Swaps for Protein Power: Lunch

Swaps for Protein Power: Lunch

Alex Brecher

Lunchtime can bring a wealth of problems if you are trying to lose weight, but you can also find a world of opportunities. High-carb sandwiches, nutrition-less soups, and high-calorie salads can all sneak into your diet even if you are trying to be careful, while protein can be surprisingly hard to come by without giving up your favorites.

The BariatricPal Store has some solutions to get your protein count higher while keeping calories and carbs low, without giving up great taste or spending long in the kitchen. Here goes…


They may be the weight loss go-to, but they can be your biggest weight loss foe if you let them. Use lettuce or other greens as a base, and pile on as many vegetables as you can handle. Then identify and account for common pitfalls.

  • Salad dressing – adds way too many calories and too much fat. You are better off with portion-controlled, low-calorie Dressing.
  • Fatty meats – who needs the extra fat, calories, and nitrates? Add protein instead with beans, cooked chicken breast or shrimp, or low-fat cheese.
  • Croutons and chips – crunch is nice, but you can get it without starchy carbs. What about sunflower seeds, nuts, or crumbled Protein Chips?


Soup certainly has the potential to help you lose weight, but why miss a chance to get in a dose of protein? You can get up to an extra 15 grams by choosing Protein Soup instead of broth. Add vegetables or beans, or top it with cheese, and your soup will be hearty and filling. Try classic flavors such as Cream of Tomato, Chicken with Pasta, Cream of Mushroom, and more.


Another classic lunch go-to, sandwiches can also be a waste of a meal if you are trying to lose weight. The carb-heavy bread is largely to blame, but so can be the fillings if they are high in calories and unhealthy fats. For more protein and less of the parts that go straight to your hips, try building your sandwich with:

  • High-Protein Brown Bread with 5 grams of protein per slice.
  • A spread such as hummus, mustard, or mashed avocado.
  • Some lean protein, such as leftover chicken or fish, or all-natural turkey and/or low-fat cheese.
  • Vegetables, such as raw lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, and/or sprouts, or grilled bell peppers, eggplant, and/or zucchini.

You can get any of these lunches together in minutes or ahead of time, so there is no reason to cheat yourself of a high-protein, great-tasting lunch. There are enough variations to prevent boredom for enough time to hit and maintain your goal weight.

Healthy swapsLunchProteinRecipesWeight loss