Is it just us, or do the holidays really feel like they were yesterday? But just like that, it's May, and in about T-minus three weeks, swimsuit season will be here in all its glory, whether we like it or not. If you're feeling a little bit of holy-crap-I-have-to-be-in-a-bathing-suit-tomorrow-and-I-need-more-time panic, we're with you. Since we can't stop time, and dramatic diet changes are intense, we put together seven days' worth of low-calorie lunches that don't totally suck. From an insanely filling bean burrito to a snack hodgepodge for the variety-minded, each option is totally delicious and under 400 calories.
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On days when a salad just won't do, a black bean burrito is comforting and filling and feels far more indulgent than it actually is. Just fill a whole wheat tortilla with 1/2 cup of cooked black beans, 1/4 cup of canned corn, 1/4 cup of low-fat cheddar, salsa, cilantro, and any number of veggies (chopped peppers, spinach, etc.) of your choosing.
Somehow the classic American cobb salad has been co-opted into a calorie bomb, but it's so simple to make a healthy and light version of the favorite. Combine spinach, two slices of chopped turkey bacon, 1/4 of an avocado diced, chopped tomato, one hard-boiled egg, salt and pepper to taste, and 1 tbsp. of a light ranch.
For this filling vegetarian wrap, roast vegetables like red and green bell peppers, onion, and mushrooms and roll them into a spinach tortilla spread with hummus, olive oil, and sprouts. Yum.
Sometimes, a smorgasbord makes the most exciting midday meal. For our favorite no-fail combo, have three slices of turkey with an ounce of cheese, five whole wheat crackers, 12 almonds, and a medium pear. Who says healthy eating has to be boring?
White beans are seriously underrated as an inexpensive lunch food. Half a cup of canned Cannellini beans contains 100 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and almost 8 grams of protein—i.e., they'll keep you fuller longer. Our favorite way to prepare them is in a Mediterranean dish of sorts, with halved cherry tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, lemon, and crumbled feta cheese.
Make a stuffed pita pocket with 1/2 a whole wheat pita, 1/2 a grilled chicken breast, and chopped spinach, tomatoes, and onion (you can eat the other half for tomorrow's lunch)! Serve with a cup of low-sodium lentil soup.
Like canned beans, canned tuna is another insanely inexpensive, high-protein, and low-calorie lunch base. Make some healthier tuna salad with chopped celery and apple, whole grain mustard, and 1 tbsp. of light mayo and serve with rye crackers, carrots, and hummus.
What's your favorite lunch option under 400 calories? Leave your ideas in the comments below! And then shop one of our favorite low-calorie cookbooks.