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400 Calorie Lunch Ideas

Wanting to lose weight seems to be an eternal dream. Low and heavy impact workouts, yoga, Pilates, calisthenics, the market is flooded with ideas galore. However, physical exercise needs to be coupled with right eating habits. Studies show on an average an adult consumes 3000 calories or more. The ideal consumption should be 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day.
It is possible to shed those extra pounds when on a regular 1,500 calorie diet program. Experts say six mini meals a day comprising 300 to 400 calories per meal are beneficial to one’s health.

Lunch is generally a hastily gobbled meal. Not much labor or interest goes into the afternoon meal. It needn’t be so; 400 calorie lunches can be made tastier with a little bit of imagination and innovation. Here are some great 400 calorie ideas for lunch:

  • Salads, especially water laden greens like lettuce and water cress, feta or cottage cheese instead of processed cheese, tossed in minimal oil and dressing, and pita bread make an ideal 400 calorie meal. Just remember to say no to cheeses, gravies, sauces, and exotic salad dressings.
  • A 400 calorie lunch of rice and lean gourmet beef steak with pepper (270), half a cup of carrots and broccoli (40), and half a cup of flavored yogurt (100) is another option.
  • If Japanese cuisine is on the cards, go for sashimi, not sushi (since the main ingredient is white rice).
  • A salad or sandwich of tuna, chicken or turkey, lettuce and fresh vegetables comprises a healthy 400 calorie menu for lunch.
  • A rich protein salad of boiled eggs, tofu, meat and very little dressing is another option. Try an omelette with fresh vegetables, a steak or steamed seafood with plenty of fresh vegetables, low carb tortilla or pita bread filled with vegetables and meat.

400 Calorie Fast Food for Lunch

Fast food can be healthy if chosen judiciously. Enjoy a lunch of turkey or ham salad, greens, almonds, olives tossed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar (300), and cookies (100). A hamburger (250) with a vanilla ice cream (150) adds up to 400 calories. You can avoid extra calories by opting for a burger without the bun followed by a green salad without dressing.Or try an under-400 calorie lunch: easy burger (230) along with broccoli and cheese sauce (50), finishing with yogurt (80), totaling up to 360 calories.
Many restaurants have less than 400 calorie meal options on their menu. Some fast food restaurants offer large chilli (280) and saltine crackers (30),adding up to 310 calories, making it an ideal 300 calorie lunch. In some restaurants, you also have options such as pineapple pizza and hand tossed ham for 400 calories. Those who are weight conscious can opt for a mean 380 calorie meal consisting of filet sandwich (minus tartar sauce), and a ‘garden salad’ tossed in a ‘fat free dressing’. Some other options for a 420 calorie meal include a 420 calorie meal of green beans, a honey BBQ sandwich or a meal of beef tacos and rice. You can take your pick of fresh crunchy mouth watering vegetables on a six inch roast beef sub, with a ‘light’ mayonnaise (380 calories) or a linguini alla marina and a salad with ‘low fat’ dressing totalling 376 calories.

To sum up, a diet of low in carbohydrates and rich in proteins and fiber is recommended. Go easy on the white bread, carbohydrates, sweets, and fried foods. Include fresh salads and plenty of vegetables. Experiment with your repertoire of salads. Caesar’s, chef’s or Cobb’s, take your pick. Substitute those sinfully rich gooey desserts with fruit salads. A light snack can appease afternoon hunger pangs.

Submitted on January 16, 2014