Somewhere along the way, sandwiches got a bad rap. We’re not sure how this happened but new clients who come to us looking to get lean think sandwiches are the ultimate “no-no”. Maybe it’s because they’ve tried eating sandwiches in the past to feel satisfied while dieting, but did it all wrong and it backfired. Maybe they had the best intentions – ate a daily tuna sandwich – or a turkey and cheese sandwich – or they grabbed a seemingly innocent chicken aioli sandwich on skinny-looking bread from the local bistro in hopes of losing body fat. Then, when their waists didn’t shrink as they hoped, they blamed the bread. Little did they know, the bread wasn’t to blame.
How to Make A Waist-Friendly Sandwich
Sandwiches can be one of the most satisfying, most waist-friendly lunch options, as long as you know how to fix them. Surprisingly, the same delicious sandwich can cost you 300 calories when done right, or 800 calories plus, done wrong. Here’s how you make a satisfying, slimming sandwich:
Whole Grain Bread
Start with two slices of whole grain bread. This will give you long-lasting energy and fiber to keep you satisfied so you don’t end up craving a candy bar an hour or so later.
Then, add your lean protein to keep you feeling full. Fresh sliced turkey, chicken, fish, tofu, or eggs are ideal. This means forget about salty ham, fatty bologna or any fried meat or tofu. Peanut butter is OK, but limit it to 1-1/2 flat tablespoons to keep portions in check. One level tablespoon of peanut butter is 100 calories. If you’re not cautious you’ll easily slab on 300 or more calories of peanut butter before you even count the bread.
Condiments – Now here’s the conundrum. This is where most sandwich lovers go wrong. Kiss spreads like mayonnaise, regular cheese, sandwich dressings or aioli goodbye. Several dabs of these will cost you more calories than the entire sandwich. Instead, go for fat-free cheeses, flavored vinegars and non-fat spreads and condiments. Try nonfat yogurt, fat-free mayo, lemon, vinegar or dijonnaise in your tuna and sugar-free jelly on peanut butter. Example: Make a tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread with nonfat mayo and dijonnaise or with nonfat yogurt and lemon; your sandwich won’t even hit 300 calories. Make that tuna sandwich with regular mayo and then you have a 700-calorie sandwich!
Healthy Sandwich Toppers
What are two creamy and delicious, yet healthy, sandwich toppers? (1) Avocado: It has the “good” mono-unsaturated fats,contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals and only 50 calories per 1 oz (3 slices) serving. (2) Hummus: Great way to get healthy fat and protein – use one flat tablespoon for about 30 calories of deliciousness.
Don’t Forget the Veggies
Lettuce, tomato, onions, peppers..you name the veggie! Add it to your sandwich and it will help fill you up, add nutrients and provide very few extra calories.
About the Authors
Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, CDN, CFT and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT (a.k.a. The Nutrition Twins®) are registered dietitians and certified personal trainers. They share a nutrition consulting practice and are co-authors of The Secret To Skinny and Fire Up Your Metabolism. The Twins are regularly featured as nutrition experts on The Fox News Channel, Good Morning America and Discovery Health Channel and regularly appear on international radio stations, as well as print and online publications. Visit www.NutritionTwins.com (see link below).