We’re excited to introduce our new FREE guide, ‘Best Packed Lunch For Weight Loss’. This practical guide will give you the tools and recipes you need to achieve your weight loss goals. And it’s completely FREE.
Are you wondering what what to pack in your kid’s lunch, but don’t know what to give them? Here are 10 recipes for the best packed lunch for weight loss and some healthy tips.
Best Packed Lunch For Weight Loss
Eating balanced lunches that include vegetables, a lean protein source, and other health-promoting foods can aid weight loss.
We understand that having a healthy lunch is not always easy, especially if you’re busy at work or on the go during the day.
That’s why it’s important to have a list of go-to lunch ideas on hand. This way, you can stay prepared and avoid skipping meals or relying on fast food and other less healthy options.
Here are 17 healthy lunch ideas for weight loss, including choices for plant-based, low carb, diabetes-friendly, and paleo diets.
Plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, are full of fiber and beneficial nutrients. They tend to be filling, and many of them are lower in calories than certain animal products and highly processed foods.
Thus, plant-based diets like vegan or vegetarian diets have been associated with weight loss in some people
1. Lentil soup
Soups are an ideal plant-based lunch option, as you can make them ahead of time and reheat them for a quick meal.
This lentil soup recipe is a complete meal in one bowl. It’s loaded with ingredients that are good to eat when you’re trying to lose weight.
Lentils provide filling protein and carbs while the veggies contribute additional fiber. Plus, lentils are a good source of iron, an important nutrient for blood health that some plant-based eaters may lack in their diets
2. Garden veggie chickpea salad sandwiches
Chickpeas are a versatile vegetarian protein. Some research suggests that chickpeas aid weight management, likely due to the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and variety of beneficial compounds they contain.
The texture of chickpeas makes them very easy to smash with a fork to create a chickpea “salad” filling for sandwiches — the perfect lunch food.
This recipe for garden veggie chickpea salad sandwiches is a delicious lunch option if you’re trying to lose weight and eat a plant-based diet. If you follow a vegan diet, swap out the mayo for a vegan substitute.
3. Spicy peanut tofu Buddha bowls
Tofu is a soy-based complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids that humans need to get from foods. It’s also a source of isoflavones, which are compounds that may protect against heart disease .
Some people shy away from tofu if they don’t know how to cook it or don’t like the texture, but preparing tofu that’s crispy and delicious is easy to do at home.
Try these tofu Buddha bowls for lunch. They’re made with crispy tofu, brown rice, veggies, and a spicy peanut dressing.
4. Veggie wraps
A healthy wrap is a great lunch choice, especially if you need something that you can make ahead of time to eat at your desk or in between meetings.
Fortunately, it’s really easy to make plant-based wraps. To ensure that they’re filling, delicious, and help you lose weight, choose whole wheat wraps (or use lettuce) and add a protein source, healthy sauce or spread, and plenty of vegetables.
This veggie wraps recipe uses whole wheat tortillas, hummus, carrots, cucumbers, and other veggies. The edamame and hummus provide protein, while the avocado contributes healthy fats that help you feel full.
5. Quinoa and black bean stuffed sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes make a great base for plant-based lunches. They provide energizing carbs, plenty of fiber, and the pigment beta carotene, which can help you meet your needs for vitamin A to help support your immune system
Plus, stuffed sweet potatoes can be packed up to enjoy at the office or put together quickly if you work from home. Bake the sweet potatoes and prep the filling in advance, then store them in containers in the fridge. Assemble the potatoes and reheat them when you’re ready to eat.
This recipe for stuffed sweet potatoes uses Southwest seasonings and offers tips for vegan topping alternatives if needed.
Many people find that a low carb or keto diet helps them lose weight. This style of eating involves limiting high carb foods and increasing your intake of fats and proteins.
Some research backs the potential role of low carb eating to help you lose weight, suggesting that limiting your carb intake may improve your blood sugar regulation in a way that promotes weight loss
That said, these diets may also lead to weight regain when discontinued. Also, high carb, fiber-containing whole grains may help keep you feeling fuller for longer, so a lack of carbs at lunch may cause you to feel unsatisfied soon after meals.
6. Cauliflower rice bowls
Replacing regular rice with cauliflower rice is one way to cut back on your carb intake at lunchtime, especially if you eat burrito bowls or other dishes that typically contain rice.
Using cauliflower not only lowers the carb content of the meal but also provides a ton of vitamin C. This water-soluble nutrient is important for skin health, wound healing, and many other body functions.
Follow this recipe for cauliflower rice bowls for a low carb version of a burrito bowl.
7. Tuna egg salad stuffed peppers
Tuna and eggs are two affordable, high protein foods that will keep you full long after lunch.
In fact, eating eggs instead of a higher carb meal may help reduce hunger and the number of calories you consume later in the day, which can help promote weight loss .
While egg and tuna salads are usually served on bread, you can stuff them into bell peppers for a low carb meal instead. Check out this easy recipe for tuna egg salad stuffed bell peppers.
12 Easy Healthy Lunch Ideas for Weight Loss
For weight loss, I’ve found the Macro plate ideal with 1/2 your meal from veggies. Then for weight maintenance, I use the Myplate meal plan method, and get some extra carbs!
Instead, I’ve been using some meal prep lunch containers I found at Walmart (super cheap, only $3.46 for 5 of them). These have had the best seal, and my dressing doesn’t leak to the other compartments. (here’s more portioned lunch boxes here)
If you don’t have a Walmart close by, I also got these red containers on Amazon. However, I was not as impressed with these. The dressing does leak to the other compartment. If you don’t have liquids in here, these will work ok.
I started grad school this fall and I’ve been packing my lunch too take to school and sharing it on my stories.
But, just in case you missed it, here’s a recap of the meals I’ve taken to school so far. (and some of them are posted on my 30 day meal plan here)
I always try to eat
🥦 1/2 my meal veggies
🍗 1/4 protein and
🍎 1/4 carbs!
Healthy Lunch #1
- Ground turkey with mustard
- White rice
- Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and bolthouse dressing
Weight Loss Lunch #2
- Ground turkey with avocado
- Bell peppers, cucumbers, and Bolthouse dressing
Healthy Lunch #3
- Chicken breast with BBQ Sauce
- Russet Potato
- Cucumbers, broccoli, pepper, and carrots
Healthy Lunch #4
- Protein: Chicken breasts
- Carbs: Apples
- Veggies: Carrots, cucumber, and Bolthouse dressing
Healthy Lunch #5
- Protein: Ground turkey with BBQ sauce and cheese
- Carbs: Rice with butter flavored cooking spray.
- Veggies: Roasted Peppers, onions, broccoli
Healthy Lunch #6
- Protein: Chicken breasts
- Carbs: Potatoes
- Veggies: Green salad, carrots, and Bolthouse dressing
Healthy Lunch #7
- Protein: Chicken breasts
- Carbs: peaches
- Veggies: Carrots, cucumber, red peppers, and Bolthouse dressing
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Weight Loss
BLATs (Bacon-Lettuce-Avocado-Tomato Sandwiches)
In this healthy BLT recipe, we use a creamy avocado spread flavored with garlic and basil, and add sprouts. Look for sprouted-wheat bread in the frozen section or with other specialty breads at your grocery store.
Shrimp Pad Thai Salad
Transform pad thai into a healthy salad by swapping sliced cabbage “noodles” for the rice noodles–and save more than 100 calories. Look for sustainable shrimp certified by an independent agency, such as the Marine Stewardship Council. If you can’t find it, wild shrimp from North America is likely to be sustainably caught.
In this healthy recipe, we turn the ingredients of the quintessential antipasto platter into a great big salad with the addition of leafy greens and other vegetables for a fun, healthy dinner. Serve with crusty Italian bread.
Japanese-Inspired Beef & Noodle Salad
Sirloin steak, soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles) and shredded carrots make this healthy, sesame-soy steak salad recipe a sophisticated, easy dinner any night of the week.
Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas
In this cucumber, tomato, Swiss cheese and chickpea salad recipe, a healthy green goddess dressing is made from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. The extra dressing is delicious served with grilled vegetables.
Cold Noodle Salad
This Asian-inspired cold noodle salad with peanut butter, snow pea pods, chicken, and bell pepper is easy to make ahead and pack for lunch.
Chickpea & Quinoa Buddha Bowl
It seems Buddha bowls have as many variations as there are stars in the sky, and there is no wrong way to build one! But we prefer to keep things classic and simple with hummus, quinoa, avocado and loads of veggies!
Smoky Artichoke-Sardine Salad
Smoked paprika and sherry vinegar add Spanish flair to the dressing of this artichoke-and-sardine salad. Try this salad for a take-along lunch. To keep the salad greens from getting soggy, pack the greens, salad toppings and dressing in separate containers and toss them together just before eating.
Egg Salad Bento Lunch
This egg salad bento box is a hearty lunch and snack all in one. Spoon the egg salad into a lettuce “bowl” to keep it looking pretty and enjoy with cocktail bread and veggies. Toss banana and blueberries with yogurt to keep the bananas from turning brown. Save the chocolate chips and pistachios for an afternoon pick-me-up.