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Healthy Habit: Lunch on High Fiber and Lean Protein

If eating healthier is one of your goals for 2009, you might want to reconsider your lunches. Nutritionist Alexa Fishback, author of The Daily Fix, has a way to make your mid-day meal work for you. Stay tuned for upcoming nutrition tips from Alexa and be sure to enter our Get Fit For 2009 giveaway for a chance to win a personalized nutrition plan created by Alexa, along with many other amazing goodies.

Here's Alexa's lunch advice:
When it comes to our midday meal, many of us choose whatever is most convenient or perhaps forgo lunch altogether as a tactic to save calories, time, or money. Others build up a ravenous appetite (often because they have skipped breakfast and/or a midmorning snack) and jump fork-first into a midday calorie trap. Here are a few tips to navigate some common lunchtime scenarios:

  • Stuck in the conference room for a lunch meeting? Discretely peel away the cheese from the pre-made turkey sandwich and grab a mustard packet instead of mayo; drink a bottled water instead of a soda, and opt for the fruit salad over the cookies. While it might not be your favorite meal ever, wouldn't you rather save the calories for Saturday night?
  • Working at your desk through lunch? Plan ahead. Pop open a can of Amy's Organic lentil soup and heat it up in the office kitchen. Then pair with some whole wheat crackers and an apple. Not too shabby for a quick lunch.

For two additional lunch ideas,


  • Eating out? Order a salad loaded up with lettuces and other nonstarchy veggies, a portion of lean protein (grilled chicken breast, tuna, or chickpeas), and a portion of unsaturated fat like avocado or nuts to add a creamy flavor. Ask for a vinaigrette dressing on the side and enjoy your meal with a multi-grain roll.
  • Stay-at-home mom eating at home? Toast a couple slices of whole wheat bread to bring out the nutty flavor, spread a tablespoon of natural almond butter on each piece, and top with either banana or strawberry slices – yum.
  • For more tips, check out all of Alexa’s Healthy Habits or pick up her book, The Daily Fix.


Join The Conversation
stephyr4 stephyr4 8 years
The sandwich idea is great. I do it all the time! I buy natures own honey wheat light for the bread, it's only 40 calories a slice! Then I'll smooth on some creamy natural peanutbutter and slice a banana and add it in. Or if you want a light version of pb and j, smuckers sells a low sugar jelly that comes in strawberry and grape. And it doesn't have those scary artificial sweetners
almostloli almostloli 8 years
sandwiches are tasty and healthy (depends on the bread and fillings of course) i love tuna otherwise i sometimes order japanese bento from restaurants (or prepare my own veggies from home in a container) i also bring portions of fruits in small containers if i really have to eat out, i always remember to order healthy options yeah people might make fun of you at times, but just laugh with them and they'll understand
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Sometimes someone puts in a big order for takeout at work and everyone orders something, but I always bring my own healthy lunch and I eat that while everyone eats greasy sandwiches. It's not the food that's important when you're eating lunch with your coworkers, it's the fact that you're hanging out with them. No one's going to judge you if you eat your own food and not the crap that other people order.
cptnruthless cptnruthless 8 years
@ella1978: try a bit of lemon juice. That's what I do when I make guacamole - just a bit of lemon juice in the mix (but not enough to notice the flavor).
ella1978 ella1978 8 years
For me it's an expirement every week. I have been bringing a big salad and fruit for lunch every week. I am messing with the ingredients, but basically I prepare the salads for the week on Sunday evening. I get a bag of lettuce and add all kinds of ingredients. Last week was dried cranberries, grapes, walnuts and a tiny bit of blue cheese, this week is tomatoes, corn, black beans, and mushrooms. I keep a couple different vinagrettes in the office fridge. Then I bring an apple or an orange... and on days that I'm especially hungry, I'll keep peanut butter in my desk to put on the apple or whatever to add a little extra filling protein. That way I keep my prep time down every morning, and still bring a healthy lunch every day. I sure do wish there were a good way to keep avacado from browning, I'd throw that in too.
Advah Advah 8 years
Those are great ideas, esp since I'm trying to bring my lunch to the office every day. Thanks Fit!
NdHebert NdHebert 8 years
When I worked in an office I would bring a brown paper lunch sack and fill it with whatever I was going to eat. So I would bring my sandwich, fruit, maybe some pretzels or baked chips, a low calorie dessert, and some nuts to snack on. And I would write the number of calories on the paper sack. That really helped me during the day, I felt like I could portion my food out and eat a lot during my day, but in the end I knew exactly how many calories I had. I also had to bring a low cal dessert everyday. Incase everyone around me is eating someones birthday cake (which happens all the time), I could also eat something sweet at my desk and not feel deprived of the sugar!
Anne26 Anne26 8 years
I'm debating on what to bring for lunch and something that can actually fill me up for I won't be hungry through out the rest of the day. My friend is eating luna bars. He said they are good but Im afraid to eat one of those as a meal replacement and be starving afterwards. I did look at Kellogg protein snack bars. Those look really good but I would have to eat a lunch too.
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