What you'll learn in this blog
We’ve all been there. Hungry on the go (or at a desk) with nothing healthy prepared to eat, inevitably leading to buying a lunch out of convenience.
Not only is the food often less than nutritious—derailing any weight loss progress—but it’s also usually way more expensive than it would be if we’d made a meal at home.
It's a lose-lose situation if ever we’ve heard one.
Lunch is an incredibly important part of your day, especially if you’re trying to lose or maintain weight in a sustainable way.
The truth is, while it might be tempting to skip lunch or eat something quickly, getting a healthy, balanced meal can go miles towards helping balance hormone levels and hunger, helping with your weight loss goals in the process.
But what do you eat if you’re on the go or out of your house that still hits the spot and is healthy?
We’ll tell you.
We’re sharing our favorite healthy (and sooo delicious) lunch box ideas for when you’re on the go—perfect for adults (or anyone in your family, really).
Why a healthy lunch is important
If you’re trying to lose weight, it can be tempting to grab something small for lunch or even skip it altogether, especially if calorie counting is at the forefront of your mind.
But, it’s usually counterproductive and having a healthy lunch offers a bundle of benefits. Eating at lunchtime keeps your metabolism ticking over, stops you from having hunger pangs in the afternoon, balances hormones and energy, and is a more balanced way to live than restricting yourself (that’s no fun).
Of course, the balanced part in mind is still important. We’re not suggesting you wolf down a McDonald's every lunchtime, but there are ways to be more than satisfied post-lunch while feeling and looking your best.
How to prepare for a healthy lunch
Meal planning and making lunch can take the stress out of the day and set you up to achieve your goals.
At the start of the week, figure out what you want to make for lunch and meal prep, whatever you can. This will empower you to bulk buy groceries and prepare whatever you can—saving you time on the day.
It might also be time to invest in some quality storage containers. Doing so will allow you to prep and store food in the fridge in advance, so you can take your lunch with you on the go.
Plus…who doesn’t love a cute storage container?
Our favorite healthy lunch ideas
We’ve picked these meals as they are healthy and versatile. You can mix and match protein and veggie options so that the days don’t become too boring. Nobody wants to be eating bland, boring food day in and day out.
But we’ve also paid careful consideration to the prep work, as we know making lunches for yourself (and potentially a few mini-mes) is not the most fun task.
So, get ready for our list of convenient, delicious and healthy lunch ideas.
1. Quinoa and Grilled Vegetable Salad
Packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins, this colorful salad is perfect for a healthy adult lunch. It's versatile, easy to prep, and you can customize it with your favorite veggies.
2. Mediterranean Wrap
Embrace the flavors of the Mediterranean with a delicious wrap filled with grilled chicken, feta cheese, hummus, and fresh veggies.
This satisfying option is light and packed to the rafters with nutrients—you can also mix up your protein and veggies daily to keep things exciting.
3. Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
Spice up your lunchtime with a Thai-inspired salad.
Made with whole wheat noodles, crunchy vegetables, and a zesty peanut sauce, it's a perfect blend of flavors and textures.
Here’s a quick-fire recipe idea for your inspiration.
4. Bento Box with Sushi Rolls
Take a break from the usual sandwiches and switch it up with a bento box filled with homemade sushi rolls.
Use a variety of veggies, proteins, and delicious sauces to make it an exciting lunch option.
If you’re a Tupperware lover, then you can even invest in an exciting bento box to make the meal more authentic (and inject a little excitement into your working day).
5. Chickpea Salad with Lemon Dressing
Packed with plant-based protein, chickpeas are an excellent addition to any lunch box set to keep you energized and feeling full for the whole day.
Toss them with fresh veggies, herbs, and a tangy lemon dressing for a refreshing salad that fills you up.
6. Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
Transform ordinary bell peppers into a satisfying lunch by stuffing them with a delicious mixture of quinoa, veggies, and cheese.
These colorful and nutritious peppers are easy to prepare ahead of time and reheat whenever you're ready to eat.
7. Turkey and Avocado Lettuce Wraps
Ditch the bread and go for some refreshing lettuce wraps instead.
Fill them with lean turkey, avocado, crunchy veggies, and a dressing of your choice to make them delicious.
Again, swap out the protein and vegetables as required to keep things interesting.
8. Mason Jar Noodles
While a pot noodle might not be the most nutritious of meals, you can prep your very own healthy and delicious version at home.
Use a large heatproof jar (a leftover, cleaned-out glass jar with a lid is perfect), and layer in noodles, topped with protein, veggies (ginger, shredded carrots, courgette), and soy sauce. Triple yum.
Once you’re ready to eat, pour boiling water over it and let it sit for 10 minutes to cook. And, just like that, you’ll have a healthy on-the-go pot noodle that will keep you feeling full and feeling great throughout the day.
9. Mediterranean Hummus Bowl
Indulge in the flavors of the Mediterranean with this wholesome and filling hummus bowl.
Top a bed of quinoa with hummus, roasted chickpeas, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil. Easy peasy.
10. Buddha Bowls
Enjoy a vibrant explosion of flavors by assembling your own Buddha bowls, filled with a mix of grains, proteins, veggies, and a delicious homemade dressing.
Customize it to your liking and enjoy a nutritious and satisfying lunch.
11. DIY Sushi Rolls
Unleash your inner sushi chef and try your hand at making your own sushi rolls.
Experiment with different fillings like shrimp tempura, avocado, mango, and spicy mayo for a fun and interactive lunch option.
What about snacks?
While we’d all love to make it from breakfast to lunch (and then lunch to dinner) doing nil-by-mouth, the reality is we all get a little peckish and need to supplement with some snacks.
This can be the downfall for many people, as they reach for candy or chips and derail all the effort they’ve put into a healthy lunch.
So, set yourself up for success by prepping some healthy snacks that you can reach for if you are feeling hungry between meals.
Chop up some fresh fruit, make a fruit and veg smoothie or have some carrot and celery batons on hand.
These foods are nutritionally dense and will give you some much-needed nutrients— keeping you full without overdoing it on the calories.
For extra inspiration, read our guide to healthy snack swaps guide right here.
Ready to make a healthy lunch?
Food is a really important part of staying on track with your weight loss goals. But it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming.
You can even prep these healthy meal options in advance to make sure that you can eat healthy no matter where you are having your lunch: at home, on the go, or in the office.
Oh, and if you need some healthy lunch options for the kids (that would also work for you), go and check out our article on healthy kids’ lunches. You’ve got this.