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Healthy Lunch Recipes to Beat Diet Boredom

Cook, eat, repeat. It's easy to put meals on autopilot when you're trying to slim down, but monotony is a recipe for weight gain. Shake up your eating plan with these delicious lunch recipes.

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Tuna salad in peppers
Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito
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If you're tired of tuna salad...

Nix the bread.

Mix 4 ounces drained water-packed tuna with 1/2 tablespoon capers, 1/4 cup drained juice-packed mandarin oranges, 1 1/2 ounces low-fat feta, and 2 teaspoons olive oil. Divide and serve in red bell pepper halves.

Nutrition facts: 364 calories, 38g protein, 13g carbohydrate, 18g fat (7g saturated), 3g fiber

"Serving tuna salad in a pepper adds crunch and cuts calories," says Devin Alexander, the author of The Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook.

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If you're tired of tuna salad...

Lose the mayo.

Mix 4 ounces drained water-packed tuna with 2 table­spoons nonfat Greek yogurt and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Fold in 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives, 1/4 cup diced fennel, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Serve on a whole wheat sandwich roll.

Nutrition facts: 409 calories, 40g protein, 52g carbohydrate, 5g fat (1g saturated), 8g fiber

Aida Mollenkamp, the host of the Cooking Channel's FoodCrafters, likes Greek yogurt's creaminess and extra protein.

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If you're tired of grilled chicken salad...

Add grains.

Toss 2 ounces skinless roasted chicken with 2 cups spinach; 1/4 cucumber, sliced; and 1/4 cup each cooked couscous, drained canned chickpeas, and chopped carrots. Whisk together 1 tablespoon each extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon each Dijon mustard and honey; drizzle over salad.

Nutrition facts: 440 calories, 27g protein, 46g carbohydrate, 17g fat (3g saturated), 9g fiber

"Couscous provides texture and flavor," Mollenkamp explains.

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If you're tired of grilled chicken salad...

Trade tomato.

Toss 4 cups arugula with 1 cup diced watermelon, 1 ounce crumbled low-fat feta, and 3 ounces skinless roasted chicken. Whisk together 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar, 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, and 1 tea­spoon each Dijon mustard and honey. Drizzle over salad. Top with chopped fresh basil.

Nutrition facts: 384 calories, 36g protein, 22g carbohydrate, 18g fat (6g saturated), 2g fiber

Watermelon is a sweet, lycopene-rich stand-in, Alexander says.

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If you're tired of turkey sandwiches...

Think global.

Cut 1 large whole wheat pita in half. Fill each pita pocket with 1/4 avocado, sliced, and 2 ounces deli turkey. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon sriracha. Top with 2 table­spoons fresh cilantro.

Nutrition facts: 290 calories, 16g protein, 41g carbohydrate, 8g fat (1.5g saturated), 7g fiber

Cilantro, sliced avocado, and hot sauce turn turkey into a take on the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich, says Ellie Krieger, RD, the author of Comfort Food Fix.

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If you're tired of turkey sandwiches...

Do a DIY spread.

Mix 1/2 ounce drained, diced peppadew peppers with 2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese. Spread on 2 slices bread. Layer 1 slice with 2 ounces deli turkey and 1/4 cup watercress. Top with other slice of bread.

Nutrition facts: 283 calories, 21g protein, 34g carbohydrate, 6g fat (2.7g saturated), 6g fiber

"You don't need extras like cheddar or bacon," says Claire Robinson, the host of 5 Ingredient Fix on the Food Network.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July/August 2012.

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melanee2 wrote:

None of these sound appetizing to me, so I guess I'll stick with my "boring" lunches.

4/7/2013 01:01:36 PM Report Abuse
lambrosalexandra wrote:

If you don't like feta or capers maybe try american cheese and just leave out the capers.

9/17/2012 10:50:08 AM Report Abuse
Ruthspivey6 wrote:

I would recommend pickles and eggs, or celery and onion.

7/11/2012 12:10:29 PM Report Abuse
ldelp5 wrote:

love the idea, but what can you use in place of capers and feta? I'm not a fan of either...

7/11/2012 09:49:00 AM Report Abuse

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