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Eating healthy can sometimes feel downright laborious. Suddenly the calorie counts of favorite menu items spiral into consciousness, and it seems like everything tasty is laden with a boatload of fat and sugar. But does committing to healthy eating need to be such a chore?
Absolutely not! It’s possible to eat well while still slashing calories. These lunch ideas all contain fewer than 150 calories, but they nevertheless pack a flavorful punch.
12 Easy 150 Calorie Lunch Ideas
- 1. Dine Like Asians Do
Most people looking to reduce their caloric and/or fat intake turn to salads to get their nutrients. While this works for most people, some with certain digestive disorders end up with stomach bloating and gas. Why not take a tip from our neighbors in the east and lightly stir fry some veggies instead?
Broccoli, peppers and carrots stir fry well with a dash of soy sauce and peanut oil. Flavoring with a flourish of sesame seeds and ginger can add a nice flavor.
2. Hit the Farmer’s Market
During the warmer months, local farmers markets offer a host of delicious treats, many of them with a low calorie count. Take advantage of the seasons’ abundance by creating a tasty vegan Buddha bowl sure to tantalize taste buds.
Select fruits and vegetables in different colors to get the largest nutrient punch. Add low-calorie and low-fat forms of protein by tossing in a bit of tofu, kidney beans or black-eyed peas.
3. Something Might Be Fishy
Fish also contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids as well as a ton of protein for relatively few calories. A schmear of guacamole seasoned with onions and peppers provides great flavor and vitamin E for fewer calories.
4. Rice, Rice, Baby
Those seeking to reduce their carbohydrate intake have long turned to the humble cauliflower as a substitute for wheat or rice flour. Cilantro-lime cauliflower rice makes the perfect lunch that won’t offend senses of coworkers when microwaved.
The cilantro and lime make this dish so good, diners feel as if they’re chowing down on calorie-laden fried rice. But thanks to the cauliflower, this dish weighs in with a fraction of the pound-packing-on power.
5. Cucumbers Aren’t for Scaring Cats
A while back, videos of people scaring their cats with cucumbers went viral. Instead of torturing felines, slice a cucumber into a flavorful salad that won’t lead to adjusting the notch on any belt buckles.
Many cucumber salads contain fattening mayonnaise, but substituting yogurt keeps the calorie count low. Adding fresh mint and red chili peppers adds flavor without packing on the pounds.
6. PB and J with a Twist
Okay, so these are a tad over 150 calories (weighing in at just 160), but they also deliver 18 grams of protein to the gullet. Prep peanut butter protein balls on a Sunday afternoon and keep them in a covered container for a quick grab-and-go lunch during the week.
Feeling like a PB and J without all the calories? Dip the balls in a sugar-free jam for all the goodness without having to invest in bigger pants.
7. Omelets Are Tasty Anytime
Sure, most people think of omelets as Sunday brunch fare, but given the high-protein, low-calorie properties of eggs, there’s nothing stopping anyone with a stove in their office from whipping one up. To reduce the calories in the typical omelet, most people stick to egg whites. While this is one way to lower the caloric punch, it’s not the only one.
Omit the calorie-dense cheese in favor of peppers, onion or mushrooms. Gotta have the cheese? Switch to a lower-fat or vegan version to keep things on the lighter side.
8. Go Just a Bit Nutty
Nuts are chock-full of protein and even though they do contain high levels of fats, they’re the heart-healthy omega-3 laden variety. Mix up a spicy trail mix on the weekend and take a bit along for lunch to nosh on during the workweek.
Those who prefer things on the spicy side enjoy the wasabi in the blend, but those with milder tastes can omit it. Either way, noshers enjoy a crunchy blast of goodness for relatively few calories.
9. Yes, You Can Ask Where’s the Beef
Most people associate beef with steak, potatoes and a ton of calories, but it doesn’t have to. Non-vegetarians can nosh away on beef stew without adding extra pounds around the waist. Since many store varieties contain high levels of sodium, homemade is your best bet.
Seeking something to eat on the run? Try looking up recipes for slender or light barbecue meatloaf muffins for a quick energy boost on the fly.
10. Steal Some Peeps’ Hearts
Hearts of palm contain high levels of certain B-vitamins, and like most veggies they contain few calories. Hearts of palm lend an interesting flavor to salads and taste great with little more than a dash of vinaigrette on their own. Hearts of palm left to marinate in vinaigrette overnight absorb more of the delectable taste.
11. Ain’t Nothing Like Mama’s Chicken Soup
Soups with clear broths usually contain few calories, and they possess tons of vitamins and minerals. People have long turned to chicken soup to detox and recover from illnesses. But reaching for a can on a store shelf can mean consuming more than the recommended daily amount of sodium.
Whip up a batch of homemade chicken soup and store in microwave-safe containers for lunch on the go. Even eating a bowl of soup before consuming a larger meal helps people cut their calorie consumption.
12. Sweet Treats to End Your Meal
Shedding extra pounds doesn’t need to mean skipping dessert anymore. Dig into some FroYo to enjoy a sweet ending to lunch or any meal of the day. The dish is so delicious that few realize they intake yummy protein and vitamins, too.
Eating Light Any Time of Day
Losing weight doesn’t mean feeling miserable and hungry. It’s possible to make lunch, or any meal of the day, tasty and light. Get started on your own path to looking great and losing weight today!