10 Best Weight Loss Lunches That Are 400 Calories or Less (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

10 Best Weight Loss Lunches That Are 400 Calories or Less (1)

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.

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Peanut Butter Rice Cakes

10 Best Weight Loss Lunches That Are 400 Calories or Less (2)

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

10 Best Weight Loss Lunches That Are 400 Calories or Less (3)

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.

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Veggie Burger Spinach Salad

10 Best Weight Loss Lunches That Are 400 Calories or Less (4)

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

10 Best Weight Loss Lunches That Are 400 Calories or Less (5)

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.

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Chicken Salad in a Bell Pepper

10 Best Weight Loss Lunches That Are 400 Calories or Less (6)

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.


10 Best Weight Loss Lunches That Are 400 Calories or Less (7)

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.

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Tomato BLT

10 Best Weight Loss Lunches That Are 400 Calories or Less (8)

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

10 Best Weight Loss Lunches That Are 400 Calories or Less (9)

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

10 Best Weight Loss Lunches That Are 400 Calories or Less (10)

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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10 Best Weight Loss Lunches That Are 400 Calories or Less (2024)


Is a 400 calorie lunch good for weight loss? ›

These delicious 400-calorie lunches fit nicely into a 1,500-calorie day-a calorie level most people will lose a healthy 1 to 2 pounds per week when following. Plus, we made sure they have plenty of fiber and protein, both of which help you feel full (no more hunger pangs).

What is an example of a 400 calorie lunch? ›

Chickpea, Artichoke & Avocado Salad with Apple-Cider Dressing. This delicious 400-calorie salad is a helpful tool for weight loss because it provides a good balance of fiber, protein and healthy fats from loads of veggies and beans, all tossed in a tangy apple cider vinaigrette.

What is the healthiest lunch you can eat? ›

Healthy People Usually Eat These 7 Things for Lunch
  1. Avocado and egg sandwich. ...
  2. Summer rolls with peanut sauce. ...
  3. Quinoa pear salad with spinach, cranberries and pecans. ...
  4. Protein Salad. ...
  5. Loaded Vegetable Sandwich. ...
  6. Lentil vegetable soup. ...
  7. Chicken burrito bowl with rice and beans.
Aug 30, 2023

What is the biggest meal for weight loss? ›

Most people are brought up thinking that dinner should be the biggest meal of the day, meaning they opt for a light breakfast and lunch. However, research has found that a smaller dinner and larger lunch could be the key to helping you shift those weight.

What foods help burn belly fat? ›

Following a low-carb diet also means consuming more protein. Studies indicate that a diet rich in high-protein foods, such as eggs, fish, seafood, legumes, nuts, meat, and dairy results in overall less abdominal fat, more satiety, and an increased metabolic function.

What to eat for a flat stomach in 3 days? ›

What to eat to get a flat stomach in just 3 days
  1. Ginger mint tea. ...
  2. Bloat-free breakfasts. ...
  3. Coconut yoghurt with blueberries. ...
  4. Cinnamon oat smoothie. ...
  5. Spinach and tomato omelette. ...
  6. Mid-morning snack. ...
  7. 2 slices of watermelon or cantaloupe. ...
  8. Spiralised apple and cinnamon noodles.
Jul 7, 2016

How to reduce belly fat in 7 days? ›

  1. Eat plenty of soluble fiber. ...
  2. Avoid foods that contain trans fats. ...
  3. Moderate your alcohol intake. ...
  4. Eat a high protein diet. ...
  5. Reduce your stress levels. ...
  6. Don't eat a lot of sugary foods. ...
  7. Do aerobic exercise (cardio) ...
  8. Cut back on carbs — especially refined carbs.

Is peanut butter good for weight loss? ›

Peanut butter is high in protein, aiding weight loss, but it is rich in calories, so it can help you gain weight if you consume too much of it. Nuts are some of the healthiest things you can eat, providing proteins, healthy fats, and a range of vitamins and minerals.

How many calories should I eat for lunch to lose weight? ›

Additionally, drastic caloric restrictions, less than 1,200 calories, increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies and health complications. If you're unsure, start with a 1,500-calorie meal plan—a calorie level at which most people will lose weight in a healthy way.

Is 400 calories enough to lose weight? ›

How Much Weight Can You Lose Burning 400 Calories a Day? You need to burn 3,500 calories per week (500 calories per day) to lose one pound. If you burned an extra 400 calories per day, that would equal 2,800 calories per week. This means you could, in theory, lose 0.8 lbs per week by burning 400 calories every day.

Is 400 calories enough for breakfast and lunch? ›

Calories Per Meal

That means that a person aiming for 1,500 calories a day might eat around 400 calories at each meal and then eat two 150-calorie snacks in the late morning and afternoon.

How much weight will I lose if I cut 400 calories a day? ›

Burning 400 calories a day for a month could potentially result in a weight loss of approximately 3-4 pounds. Exactly how much weight you lose will be dependent on a variety of factors including your current weight, body composition, and diet.


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