How I lost 35 pounds in my weight loss journey
Goal Digging

My 35 Pound Weight-loss Journey (Lunch Foods)

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Time for a Change

As I stated in Part 1 of this series – “My 35 Pound Weight-loss Journey (Breakfast Foods)“, I began my weight-loss journey about a year ago, and so far I’ve lost over 35 pounds! It all began with a desire to look and feel better and to take better care of myself – “for realz” this time. Prior to last year, I had tried dieting and exercise several times before, all with the same end result – losing a few pounds only to gain them back and then some. What made this attempt different is that I had come to a realization that I was at an age where I could no longer eat whatever and however much of it I wanted. If I continued on the path that I was on, I wasn’t going to be around much longer. I needed to change some things, and fast!

Also, as I stated in Part 1, that’s when I joined Weight Watchers (WW) – what I didn’t mention was that this was for the second time, by the way – and a gym. I began prepping meals and working out regularly. Changing my eating habits was one of the toughest challenges I faced as I was used to eating whenever and whatever I wanted. As many of you know, hunger pangs can be brutal when all you can seem to think about is food. And as many of you also know, whenever you’re trying to change your eating habits, the biggest challenges always seem to come during lunch time while you’re at work.

Overcoming Temptation

Many of you know where I’m coming from when I say this…just as soon as I started trying to be a good girl, take care of myself, and do right by my body, donuts, cupcakes, and pizza seem to appear out of nowhere all around the office. If you’re like me, the word “No” doesn’t like to hang out with sweets and junk food as much its evil cousin “Yes” does. If I was going to be successful with my diet and see any kind of positive results, I had to put my foot down when these situations arose – both with my coworkers and with myself.

Are There No Healthy Lunch Options?

One thing that I found out rather quickly about many of the so called “lunch” foods that I would bring to work is that they weren’t all that filling. You eat them and within five minutes, you’re hungry all over again. Plus, they’re not all that healthy for you. Most are full of preservatives, sugar, and empty calories. So, in order to have more nutritious, lower calorie, and filling lunch foods, I began prepping my lunches along with my dinners.

Here is my list of lunch foods I ate that helped me lose 35 pounds:

  • Corn – 0 SP
  • Lima beans – 0 SP
  • Sweet peas – 0 SP
  • Taco soup – 0 SP
  • *Zero-point chili  – 0 SP

*This chili is delicious and so easy to make. It was posted by Amy at DIY Candy. You can get the recipe HERE. I used only one can each of the beans, one can of the Rotel tomatoes, and I adjusted the spices back just a little.

  • Campbell’s Well Yes! Chicken Noodle Soup 1 cup – 1 SP
  • Chicken fajitas (made with grilled chicken breast (0 SP), tortillas (1 SP), and fat-free refried beans (0 SP)) – 1 SP total
  • *Fajitas  – 1 SP
  • **Freezer Friendly Bean & Cheese Burritos – 1 SP
  • Joseph’s pitas – 1 SP

*I made these using Ole’ Xtreme Wellness tortillas, frozen chicken breast strips, and refried beans with corn and lima beans as my sides – and yes, the whole meal only counts for 1 SP!

**Freezer Friendly Bean & Cheese Burritos recipe from Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom at:
https://moneysavingmom.com/2013/03/freezer-friendly-bean-cheese-burritos.html
. I made these with fat-free refried beans, Kraft Fat-Free Cheese, Taco Bell Taco Sauce, and Ole Xtreme Wellness tortillas. This recipe makes 24 Burritos which can be frozen and re-heated making lunch prep a breeze.

  • Chicken Noodle soup (2 SP)
  • Cream of Chicken soup – 2 SP
  • Egg salad (with 1 TBSP light mayonnaise) – 2 SP
  • Fajitas (made with seasoned chicken, fat free black beans, sour cream, fat free cheese, and Xtreme Wellness tortillas) – 2 SP
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches (Nature’s Own 40 Calorie Honey Wheat bread – 2 slices (1 SP); Great Value Fat Free Cheese (1 SP); I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray (0 SP)) – 2 SP total
  • Lays Poppables (.5 oz snack size bags) – 2 SP
  • Tacos (Made with seasoned ground turkey, fat free refried beans, fat free cheese, and sour cream) – 2 SP
  • *Turkey Sloppy Joes – 2 SP
  • Weiner pitas (made with Hebrew National 97% Fat Free Wieners (1 SP) and Joseph’s Pitas (1 SP)) – 2 SP total

*This recipe is a family favorite. You can find it here: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/turkey-sloppy-joes.

  • Egg salad sandwiches – 3 SP
  • Ham and cheese wraps – 3 SP
  • Homemade vegetable soup – 3 SP
  • Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches – 4 SP
  • Tostitos Scoops (1 serving)  – 4 SP
  • Bean burritos – 5 SP
  • Bacon and cheese pitas – 6 SP
  • English muffin pizzas – 6 SP
  • *(3) Pizza Logs – 6 SP
  • Toasted cheese sandwich – 6 SP
  • Turkey meatballs in marinara over squash noodles – 6 SP

*I found the Pizza Logs recipe at  Emily Bites. Check out her recipe HERE. These are pretty good, but if I make them again, I will probably leave out the Italian seasoning.

Pizza logs
Pizza Logs

Just because I prepped my lunches did not mean that I never ate or ordered out with my co-workers. It’s just that whenever I did, I always tried to be smart about it. For example, I would order the Roasted Chicken Bites from Bojangles (2 SP) with green beans (0 SP) and mashed potatoes with gravy (4 SP) – 6 SP total.  I would sometimes order lunch from a local establishment that has a hot bar so I could choose what I’d be eating and set my portion sizes. Also, when eating out at other places, I tried to order child-size portions (or from the kids’ menu) so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat so much.

By looking at my list, you can see there are a lot of healthy lunch options available to you that are both cheap and nutritious. If you’re willing to put in a little work prepping them, you can say bye-bye to eating out of vending machines and ordering out everyday.
 


What struggles or hurdles do you face each day at lunch time? Are there any of the above meals that you would like to know more about? Please post in the comments below.

Take a moment to read these additional posts about my weight-loss journey:

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