, scientists have found higher levels of vitamins and antioxidants in frozen fruit and vegetables. This doesn't make frozen food "better" than fresh food but it certainly makes it a discussion.
The biggest perk of frozen food is convenience. You can have a healthy, tasty meal ready in a few minutes or less. Furthermore, it's usually much less expensive than eating a similar meal at a restaurant. And unlike restaurant meals, you know all of the ingredients and you control the calorie count. There's no hidden MSG or reused oil in frozen foods. Monosodium glutamate (commonly known as MSG and many other synonyms) is a popular food additive that enhances the flavors of food. There are conflicting reports over whether MSG is healthy or not but it almost definitely makes you more hungry.
There's a lot of great frozen food brands that can help you lose weight. Here's a few of our favorite flavors. They all range from approximately 250-400 calories each. If you limit your lunch to these and a low calorie side, you'll definitely lose weight.
- Evol Egg & Green Chile Burrito
- Evol Sriracha Chicken
- Good Food Made Simple Southwestern Veggie Egg White Burrito
- Healthy Choice Kung Pao Chicken
- Healthy Choice Orange Zest Chicken
- Lean Cuisine Chicken Pecan
- Sweet Earth Functional Burritos
Looking for a vegan option? Make a complete meal out of healthy snacks.
Snack is another word that has a stigma associated with it. Some people say that a meal can't consist of snacks. We wholeheartedly disagree. Like we mentioned in our article about healthy snacks that are filling, we're big fans of KIND Healthy Grains. They contain a diverse mix of whole grains and make a versatile base for a complete meal. A whole grain is simply a grain like rice in its original intact form versus eating a processed derivative like rice flour. Eating whole grains instead of refined grains has a variety of benefits including more nutrients, more fiber, and better satiety.
To make a complete meal, you could start by adding some seeds or nuts like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, or a mix of seeds like Nature's Path Qi'a Chia, Buckwheat, and Hemp Cereal. You could also add an oil like almond oil. Or if you're looking for a cereal like texture, you could mix in some almond milk. Then you can increase the total nutritional value with berries like goji berries or a dried greens mix like Living Intentions Hemp & Greens Superfood Cereal. Finally, you could make it tastier with a spice like seasoned salt or a sweetener like vanilla syrup.
Simply put, there's an infinite amount of ways you can make a quick, healthy lunch using KIND Healthy Grains.
Snack on some jerky.
Jerky is another food that has a stigma associated with it. And realistically, it's probably better for you to have a freshly cooked chicken breast. Unfortunately, it's not always possible to have a freshly cooked chicken breast when you're on the run. And if your options come down to jerky or potato chips and pretzels, we think jerky is a much better choice.
Jerky is a low-calorie, high protein food with a diverse mix of amino acids that will keep you satiated and help you lose weight. One of our favorite types of jerky is Perky Jerky Turkey Jerky, Sweet & Snappy. It's tender, tasty, and contains no nitrates. Nitrates are salts that are frequently added to processed meats to increase shelf life. Whether nitrates are bad for you is a matter of debate but there are possible links between nitrates and cancer, diabetes, and other ailments. Oberto also makes good turkey jerky. We also like Jack Link's Beef Jerky, Teriyaki.
If you're feeling more adventurous, you could also try Buffalo Bob's Wild Game Jerky. It's a sampler with a variety of different types of jerky including alligator, elk, ostrich, buffalo, and venison. Truth be told, it doesn't taste as good as the big name brands but it might have more nutritional value as there are benefits to eating wild game vs. farm-raised animals.
Add some olive oil or ranch dressing to your salad.
Salad is a common quick, healthy lunch idea. Unfortunately, it doesn't exactly make you salivate or make you excited. This is where olive oil or ranch dressing helps out. Both will make your salad taste better and will actually help you absorb more nutrients from the salad.
There's a stigma against using salad dressing with a high concentration of fat and you should definitely make sure not to add too much dressing. But you can absolutely add 1-3 tablespoons or so and feel satiated, get more out of your salad, and lose weight. The key is to simply count the calories you're adding with the dressing. The exact total to aim for depends on your weight, gender, age, and activity level but a meal of 400-600 calories is generally low enough to lose weight.