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.
Shop one of our favorite low-calorie cookbooks.