Before you bite into that weekday lunch, check out Joy Bauer's tips for cutting calories from your midday meal. Here, she takes four typical lunches and offers alternatives to lose the fat and sugar without sacrificing taste.
Typical lunch: Subway sandwich and chips
Ingredients: Foot-long Italian sandwich (pepperoni, ham, salami) on herb & cheese bread, with American cheese, lettuce, onion, yellow mustard, mayo. On the side: salt and vinegar potato chips and a root beer to drink.
The damage: 1,590 calories, 87 grams fat, 75 grams sugar
Joy’s advice: Switch to a half-sub, and lose the high-fat Italian meats and instead go for lean ham, turkey and one slice cheese. Drop the mayo (100 calories per tablespoon). Mustard is fine (15 calories per tablespoon). Since Jared probably likes the Italian meats because of their spicy kick, I suggest adding roasted red peppers, possibly sliced jalapenos, and Italian flavors by adding oregano, vinegar, and/or pepperoncini or banana peppers. Lose the regular fried chips and instead buy a small bag of Baked Lays or soy crisps. Ultimately switch to water, or keep A & W diet root beer at the office.
Joy's lunch makeover: Six-inch ham and turkey sub on herb/cheese bread with American cheese, mustard, roasted red peppers, jalapenos or banana peppers or pepperoncini peppers, vinegar, oregano, lettuce, and tomato, plus one snack bag Baked Lays and water or diet root beer.
The new figures: 532 calories, 13 grams fat, 12 grams sugar
Typical lunch: Overloaded salad
Ingredients: Romaine hearts, ¼ cup cheddar cheese, 4 ounces turkey, one chopped egg, cranberries, one scoop chickpeas, carrots and strawberry vinaigrette dressing. Diet Coke to drink.
The damage: 917 calories, 53 grams fat, 47 grams sugar
Joy’s advice: Drop the caloric ingredients — cheddar cheese (you already have egg, chickpeas and turkey for protein), dried cranberries (too high in sugar, ¼ cup provides 100 additional calories). Instead of strawberry vinaigrette, add fresh sliced strawberries, plain balsamic vinegar, and splash (1 teaspoon) olive oil.
Joy's lunch makeover: 3-4 cups romaine, 4 ounces turkey breast, one chopped egg, 1/4 cup chickpeas, 1/4 cup shredded carrot, 1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries, one teaspoon olive oil, plenty of balsamic vinegar.
The new figures: 390 calories, 13 grams fat, 10 grams sugar
Typical lunch: Chicken and vegetables
Ingredients: One portion chicken Frances with one cup broccoli, one cup mashed potatoes, and Crystal Light to drink.
The damage: 1,065 calories, 59 grams fat, 12 grams sugar
Joy’s advice: Chicken Francese is typically coated in egg and/or breadcrumbs & pan-fried with a lemon butter sauce. Instead, have plain grilled chicken breast — order lemon slices on the side and squeeze over the grilled chicken. Swap the mashed potatoes for a small plain baked potato — add a packet of ketchup OR one pat butter OR request marinara sauce on the side and pour it over the top. Order your broccoli plain to avoid the extra butter and oil they often sneak in.
Joy’s lunch makeover: Six ounces grilled chicken breast with fresh squeezed lemon, one small baked potato with marinara sauce, steamed broccoli; Crystal Light.
The new figures: 500 calories, 9 grams fat, 5 grams sugar
Typical lunch: Soup and sandwich
Ingredients: Roast beef and parmesan on a baguette with a small cup of tomato basil soup; raspberry soda to drink.
The damage: 843 calories, 16.5 grams fat, 28 grams sugar
Joy’s advice: Switch from the roast beef and parmesan baguette sandwich to chicken and mozzarella with balsamic dressing, and lose the top half of the baguette. You’ll save 90 calories by switching sandwiches, plus roughly another 100 calories, and halve the refined white starch in the meal by losing the extra bread.
And you still get to enjoy the cheese. Keep the tomato soup if there's no cream in it. At only 80 calories per small serving, it’ll help fill you up at a small calorie cost. Lose the raspberry soda altogether. Grab an ice cold bottle of water instead. It’s more hydrating and refreshing way to beat the summer heat in the long run.
Joy's lunch makeover: Chicken and mozzarella sandwich, top slice of baguette removed, small cup tomato soup, bottled water.
The new figures: 560 calories, 22.5 grams fat, 10 grams sugar
For more information on healthy eating, visit Joy Bauer’s Web site at www.joybauernutrition.com