June 19, 2024

Lunches that aid in your weight loss goals, while also being simple to make, can feel few and far between. You may often get stumped on what to make yourself, and the rut of the same lunch every day could lead to burnout on your weight loss diet. To keep on track toward your goals, these simple weight loss lunch ideas that are under 400 calories will come in handy. And, if you want to experiment with new lunch ideas at home, keep these tips in mind.

  • Always include a protein. Whether chicken, fish, poultry, or nuts, protein is a filling ingredient. Skipping out on this nutrient at lunch could lead to extra snacking later in the day and a larger dinner portion, slowing your weight loss progress.
  • Load up on veggies. Vegetables are so low in calories and add tons of volume to your meals. Whether you add a side salad to a half sandwich, or serve your protein over a large bed of lettuce and veggies, eating more vegetables can be helpful for weight loss.
  • Limit sugar. Added sugar is not just lurking in your favorite desserts, but you can also find it in sauces, condiments, and breads. Choose natural forms of sugar such as fruit instead of manufactured foods that contain added sugar.

Read on for the 10 best weight loss lunch ideas that are 400 calories or less. And for more meal inspiration, be sure to check out the 10 Best Protein-Packed 100-Calorie Snacks for Weight Loss.

Tuna with Avocado and Raisins

tuna lettuce cups

359 calories, 16 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 238 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (8 g fiber, 23 g sugar), 21 g protein

Tuna is a source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fat. Not only is it a nutritious food, but it is also convenient and can be the star of your meal with minimal prep. This recipe combines plenty of protein with a hearty amount of fiber to create a filling lunch. Swap the raisins for any dried fruit made without added sugar, and add shredded carrots or julienned cucumber on top for an extra crunch.



Combine the drained tuna with avocado and raisins. Thoroughly mix until you reach your desired consistency. Serve in lettuce cups.

RELATED: 10 Best Costco Frozen Foods for Weight Loss

Peanut Butter Rice Cakes

nut butter banana rice cakes, concept of superfood snacks to melt belly fat

345 calories, 16 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 161 mg sodium, 47 g carbs (5 g fiber, 23 g sugar), 10 g protein

Nut butter is a plant-based source of protein and also provides fiber. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, or prefer low-prep meals, this is a great option. Swap peanut butter for any nut butter of choice, and trade the banana for a thinly sliced apple for a different texture. You can even top your rice cakes with hemp hearts for a boost of filling protein, fiber, and healthy fats.



Divide peanut butter in half and spread 1 tablespoon over each rice cake. Layer your banana slices over the nut butter, and serve.

Bento Box

hard-boiled egg with grapes

320 calories, 19 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 324 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (2 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 19 g protein

Bento boxes can be customized in endless ways, allowing them to suit your weight loss goals. This option is great for those who prefer to eat a lower-carb diet, and it packs plenty of protein for a filling meal. Adding more fiber would make this lunch even better, so consider incorporating a serving of raw veggies on the side for more food volume and a few more grams of satiating fiber.



Enjoy components individually or in combined bites.

RELATED: Can Eating Oatmeal Help You Lose Weight?

Veggie Burger Spinach Salad

veggie burger spinach salad

309 calories, 18 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 1,165 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (5 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 18 g protein

Veggie burgers come in many different forms, and those that are soy-based tend to have a higher protein count. This is another low-carb lunch that provides a hearty dose of vegetables. Spinach is an especially nutritious lettuce, but you can swap it for any green of choice, and add in additional veggies to your liking. This meal is one of the higher-sodium options on this list, so look for lower-sodium cheese and dressing.



Toss your spinach with salad dressing, and top with the cooked veggie burger and feta.

Four-Ingredient Chili

chili with avocado

390 calories, 15 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 1,323 mg sodium, 31 g carbs (10 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 31 g protein

Chili is a winter staple for many, but it can take hours to prep and cook. If you don’t have the time, but are craving a hearty bowl of chili, this four-ingredient option is great. Not only is it simple to prepare, but its fiber and protein content also make for a filling meal. To lower the sodium in this option, be sure to compare the sodium content across various salsa brands, or consider swapping the salsa for fresh pico de Gallo.



Brown your ground beef until thoroughly cooked. Combine with warmed pinto beans and salsa until well-mixed. Top with avocado, and serve.

RELATED: 10 Low-Calorie Fast-Food Breakfasts for Weight Loss

Chicken Salad in a Bell Pepper

stuffed bell pepper with chicken

303 calories, 17 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 602 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (2 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 22 g protein

Canned chicken gets forgotten as a protein, but it is so easy to incorporate into meals. It is also incredibly lean, which allows you to have a hearty portion for relatively few calories. This recipe is a healthy take on traditional chicken salad that uses light mayo for a lower fat content. Instead of being served on bread or with crackers, the red bell pepper adds more than a serving of veggies to your day and plenty of satisfying crunch. Add celery and cucumber to your chicken salad for even more crunch and fiber.



Combine chicken, mayo, and grapes in a bowl. Scoop chicken mixture into bell pepper halves, and serve.


quesadilla with avocado

343 calories, 17 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 204 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (9 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 11 g protein

A classic meal beloved by many, quesadillas get a bad rap for being higher in calories. While this is true when oversized flour tortillas and lots of cheese is used, simple modifications make this a great meal for weight loss. Corn tortillas contain half the number of calories as flour, and cheese serves as a source of fat and filling protein. Pair with fibrous avocado and tomatoes for a balanced meal that works within your calorie budget.



Spread your cheese between the two corn tortillas, and heat in a pan until melted. Once cooked, serve alongside mashed avocado and cherry tomatoes.

RELATED: 6 ‘Bad’ Carbs That Are Actually Good For Weight Loss

Tomato BLT

BLT ingredients

301 calories, 14 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 434 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (9 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 23 g protein

As a low-carb take on a traditional sandwich, this tomato BLT can satisfy your craving for a savory meal. While turkey bacon generally provides more protein than pork, two slices aren’t quite enough for a balanced meal. Pair your low-carb sandwich with edamame for a protein and produce boost. Whether steamed in or out of the pods, edamame is a complete source of protein that also provides impressive fiber.


1 medium tomato, end removed, cut into 2 thick slices (22 calories)
3 Bib lettuce leaves (6 calories)
1/2 Tbsp mayo, light (25 calories)
2 slices turkey bacon, cooked (60 calories)
1 cup edamame beans, steamed (188 calories)


Layer lettuce, mayo, and turkey bacon between thick tomato slices, and enjoy as a sandwich. Serve with a side of edamame.

Pasta Salad

pasta salad with chicken

378 calories, 11 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 578 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (6 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 30 g protein

You may think noodles are off-limits when focusing on weight loss, but they can absolutely be part of your journey—especially whole wheat noodles, which provide more protein and fiber than traditional options. When paired with lean chicken and veggies in this pasta salad, you have a well-balanced meal that feels indulgent. If you don’t have a rotisserie chicken on hand, swap for canned chicken.


1 cup rotini, cooked (170 calories)
2 Tbsp salad dressing, Italian (71 calories)
3 oz of rotisserie chicken breast, meat only, shredded (122 calories)
1/2 bell pepper, red, seeded, diced (15 calories)


Combine cooked pasta with salad dressing, chicken, and bell pepper. Chill before serving.

Egg Salad

egg salad

298 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 387 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (7 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 29 g protein

Egg salad is traditionally made with mayo, and while a lower-fat option can be used here, Greek yogurt provides a similar texture while also adding protein. Add mustard to your liking to create a flavorful, protein-packed entrée. The chickpeas boost protein further and add fiber, making this a great weight loss meal.


2 eggs, large, hard-boiled (143 calories)
¼ cup Greek yogurt, plain, nonfat (36 calories)
2 cup spinach, raw (14 calories)
½ cup chickpeas, cooked, drained (105 calories)


Combine boiled eggs and Greek yogurt, then mix to desired texture. Serve over a bed of lettuce and top with chickpeas.


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