9 Healthy Lunch Swaps That Will Save You Calories

Making lunch becomes a chore when you are in between classes or in the middle of your work day. Often, we aren’t interested in preparing a lot of food the night before, and it becomes really easy to just eat the most convenient thing once lunch time comes around.

Eating healthy shouldn’t be so difficult, but most of the time, quick and convenient often equals fast food or junk food. To avoid that kind of food, here are some quick and easy alternatives to normal lunch ideas that will help you keep your calorie count low.

  1. Lettuce Tacos or Burritos

These are simple to make or get if you are out to eat. Choose turkey or chicken as your meat source and instead of a tortilla, use or request lettuce. This is a really easy way to cut back on calories. To cut back, even more, request sauces on the side.

Example: A regular Combo Burrito at Taco Bell is 450 calories. Substituting grilled chicken for beef and using a lettuce wrap chops the calories by more than half. You are looking at about a 200-calorie meal now.

2. No-Bread Subs

On a sub sandwich, replacing the bun with a vegetable can save many calories. You can use a mushroom, pepper, tomato or anything that will keep your sandwich together. Another option is to use your sandwich meat as a wrap instead of using bread or a tortilla.

3. Healthy Pasta

Replacing your noodles with a veggie “noodle” is a super simple way to cut back on the calories. You can make veggie “noodles” to replace any type of pasta, and there are multiple types of veggies you can use for the “noodles”.

Zucchini Chicken Alfredo
Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti
  1. Egg White Muffins

The beneficial thing about egg white muffins is that you can make many at time, add different ingredients so you aren’t always eating the exact same thing and evenfreeze them if you want! The egg is a great source of both protein and fat, but if you would like to cut back on calories, using egg whites is the way to go.

You can pretty much use anything you want in your egg white muffins, but here are some popular ingredients:

  • Turkey Sausage & Low Fat Cheese
  • Peppers, mushrooms, and onions for a vegetarian
  • Spinach, tomato, and chives

5. Pulled Pork-Stuffed Sweet Potato

Try substituting the bun of your pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato. If you are a big cooker, you can save calories by making your own BBQ sauce, too.  Instead of cooking the pork in BBQ sauce, try drizzling the sauce on top afterward. The sweet potato will help the pork tasteless dry, but you won’t feel like you are using any less sauce. Leaving BBQ sauce out completely is an option, as well.

6. Zucchini Boats

With zucchini boats, your options are pretty much endless. You can eat these in place of pasta, pizza or anything else! Cut back on those carbs and calories!                            

Lasagna Zucchini Boat
Zucchini Pizza Boat                     
Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boat
Turkey Stuffed Zucchini Boat

7. Brown Rice or Multigrain Tortillas

When you are cooking at home and you just want to make a really simple change that will also make your meal healthier, switch to brown rice or a multigrain tortilla. Brown rice is a good gluten-free option, and both provide you with better nutritional value than a flour tortilla. Brown rice and multigrain tortillas are better options than those tortillas named after vegetables. “Spinach tortillas” are just wheat flour tortillas with some vegetable seasonings.

Here are the ingredients of a spinach tortilla if you want to see for yourself…

8. Cauliflower “fried rice”

This is a super quick and easy meal. It also makes a huge difference in your calorie count. If you think about how much-fried rice you usually consume, the calories in rice add up really quick. In this recipe, you are essentially having just a lot of vegetables.

9. No-Mayo Chicken Salad

To make a healthier version of chicken salad, replace mayo with a greek yogurt to or use avocado. It’s an easy one-ingredient swap that completely changes the game. You can do this with tuna or turkey salad as well!                         

Avocado Chicken Salad
Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

Whether you make your lunch at home or go out for lunch, there are definitely ways to cut calories. You don’t have to miss out on delicious food or only eat salad to get a low-calorie lunch!

Featured image via Cooking Classy

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