Trying to come up with healthy lunch ideas for weight loss can be a real challenge. And if you don’t plan your lunch properly, the chances are that you’re going to eat something unsuitable for your goals.
I know personally, that even when you’re not trying to lose weight, coming up with healthy lunch ideas isen’t easy. If you’re not well prepared, you can end up having the same things every week, which can be quite boring.
Healthy lunch ideas for weight loss
So, I thought I’d do a bit of research, and since I’ve already shared some healthy lunch ideas recently, I thought I’d specifically cover some healthy lunch ideas for weight loss.
Well, here are 18 delicious healthy lunch ideas for weight loss conscious individuals. If you give them a go, be sure to let me know.
To succeed, healthy lunch ideas for weight loss should be prepared on weekends
The secret to healthy eating is to plan ahead.
So, if you can set aside a few hours at the weekend, or on a free weeknight, you can easily prepare healthy lunches for the week ahead that you, or your whole family will enjoy.
Any of the following salads could be made on the weekend and then stored in an airtight container until needed.
Serve in small plastic containers, with a leafy green salad for a complete meal.
#1 Bean potato and beetroot salad
Serves 8 (2 tablespoons each)
450 grams potatoes, cut into 3cm pieces
2 cups frozen broad beans
450 grams can baby beets, drained, quartered
2 cups watercress sprigs, half a bunch
1 small onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup flat leaf parsley leaves
¼ cup fat free French dressing
1. Cook potatoes in large saucepan of boiling water for 8-10 minutes, or until just tender. Drain, and rinse under cold water.
2. Place beans in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water. Stand for 5 minutes, or until tender, then drain, and rinse under cold water. Peel and discard skins. Place beetroot on a plate lined with a paper towel, and pat dry.
3. Put potatoes, beans, watercress, onion, beetroot and parsley in a bowl. Drizzle with dressing, and toss to combine.
#2 Lime and coriander couscous
1 cup couscous
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons of finely grated lime rind
Juice from half the lime
2 tablespoons of fresh coriander, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 red capsicum, finely chopped
1 Lebanese cucumber, finely chopped
- Place couscous in a heatproof bowl, add boiling water, cover and stand for 5 minutes.
- Toss through lime rind and juice, coriander, onion, capsicum, and cucumber.
Serve in small pots with a large leafy salad, and veggie crudites.
#3 Tuna pasta salad
250g pasta spirals
1/4 reduced fat mayo
1 tablespoon lemon juice
125g cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 medium green capsicum, sliced
6 button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
95g can tuna in spring water, drained
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
- Combine mayo with lemon juice in a large bowl. Add pasta, tomatoes, capcium, mushrooms, parsley, and tuna.
- Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
#4 Tabouli salad
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 cup cracked wheat (burghul)
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cups fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 olive oil
- Place tomato, wheat, lemon juice in a bowl, and stand for 30 minutes, or until the wheat has softened.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, and toss to combine.
Serve with plain yoghurt and lebanese style bread.
#5 Veggie sesame salad
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
4 cups savoy cabbage, shredded
2 large carrots, grated
1 large zucchini, grated
1/3 cup honey soy dressing, salt reduced
- Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add sesame seeds, and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden.
- Place cabbage, carrot and zucchini in a large bowl, add dressing and two-thirds of the seeds. Toss to combine, top with remaining seeds to serve.
#6 Chickpea and tomato salad
400g can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
200g cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
- Combine peas, onion, tomatoes, and coriander in a bowl. Add vinegar, and oil, and toss to combine.
- Cover in plastic wrap, and stand for 30 minutes for flavours to develop before serving.
#7 Crunchy broccoli salad
1 head fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup reduced fat mayo
1 cup sunflower seeds
- In a medium bowl combine the broccoli, onion and raisins. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar and mayo. Pour over the broccoli mixture, and toss until well mixed. Refrigerate for at least two hours to allow flavours to develop.
- Before serving, sprinkle over the sunflower seeds.
If you have facilities at work to reheat food, soup is an excellent healthy lunch option. Alternatively, you could bring a thermos flask of soup if you don’t have kitchen facilities, or your work involves a lot of traveling.
#8 Wholesome mushroom soup
25g pack porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion , finely diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
500g fresh mushrooms, such as chestnut, finely chopped
1.2l vegetable stock (salted reduced)
5 tbsp marsala
2 tbsp tomato purée
100g pearl barley
- Put the porcini in a bowl with 250ml boiling water and leave to soak for 25 minutes. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, carrot, garlic, rosemary and seasoning. Fry for 5 minutes on a medium heat until softened. Drain the porcini, saving the liquid, and finely chop. Tip into the pan with the fresh mushrooms. Fry for another 5 minutes, then add the stock, marsala, tomato purée, barley and strained porcini liquid.
- Cook for 30 minutes, or until barley is soft, adding more liquid if it becomes too thick.
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food
#9 Spiced lentil soup
2 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch chilli flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
600g carrots , washed and coarsely grated
140g split red lentils
1L hot vegetable stock (reduced salt)
125ml reduced fat milk
- Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 minute, or until they start to jump in the pan and release their aromas. Scoop out about half of the seeds with a spoon and set aside.
- Add the oil, carrots, lentils, stock and milk to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils have swollen and softened.
- Whizz the soup with a blender until smooth. Season to taste and finish with a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices. Serve with wholegrain bread.
Recipe edited from BBC Good Food
#10 Chickpea spinach and pasta soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup small pasta shapes
227g fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp pepper
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until just softened.
- Pour in the tomatoes, broth, chickpeas and pasta. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender, but not mushy.
- Stir in the chopped spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes. Season with pepper to taste.
Recipe edited from Kaboose
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