Monday, April 20, 2009

April week # 3 - What’s for lunch?

More often than not, sandwiches are on the menu. Portable, satisfying, and fairly inexpensive, they’re a quick and easy way to refuel midday. But put the wrong stuff between the bread and the wrong bread around the stuff, and you’ll be consuming more than enough calories for the rest of the day. Check out my guide and start lunching your way slim!

Step 1: The Bread
With so many tasty but less-than-healthy options available including ciabatta (460 calories), focaccia (320 calories, 10 grams of fat), heroes (250 cal ories), and even wraps (typically over 300 calories, 8 grams of fat), it’s easy to order the wrong thing. Your best bet? Sliced whole wheat or multi-grain breads for only 80 calories and 2-3 grams of fiber per slice. If you can’t ignore your craving for a fresh roll, indulge the Skinny way, and take the top layer off the bread for an open-faced sandwich.

Step 2: The Insides
Open up a sandwich these days and you’ll rarely find a basic PB&J (don’t knock it — filled with heart healthy fat and protein, it’ll keep you full for hours). Instead, menus are full of endless tempting concoctions. A rule of thumb: When it comes to meat, the simpler the better. Choose turkey (105 calories for 3 ounces), roast beef (165 calories for 3 ounces), or grilled chicken breast (120 calories for 4 ounces) instead of tuna, egg, and chicken salads (all with more than 250 calories and 20 grams of fat per ½ cup serving). Skip the cheese (100 calories and 8 grams of fat per slice) and add lots of fresh veggies (instead of grilled veggies, which soak up fat) for a tasty crunch, plus vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Step 3: The Condiments
Sure, they add flavor to your sandwich, but spread on too much of the wrong thing and you’ll find yourself spreading out! Ditch the biggest offenders — mayo and Russian dressing (10 grams of fat per tablespoon) — and go with deli or Dijon mustard for just 5 calories per teaspoon. Not a mustard fan? Sprinkle on vinegar or shake on a touch of salt and pepper for minimal calories with tons of tangy flavor.

Step 4: The Sides
Don’t give up chips completely — I think it’s sacrilegious to eat a sandwich without some sort of crunch on the side — just choose right. A 1-ounce serving of potato chips will easily set you back 160 calories and 10 grams of fat. Go with soy chips (70 calories, 1.5 grams of fat per serving), whole grain pita chips (130 calories, 5 grams of fat per serving), baked potato chips (130 calories, 1.5 grams of fat per serving), or even a bag of baby carrots — all the crunch for just 25 calories in a ½ cup serving.

Make any of these combos yourself for about 400 calories and keep those afternoon energy slumps at bay. See ya later, vending machine!

*These tips found in the Skinny In The City Newsletter

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