Healthy Lunch Ideas To Lose Weight


Here is my list of healthy lunch ideas for weight loss. I have tried all the options myself so I can guarantee that they are delicious. If you want to lose weight and get in shape, you should be eating healthy foods. It’s not going to work if you’re feeding on junk food. These options are all affordable and will help with your weight loss goals.

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Weight Loss

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.
6–10. Low carb lunches for weight loss

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.
8. Zucchini noodle stir-fry with chicken

This zucchini noodle stir-fry is a delicious choice to make for lunch if you’re watching your carb intake and trying to lose weight.

Zucchini noodles, or “zoodles,” resemble regular noodles but are lower in carbs. The zucchini packs fiber and micronutrients, while the chicken contributes protein to this dish.

Chicken is an excellent lean protein to eat when you’re trying to lose weight. In fact, eating chicken with a vegetable-rich diet is linked to a reduced risk of developing overweight and obesity

9. Low carb eggplant pizza

Eating more non-starchy vegetables like eggplant, often helps people lose weight. Eggplant is low in calories but high in fiber.

Using it in place of pizza crust is a great way to enjoy the flavors of pizza without consuming too many refined carbs at lunch.

Good plant-based, low carb options can be hard to find, as low carb eating often includes animal products — another great reason to keep this recipe on hand.

If you work from home or have a little time for lunch meal prep, give this easy recipe for low carb eggplant pizza a try. The recipe provides options to add more protein if you’d like.
10. Mediterranean Cobb salad

Cobb salads typically include lettuce, bacon, eggs, avocados, and a creamy dressing. They’re very filling and low in carbs, making them a good lunch option for weight loss.

This Mediterranean-inspired Cobb salad is heavy on the veggies and uses a homemade yogurt dressing instead of mayo-based dressing or store-bought ranch.

Plus, many of the ingredients offer health benefits. Eggs are rich in protein and antioxidant compounds that promote eye health, while avocados and tomatoes contribute a boost of heart-healthy nutrients like unsaturated fats and lycopene (10, 11, 12).
11–13. Diabetes-friendly lunches for weight loss

If you have overweight or obesity and diabetes, a healthcare professional may have advised you to lose weight to improve or help manage your condition.

Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight are both important for good blood sugar regulation

Many people with diabetes pay attention to their carb intake at meals, as carbs can increase blood sugar levels. They may limit overall carbs or try to keep the number of carbs consistent at each meal.

11. Avocado toast with cottage cheese and tomatoes

A diabetes-friendly lunch resembles a balanced plate, containing fiber from non-starchy vegetables and complex carbs, protein, and healthy fat.

Pairing carbs with these other macronutrients is key to preventing your blood sugar from spiking, helping maintain good blood sugar and energy levels throughout the day

Avocado toast on whole grain bread can be a great base for this type of lunch. This diabetes-friendly version features protein-packed cottage cheese and fresh tomatoes to complete the meal.

12. Lemon chicken quinoa salad

Salads made with a base of whole grains make healthy lunches that are easy to pack up for work.

Though quinoa is technically a pseudocereal, it’s often grouped with whole grains since it’s nutritionally similar and has a high fiber content.

It’s also a source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, making it a good food to add to meals for weight loss and blood sugar management

This quinoa salad gets additional protein from chicken, includes tons of non-starchy veggies, and has plenty of flavor from lemon juice and parsley.

13. Black bean soup

Black beans are a high fiber, high protein food. Eating them can help people with diabetes who are trying to lose weight.

They’re also a good source of folate, a B vitamin that’s necessary for healthy blood cells and fetal development

Making a soup with black beans is an easy and affordable lunch option. This black bean soup recipe uses veggies, canned black beans, and lots of seasonings.
14–17. Paleo lunches for weight loss

A Paleolithic (paleo) diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, animal proteins, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats while eliminating sugar, grains, beans and legumes, most dairy, vegetable oils, and alcohol. It’s intended to resemble the diet of hunter-gatherers.

Since the paleo diet includes lots of nutritious foods and limits foods that may contribute to weight gain, some people find it useful for weight loss.

It may also have other beneficial effects on health, such as improving blood sugar and reducing blood pressure

14. Egg roll in a bowl

If you love the taste of takeout egg rolls, you can easily mimic the flavors by making a deconstructed version for lunch.

Plus, eggs roll bowls can be made with filling, lean protein like ground turkey or chicken. They’re also usually loaded with cabbage, a rich source of vitamin K.

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble nutrient that’s essential for proper blood clotting (19, 20).

This egg roll in a bowl recipe is a healthier twist on a takeout favorite and is suitable for those following a paleo diet and wanting to lose weight.

15. Paleo Greek meatballs with tzatziki sauce

Meatballs are a meal-prep-friendly food you can enjoy for lunch.

Pair them with fresh vegetables and a tasty sauce for a balanced meal. The meatballs will provide filling protein and vitamin B12, an important nutrient for the nervous system, while veggies contribute fiber

Check out this paleo-friendly recipe for Greek meatballs with tzatziki sauce to make for lunch.

16. Paleo chicken curry

Chicken curry is made with a variety of seasonings that may provide health benefits. For example, turmeric has anti-inflammatory compounds that help protect against disease development .

A paleo version of chicken curry made with cauliflower rice instead of white rice is a healthy lunch option for weight loss.

This chicken curry recipe is suitable for a paleo diet and features flavorful spices and filling ingredients like coconut milk and veggies.

73+ Best Healthy Lunch Recipes for Weight Loss — Eat This Not That

Delicious, Healthy Lunches That Will Help You Lose Weight

If you’re trying to lose weight, coming up with delicious lunches that fit with your goals or calorie budget can be a pain, especially since the middle of the day tends to be the busiest time for most people. It’s super tempting to skip a meal or eat something small that’s not very filling just to get through the day. If this sounds like you, the good news is that there are plenty of easy recipes you can prepare for this mid-day meal.

Here are 75 tasty and healthy ideas, along with some helpful tips, to take some of that stress off your plate. Whether you’re looking for vegetarian, vegan, or keto options, there is a dish that is full of flavor and loaded with nutrients here for you. The list even includes some popular cultural foods (yes, you can eat a nutritious meal without abandoning your favorite family recipes). In fact, there are plenty of substitutions and alternatives to make the food you love healthier. Because let’s face it, not all of us are salad lovers (there’s nothing wrong with being one, though!).

What are some ideas for a simple, healthy lunch?
Taking time out of your morning to pack your lunch can be difficult. TBH, it’s a lot easier to grab something quick. Just know that you could be depriving yourself of the nutrients you need when you do that, which will probably leave you feeling extra hungry in the afternoon and evening, says Traci Fields, RD, a NYC-based registered dietitian. Waiting until later in the day to eat a full meal can backfire on your weight loss goals, since you’re more likely to grab foods that are unhealthy due to cravings, she explains. It’s also best to consume the majority of your calories earlier in the day, so your body can spend the rest of the afternoon taking on a smaller dinner and burning those calories off.

20 Ways To Lose Weight Without Counting Calories

A simple way to stay on track with your goals is by simply meal prepping the night before. Fields says having fresh cut vegetables to grab on the go or a portioned bag of nuts, hard boiled eggs, and seasonal fresh foods that can be consumed when you’re in a rush is ideal. “Being prepared will enable you to stick to your goals and not blow any progress by consuming unhealthy quick snacks that would derail your healthy eating plan,” she says. Fields also recommends trying intermittent fasting and always having a water bottle on hand since people often mistake thirst with hunger.

Some easy-to-make lunch ideas include:

A tuna salad on a lettuce wrap
Fresh cut vegetables
A salad with fresh berries
Hard boiled eggs with cheese, greens, and some baby carrots
Plain low-fat Greek yogurt
A green smoothie
All of these lunches have no processed carbs that will spike your blood sugar. They’re also high in protein, contain healthy fats, and provide all the nutrients you need to stay full. They can be paired with whatever beverage you prefer, although Fields suggest water, coffee, or teas as long as there are added calories from sweeteners, sugars, and milk.

BTW, in case you were wondering, there’s no such thing as belly fat-burning foods. “You cannot spot-burn fat,” says Fields. “Burning fat occurs with exercise and the type of diet consumed.” She also emphasizes that eating adequate protein, non-starchy vegetables, and healthy fats can help with the process.

Healthy lunch ideas for weight loss

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Weight Loss

1. Greek Quinoa Salad

Calories (per serving): 341

This Greek salad features chickpeas, cucumber, olives, and fresh herbs for a super flavorful and fiber-filled lunch.

It’s got protein courtesy of chickpeas, and the quinoa can be whipped up in an Instant Pot. It’s also vegan.

2. Instant Pot Pakistani Chana Dal

Calories: 238

This gluten-free Pakistani Chana Dal (split chickpea) is vegetarian and only takes 15 minutes to make, and it’s a flavor explosion thanks to spices like cumin, ginger, and turmeric. Throw the ingredients in an Instant Pot and enjoy.

3. Kale And Brussels Sprout Salad

Calories: 201

This kale and Brussels sprout salad is anything but boring. It’s filled with shredded kale and sprouts, cranberries, marinated onions, almonds, and pecorino cheese. It takes just 20 minutes to make, and it can keep in the fridge for two to three days after making.

4. Creamy Carrot-Tomato Soup

Calories: 219

This vegan tomato and carrot soup is dairy-free and paleo. It has a base of creamy coconut milk and almond butter, plus tons of fresh herbs, lime, and red pepper flakes.

5. Egg Roll In A Bowl

Calories: 281

This recipe takes all the good fillings of a classic egg roll and puts them in a fresh and healthy bowl, featuring juicy meat or tofu, fresh ginger and garlic, soy sauce, and tons of thin strips of fresh veggies. And it tastes phenomenal reheated too.

6. Chicken Tortilla Soup

Calories: 142

This authentic chicken tortilla soup is seasoned with tomato and pasilla pepper, plus loads of sautéed veggies that can be topped with baked tortilla strips, avocado, panela cheese, chopped cilantro, and a dash of fresh lime juice.

7. Vegan Spinach And Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

Calories: 471

This creamy vegan pasta is budget- and time-friendly—it takes just 20 minutes to make. It features garlic, spinach, and basil, with the flavor punch of sun-dried tomatoes. You can store it up to five days in the fridge, so it’s a great option for a full week of lunches.

8. Whole30 Chicken Salad

Calories: 252

This protein-packed chicken salad is Whole30- and keto-friendly. It’s made with mayo, Dijon mustard, celery, and grapes for great crunch and flavor. It keeps for three to five days, and you can whip it up in just 10 minutes.

9. Slow Cooker Yellow Chicken Curry

Calories: 357

This hearty chicken curry is made with a base of coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. It has a kick thanks to cayenne pepper and is also full of veggies. You can freeze this for up to two months, so this big batch is perfect for storage.

10. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Calories: 180

These lettuce wraps spare you the calories but pack the crunch. They’re made with veggies like chopped carrots, celery, and water chestnuts. The protein in these is chicken, but you can sub in pork, shrimp, or a combo.

11. Venezuelan Arepas

Calories (no filling): 110

Arepas are drool-worthy cornmeal pockets that you can fill with favorite vegan dishes, writes Michelle, the creator of this recipe and who is behind the Healthier Steps recipe site.

12. Garlic Chili Chickpea Patties

If a chickpea patty sounds meh to you, you haven’t tried this one. It’s made with a bunch of flavor enhancers, like garlic chili sauce, peanut butter, and cumin. Make several of these and freeze them for a quick and easy weekday lunch.

13. Low-Carb Vegan Tuna Salad

Calories: 347

Is there anything chickpeas can’t do? In this recipe, you’ll be mashing them up until their consistency looks similar to that of tuna’s. Once you dress the vegan tuna up, you’ll lay it on some lettuce to keep this recipe low-carb.

14. Chinese Garlic Tofu Stir Fry

Calories: 315

You’re going to drool over the sticky soy garlic sauce coating the tofu in this dish, except it doesn’t really contain soy—it’s made with coconut aminos. Pair the tofu with veggies or rice to complete your meal.

15. Garlic Shrimp And Asparagus With Zucchini Noodles

Calories: 321

Lunch will be ready in 20 if you just grab a spiralizer to prep your nutrient-packing zoodles. This recipe calls for less than 10 ingredients, and most of them are spices and garnishes like sea salt and chopped parsley.

16. Kimchi Tempeh Tacos

Calories: 336

Kimchi’s tasty on its own, but in a taco, it’s next-level. The tacos also use tempeh as their “meat,” but to make them completely vegan, swap the sour cream and mayo for some dairy-free alternatives.

17. Peanut Crunch Salad

Nope, there aren’t actual peanuts in this salad. Instead, it gets its crunch from veggies like chickpeas, cucumbers, and shredded carrots. There is a yummy peanut dressing you’ll prep using peanut butter though.

18. Vegan Gyros With Tempeh

Calories: 262

You’re going to want to dive into these vegan gyros ASAP. They sub the lamb meat with flavorful tempeh you’ll cook and dress with a Greek-inspired marinade made with ingredients like thyme, tamari, and garlic.

19. Noodleless Chicken Pad Thai

Calories: 345

This chicken pad thai swaps the noodles for loads of veggies, including broccoli slaw, cabbage, and carrot, so you can bet it’s packed with nutrients. The dish is also gluten-free and Whole30-approved.

20. Keto Egg Drop Soup

Calories: 332

you can bet this egg drop soup gets as close to the OG version as possible. The star ingredient is clearly egg, but the recipe also calls for chicken thighs.

21. Street Corn Pasta Salad with Cilantro Pesto + Goat Cheese

Calories: 343

Street corn + cilantro pesto = sooo much flavor—it’s hard to find something this dish doesn’t have. But you can add grilled chicken, shrimp, or black beans if you’re looking for a boost of protein.

22. Paleo Turkey Pot Pie

Calories: 477

This turkey pot pie is the comfort food you’ve been missing. It’s basically turkey and vegetables dressed in a light thyme-sage gravy, and it’s the perfect healthy lunch idea for a day you’re feeling cozy.

23. Tahini Pesto Tofu Salad

The pesto in this salad is made with tahini instead of olive oil to add more fiber and minerals, like calcium, to the dish. Yum!

24. Crispy Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos

Calories: 164

The crispy buffalo cauliflower in this recipe is a tasty substitute for chicken. Add what you want for toppings—roasted veggies, avocado, cabbage. There’s room for customization.

25. Low Carb Spaghetti Carbonara

Calories: 421

The spaghetti in this recipe is actually made from butternut squash noodles, which some might say are a little tastier than zoodles, but you can opt for any veggie based-noodle really. Butternut squash noodles pack a little bit more carb content than zoodles, but this recipe provides a good balance of fat, carbs, and protein.

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