Social Question

NerdyKeith's avatar

Could you recommend some healthy lunch and snack ideas?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5489points) December 28th, 2016

I want to lose a little bit of weight in the new year. I work in retail and would love some healthy option suggestions for lunch.

Note: I’m not vegetarian or vegan, so will eat meat, fish and dairy.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

23 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Eating fresh fruit and veg is the best way to lose weight. Don’t eat anything processed. Cook everything from scratch.

I’ve been eating a lot more fresh food for about 18 months now, and if I eat something that’s very high in processed sugar, I feel odd after. I eat very little processed food anymore.

Here’s what I eat:
fresh fruit
dried fruit (without added sugar)
fresh veg
fresh salsa from the grocer’s refrigerated section (not the stuff in jars on the shelf)
meat (mostly turkey)
low fat milk
high quality whole grain bread
butter (I’m very happy that the place where I shop now has Kerrygold.)

When I want something sweet, I indulge in ice cream a few times each month. Most of the time, a piece of fruit will satisfy the craving. I do have a high quality chocolate bar in the fridge, and I’ll break a square off about once a week.

Eating well can be quite fun actually.

I forgot to mention that I buy healthy veg-based crisps for snacks. A few potato chips occasionally is not a bad thing, but I don’t keep them on hand.

kritiper's avatar

No-fat milk. Get used to it, it isn’t that bad!
Oatmeal for breakfast
Sandwiches made from chicken patties, lettuce, and a slice of tomato.
Think and eat vegetables!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, for one, cut “snacks” out altogether.

Skip breakfast.

Count calories.

Cruiser's avatar

I have had the most success in losing more than a few pounds by eliminating as much dairy as possible. I switched to almond milk (low sugar version) and the only cheese I allow myself is unpasteurized Fresh Cheeses like Fresf Mozzarella pearls. Dairy and pasteurized cheese is harder to digest. Eliminating all forms of bread is also critical to a successful diet. Make lettuce wrap sandwiches instead.

Snaking on celery actually burns more calories that it gives. Carrot sticks and nuts like cashews are excellent for knocking down hunger pangs. Get a “bullet” type blender and make smoothies. It is near impossible to finish a 200 calories smoothie so you will greatly reduce your caloric intake with smoothies made with healthy ingredients. Ditch the butter or margarine and cook with Ghee…much much better for you.

Carry a water bottle and drink lots of water too! Very important.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sunflower seeds in the shell. You also burn more calories getting them out of the shell than you take in from the seed.

Remember tho…nuts are super fattening.

zenvelo's avatar

If you skip breakfast, you may be tempted to “snack” before lunch, and eat something handy but not as healthy. Have a healthy protein rich breakfast of eggs, vegetables such as peppers, and breakfast meats. Skip the carb-laden toast or breads.

Dairy is loaded with sugars, even in cheese. Instead, try unsweetened almond milk in your coffee.

Skip both sugar and “sugar-free” items. Sugar substitutes actually cause abdominal weight.gain.

Monounsaturated fats such as found in nuts and avocados actually healthy and encourage weight loss.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@zenvelo Does stevia cause weight gain?

zenvelo's avatar

@NerdyKeith Yes, it does, because it triggers an insulin response.

This happens when a receptor on our tongue is stimulated by a sweet taste (natural or artificial), which then stimulates insulin to bring the “proposed” glucose into the cells. But if there is no measurable rise in blood glucose, like after drinking a tea sweetened with stevia or artificial sweetener, the insulin will store any excess sugar in the body as fat.

It took me about a week to get past my cravings for something sweet when I restructured my eating habits a few years ago..

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, you need to adjust your eating habits permanently. Drink your tea or coffee with no sweeteners, either real or artificial. You’ll learn to prefer it that way. I started cutting out sugar in the 80’s and now I can’t stand the taste of non-diet pop or sweet tea.

Focus on fish! Where at all possible, order fish or seafood.

Stay away from pork.

Sneki95's avatar

Make a schedule when to eat and stick to it, eg. breakfast at 8, lunch at 12, dinner at 6. You get what I mean. Your body will program itself when to ask for food and when to…er… get rid of the unprocessed food. That way, it will know how to waste energy properly and you have less chance to store more energy than necessary. In other words, eat regularly.

Also, eat until you feel full, not until you can’t eat anymore. And drink lots of water; sometimes, lack of water may create a feel similar to hunger, so people get tricked into eating when they simply need to drink.

Eating habits may influence weight rather than diet itself.
Of course, there are foods one should avoid as much as possible, but adjusting how and when you eat is equally significant.

Dutchess_III's avatar

And whatever you do, make sure it is a diet you can live with for the rest of your life.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I wouldn’t go crazy with fruit (dried or fresh). The sugar content is high. Have a banana or some grapes, but eat fruit in moderation, and no juices. I totally agree with the comments about clean, unprocessed food.

Look at legumes. Take salads to work. Four bean salad and the like. They will keep you fuller for longer because they’re high in fibre. I can send you a recipe if you like.

Watch your portion sizes. Meat portions should be about the size of your palm. Chicken and fish are your friends.

And be careful what you drink. Drink water and tea. Green and white tea is especially good. Avoid milky coffee, I just put weight on because I started having a milky coffee with my husband morning and afternoon. I normally drink tea and my waistline is not thanking me for the change. Small changes can make a big difference.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Your stomach is the size of your fist so….

cinnamonk's avatar

surprised no one has mentioned hummus yet! Hummus is magical with carrots.

BellaB's avatar

Good protein for breakfast. Protein for snacks. Soup soup soup. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight in the past year – I give credit to soup (at least once a day) for the difference. I’ve always worked out quite a bit (3 – 6 dance classes a week for years/ a couple of miles of swimming a week) and been reasonably careful with food, but til I added soup to the regular food routine, nothing budged.

Coloma's avatar

Celery stalks stuffed with tuna or chicken salad made with a touch of lite mayo is one of my favorite, go to, lunches. You can also stuff the tuna or chicken salad into a large tomato or halved avocado.
A couple of hard boiled eggs with a cup of yogurt and an apple or orange or other fruit is a good lunch as well. Cottage cheese with fruit is also good.

The trick is to get the protein you need to feel satisfied and cut back on the carbs. Soups are good too as @BellaB mentions but be careful of getting too much sodium. Eat your largest meal at breakfast, a medium lunch and light dinner and no snacking before bed! ( My trouble zone. )

dxs's avatar

Protein, vegetables, good carbs.
Supposedly overly-processed carbs like pasta and non-wheat bread are not good for weight loss. I have to look more into this, though. Good carbs are things like quinoa and brown rice.

I agree about skipping snacks. Focus yourself on the main meals instead. People can go overboard or lose track of how much they’ve eaten when snacking.

Do not skip breakfast.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I eat a ton of “over processed carbs”! Give me bread!

BellaB's avatar

@Coloma , I always forget about people and ‘salt’. I use a tbsp or less in a year in my cooking. I make my own soups , rarely any salt in there – lots of herbs/spices/garlic/onion for flavouring.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Salt’s OK. I mean, we need it. It’s one of the very few chemicals we need that our body can’t produce itself. We have to get it from an external source. Some people just get carried away though.

Kardamom's avatar

I have not yet read the other answers, will do so after posting. I love this kind of question so I just wanted to jump in.

The first thing you want to consider is portion size. A lot of people can’t figure out why they don’t lose weight, even though they are eating “healthier”. Often, it’s because they eat too much of whatever it is they are eating. Here is a guide by the Mayo Clinic that shows healthy portion sizes for all sorts of things.

I found it very helpful, especially at work, to have small portable containers to carry my food to work. I always think about my lunches at work ahead of time, so I can shop and get a bunch of healthy foods (also foods that can be used in a variety of different meals so I’m not wasting money buying “specialty” items that might not get used up).

If you don’t already have some, get yourself some plastic or stainless steel food containers for small portions. You can get either individual containers, or here are some that have sectioned off portions like These. Here are some Small Individual and Portioned Containers and here are some that are specifically for Portion Control.SL1500.jpg?format=500w

I have a bunch of smallish, but different sized stainless steel containers with plastic lids that I take to work. If you need to use a microwave, either you’ll need plastic containers, or have some bowls and plates at work to transfers your food to, since you can’t use the metal ones in the microwave.

When you shop (ahead of time) think about what kinds of things, and portion sizes you will need for the week(s) ahead. Variety is good too, but don’t get too many items, otherwise they will go bad before you have time to eat them.

Consider making some healthy dishes ahead of time, and freezing them into individual portion sizes (you can use Tupperware or freezer-style ziplock bags for this purpose). Then pop them into the fridge to thaw out the night before you use them.

Some good dishes for bulk cooking and saving as individual portions are:

Bean and Chicken Chili

Vegetable Lasagna Here are 7 different varieties.

Soup. Here are 50 light and healthy soup recipes. Also, know that eating soup before a meal tends to fill you up more, so you will tend to eat less of whatever comes after.

Eat more vegetables and fruits. Add Healthy Lowfat Salads to your meal planning. When making healthy salads, use dressings sparingly, avoid high fat dressings (especially creamy ones) omit cheese in your salads unless it is very low in fat, and use it extremely sparingly, omit croutons (they just fat and carbs). Try all sorts of different vegetables in your salads, and eat them in different preps. Sometimes just slicing veggies super thin like These Spiralized Veggies gives them a different texture which can actually change the whole taste sensation and mouth feel.

Wash and prep your veggies ahead of time (like on the weekend) so they’ll be ready to throw into a salad on a moment’s notice. Like This

Add beans to your diet. You can add beans to salads to give you a low fat, but substantial mouth feel. Make burritos with all sorts of different kinds of beans. Try out a bunch of different ones: pinto, black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, edamame, navy beans, butter beans etc. Make soups and add more beans. Make chili and use different kinds of beans. Make Dips out of beans to serve with lowfat tortilla chips.

Cut out the crap. Go through your pantry and fridge and clear out all of the “bad” things. Get rid of most cheese (for now, you will only want to use very small quantities of low fat cheeses). Get rid of all the chips and cookies and sugary cereals, get rid of your fake coffee creamers (use non-fat milk) get rid of ALL SODA and never bring it back. Get rid of all candy and junk food (if you’re not sure what that is, we should start another thread). Most processed food that you get at a grocery store or restaurant will need to go bye bye.

Think whole foods, no more processed foods.

Think simple preparations. If you have to do too much work, you are not likely to stick to a healthy eating plan.

Do your prep ahead of time. Do not fall into using the excuse that you don’t have time. Prep your foods, and portion them out ahead of time. Even if you have to use most of one day on a weekend. Clean, cut, and put stuff into containers (in the fridge or freezer).

Be smart with the things that you buy. Buy only items that are healthy and low in fat (not diet products, actual real food). If you don’t have crap in your house, you won’t be able to eat it.

Limit your eating out in restaurants. Restaurant food is usually way higher in fat and sodium and is also more expensive. Vow to make your own meals.

Stick to a plan. Portion out your food ahead of time. Pack your lunch the night before. Plan your dinners a week in advance. Buy foods that will be able to be used for multiple meals.

Learn to say NO. Just because someone offers you a goody, doesn’t mean you have to have some. Tell people you are full (if you feel like you don’t want to hurt their feelings) or take a piece to “save” for later and then give it to someone else. Have a cup of tea with no sugar or milk, instead of a piece of cake (even if everyone else is having some). Get used to saying no thanks, and do something else instead.

Learn about all sorts of flavorful things you can sprinkle or spritz that are not fattening or full of sodium such as different kinds of chili powders, citrus juices, and other kinds of spices and herbs.

Check out My Answer on this question from 2012.

Check out My Answer to this question from 2011.

Here are some Good Answers for making healthy food on a budget from 2014.

Here are some recipes I hope you will like:

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

Hummus Spread some hummus on a whole wheat tortilla, or eat some with low fat tortilla chips, or sweet potato chips.

Butternut Squash Soup. Add a ¼ teaspoon of curry powder if you like.

Roasted Vegetables

How to Build a Better Sandwich (Hint: ditch your highly processed white bread. Go for 100% whole grain breads)

Pasta Salad

Good luck with this. If you need any specific recipes, feel free to PM me : )

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good heavens woman! WHERE have you been?!

Kardamom's avatar

I’ve just been waiting around for @NerdyKeith to ask this question : ) He finally found my “G” spot. Ha ha ha.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther