When I was a kid, my favorite sandwich was toast with thousand island dressing. That’s it, just those two ingredients! I honestly don’t even know why I started eating them like that. But I do remember how delicious I thought they tasted!
Now that I’m older and wiser, I realize how unhealthy that was. That got me thinking, how can I still have a sandwich and lose weight too?
This blog post will outline 7 easy steps for how to make a healthy sandwich to lose weight while still tasting great!
Are Sandwiches Healthy For Losing Weight?
Yes, sandwiches are easy and quick to make. You will usually already have all the ingredients you need in your refrigerator. So no more excuses, as making a sandwich will take you less time than stopping at the drive-thru!
Sandwiches are a great lunchtime or snack time choice. They can be healthier than eating a slice of pizza or burger if you prepare them the way I will teach you below.
If you choose the right ingredients, sandwiches can be low in calories and filling because of the protein and fiber they contain.
How To Make A Healthy Sandwich To Lose Weight
Follow the 7 steps below for a delicious sandwich that will get you closer to your weight loss goal!
Step 1: Pick A Great Bread
While you can use any bread for your sandwich, there are some great options that will have more nutritional benefits than others.
One of the best options is Ezekiel Bread, made from sprouted grains such as wheat, barley, and millet. One slice has about 80 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber.
Another of my favorite brands is David’s Killer Bread. It’s made with organic whole grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. One slice has about 110 calories, 5 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber.
Although David’s Killer Bread is higher in calories, I like the taste better than the Ezekial bread. I don’t always go for the lowest calorie food item, as I try to balance my taste buds and health. This is why I have been able to stick to my diet for over a decade.
In general, you want to buy bread that is 100% whole grains and that has a lot of protein and fiber in them.
Find a large, hearty bread that you like the taste of. Avoid flimsy loaves like Wonder Bread which are more carbohydrate-laden and have a tendency to fall apart.
Step 2: Make It Open-Faced
You can make your sandwich open-faced by removing the top slice of bread. Trying this simple trick will help you cut your calorie intake significantly without ruining your favorite sandwich!
You can cut anywhere from 70-130 calories per sandwich! And this way, if you prefer, you can add more veggies and protein so that you fill up quicker and feel more satisfied.
Step 3: Add Protein
If you want to add protein to your sandwich, opt for sources with the fewest amount of calories.
One of my favorite protein sources is egg whites! One large egg white has about 17 calories and about 3.6 grams of protein. They are inexpensive and easy enough to make at home!
Another low-calorie but packed with protein low-calorie protein source is plant-based deli meat. Although they aren’t the healthiest thing, I like Tofurky slices. My favorite is the peppered flavor. Five slices have 100 calories and 13 grams of protein.
Step 4: Add a Healthy Fat
The healthiest and most delicious fat you can add to your sandwich is avocado.
Although avocados are high in calories (one avocado has about 300 calories), your body needs healthy fats to function at its best. Healthy fats are good for your brain, your skin, and help you absorb essential vitamins.
Avocados can also give you energy and keep you full longer.
I suggest that you are just self-conscious of how much avocado you are adding to your sandwich and not overdo it.
Personally, I would not add more than 1/4 of avocado to my sandwich. And when I do, the avocado becomes my sandwich spread (instead of mayo).
Step 5: Load Up On Fresh Veggies
Not only will vegetables add that crunch to your sandwich, but they will also fill you up. In fact, go ahead and add as many vegetables you want to your sandwich as they are so low in calories.
The best vegetables to use in your sandwich are cucumbers, lettuce or spinach leaves, and tomatoes. For more low-calories vegetables, check out my blog post “The Top 5 Worst And Best Vegetables For Weight Loss“.
Step 6: Choose The Right Spread
This is probably the most crucial step if you don’t want to kill your weight-loss hopes by eating sandwiches.
Dressings, sauces, and mayo are really high in calories. One tablespoon of mayonnaise has about 95 calories! Thankfully, there are a lot of better choices out there.
One option is to use light mayo, which has 45 calories per tablespoon. However, I would not recommend you use light mayo because it is made with highly processed oils.
Another option is to use hummus. Hummus has about 25 calories per tablespoon and is an excellent source of fiber and protein since it is made from chickpeas.
A lot of people recommend that you use mustard, which has only 10 calories per tablespoon. If you are like me who doesn’t like mustard, try stone ground mustard, I like its taste much better, and it has about the same amount of calories.
If you don’t mind using salad dressing as your sandwich spread, check out my blog post on my top 3 best store-bought salad dressings for weight loss. They range from 40-60 calories per tablespoon.
Lastly, try making your own low-calorie, high-in protein sandwich spread. Just mix the following ingredients in a bowl: 1/2 cup of greek yogurt, 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp of minced garlic, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt.
Step 7: Cut The Sandwich Into Bite-Size Portions
Cutting a sandwich into bite-size portions can reduce how many calories you consume for several reasons.
First of all, our mind plays tricks on us. So, if you have several smaller pieces of the sandwich instead of having 1 big piece, you will feel like you are eating more.
But most importantly, you are more likely to chew your food more, which will help you feel full faster. This is because eating slower encourages your body to digest food completely, preventing bloating or discomfort.
It can also lead to enjoying your meal more because it takes longer to eat. And the best part about cutting your sandwich into bitesize portions is that you can get creative! Maybe cut it up in triangles, or how about squares?
Bonus: Add Cheese
If you want to add cheese to your sandwich, use low-fat or fat-free cheese. A slice of fat-free cheese is about 25 calories, and a regular cheese slice is about 60 calories. If you can’t find fat-free cheese in your grocery store, go for the low-fat option.
Also, grass-fed or organic cheese is so much healthier. Go for this if it’s available to you.
And unfortunately, I cannot recommend plant-based cheese as the ingredients are so crappy.
A sandwich is one of the best go-to meals for many people looking for quick, healthy lunches that they can take with them anywhere. However, it’s also important to make sure that these sandwiches are suitable for our bodies.
I provided 7 easy steps to help get started making better sandwiches which I hope gave you some ideas! I covered everything from what ingredients you should use to the right spread to choose without breaking any calorie bank rules!
Use my tips above when preparing your next sandwich to enjoy a delicious lunch while also losing weight! What is your favorite sandwich recipe?