Reviewed by: Erica Grandjean, APD, BNutr&Diet
Busy week? Sometimes takeaway isn’t an option – it’s a necessity.
With this in mind, we’ve selected some of the best takeaway lunch options at 400 calories or less, so you’re not breaking your limit by eating out.
However, if you do find time to meal prep, it can be as simple as bringing easy-to-assemble ingredients to work. Things like rice toasties (our favourites are Zero Food) or sourdough bread you can keep in the freezer, and a few simple toppings should last you the whole week – avocado, tomato, cucumber, capsicum and red onion are all great, easy to store options.
But now, for the takeaway!
1. Soft chicken tacos with mixed salad
Mexican for lunch? You bet! If you stick to two soft, small tortillas and replace sour cream and cheese with guacamole, Mexican can be light and nutritious.
2. Turkey salad sandwich
Sandwich stands are a great option, as you can choose what ingredients go into your lunch.
Turkey is a great low-fat meat that’s full of protein. Add a mixed salad of tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, grated carrot and alfalfa, and a swipe of seeded mustard. Vegetarian? Swap the turkey for hummus or boiled eggs.
3. 6 pieces of tuna or salmon sushi with miso soup
Although sushi rice is quite sugary, it’s still comes in at under 400 calories if you stick to a plain salmon and cucumber or tuna and cucumber combo. Go easy on those sushi rolls with mayo or oodles of avocado.
Also read: 7 Sweet Snacks at 100 Calories or Less
4. Small pot of pumpkin soup
If it’s chilly, why not indulge in a warming soup for lunch? Pumpkin is creamy and delicious, and as long as you get a small serving, you’ll be under 300 calories at most takeaway cafes.
5. Avocado on toast with sliced tomato
Your local cafe should have this as an all-day option. Ask for one slice of sourdough with no butter, avocado and sliced tomato and black pepper. It’s perfect if you like to keep lunch simple and tasty.
6. Grilled chicken salad
If you’ve got a made-to-order salad bar nearby, ask for a small grilled chicken salad with spinach leaves, mixed veggies (carrot, cucumber and capsicum) and a light vinaigrette.
Avoid toppings like Caesar dressing, cheese, bacon and avocado.
7. Chicken Laksa
If you fancy something spicy and rich, try a small pot of Chicken Laksa. It comes in under 400 calories, and spice allegedly increases metabolic rate. Reason enough for us!