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3 Slimming Make-Ahead Lunch Ideas


For some of my clients, bringing lunch to work is one of the most important strategies for staying on track and seeing results. That’s because going out often leads to irresistible temptations like French fries, which can trigger a whole day (or several days) of poor eating. But many of my clients also find that they don’t have enough time in the morning to put a meal together, so easy lunches, that can be prepared the night before, or even a few days ahead are best. Here are three I recommend:    

Swift pasta salad
Chop or shred your favorite veggies and toss with a small scoop of cooked whole grain noodles, add a lean protein like crumbled feta, water packed chunk light tuna, crumbled or cubed organic extra firm tofu, or beans, dress with balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh or dried herbs like basil or oregano.  

Speedy homemade soup
Sauté garlic, onions, and any veggies of your choice, like carrots and zucchini, in extra virgin olive oil. Add low sodium organic vegetable broth, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Add salt-free Italian herb seasonings, a small scoop of cooked hearty whole grains, like barley, wild rice, whole wheat orzo, or whole grain pasta, and a serving of lean protein like 3 ounces of cooked cubed chicken breast or a half cup of beans. Easy breezy, all you need to do is reheat and eat.

Quick and easy quinoa salad

Slice cucumbers, grape or cherry tomatoes, and red onion and toss with a small scoop each of cooked chilled quinoa, cooked lentils (for a shortcut look for vacuum sealed pre-cooked lentils in the produce section), and sliced herbed kalamata olives.      

For a week’s worth of healthy, slimming meals, including lots of make-ahead options check out my no-hassle, no-hunger mix-and-match plan here.

Do you tend to get derailed by dining out? What’s your favorite make-ahead healthy lunch? Please tweet your thoughts to @cynthiasass and @Shape_Magazine.

Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she's a SHAPE contributing editor and nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches.



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