Hold the Mayo and Start with Soup: 10 Easy Swaps to Cut 200 Calories from the Next Lunch Meeting

Posted by on Friday, May 16th, 2014 with Comments Off on Hold the Mayo and Start with Soup: 10 Easy Swaps to Cut 200 Calories from the Next Lunch Meeting Comments

Eating healthy at work is hard enough when you have total control over what you order or bring for lunch each day. But when you’re stuck in a lengthy conference or headed to a pre-planned lunch meeting, it can be hard to know just how to stay satisfied and be social without wrecking your diet goals.

Rather than stressing about not being able to stick to your usual plan, just think about the healthiest choices you can make in the moment. We’ve put together a few surefire ways to cut 200 calories — and occasionally much more — from some of the most popular lunch meeting options you’re likely to come across. Whether you’re filling your plate at a catering table, grabbing a box lunch from a pile, or picking your own takeout meal as part of a group order, here are ten easy swaps to make your lunch a little lighter:

box lunch

With a few tricks in mind, you can choose a healthier lunch even when you have limited control.
Image source: Flickr user Calvert Cafe

1) You’ve likely heard that starting with soup is a great way to help curb your appetite… but you have to choose your bowl wisely. Opt for a broth-based instead of a creamy soup to start your meal — at Panera Bread, for instance, a bowl of vegetarian garden soup with pesto is 140 calories, while creamy tomato is 450.

2) Placing takeout orders for a Mexican spot? Ask for a burrito bowl instead of a burrito — at Chipotle, those giant flour tortillas are 300 calories all on their lonesome.

3) When the pizza boxes appear, think thin: two slices of a large thin-crust pie will have nearly 200 fewer calories than two from a pan pizza — even if the toppings are identical.

4) If you absolutely can’t part with carbs when ordering in from the Chinese place, choose lo mein instead of fried rice — depending on the size of your entree, it could save you nearly 500 calories!

5) Swap mustard for mayo on your deli sandwich for a savings of 100 calories, and choose turkey or ham instead of Italian-style cured meats for 120 more!

tray of sandwiches

Go for turkey or ham instead of cured meats like salami for a better deli sandwich.
Image source: Flickr user Alpha

6) At a breakfast meeting? If pastries are the only option, reach for a relatively light croissant over a dense scone: for instance, Starbucks’ plain croissant has 260 calories, while a blueberry scone has up to 460.

7) Bagels are another breakfast mainstay, and there are two ways to choose wisely: opt for pumpernickel over cheese-topped bagels (for up to 100 fewer calories) and spread on two tablespoons of cream cheese instead of butter for about 100 more.

8) Even if having dessert feels like cheating, remember that not all sweets are created equal as you choose a cookie instead of a brownie or slice of pound cake: Au Bon Pain’s oatmeal raisin has 290 calories, while their marble pound cake has 450.

plate of brownies and cookies

Cookies tend to be lower-cal than brownies and pound cake.
Image source: Flickr user Drew Hubbard, Ben Waters

9) Perhaps the easiest calorie savings you can make? Skip the soda and choose unsweetened iced tea instead when you need a caffeine fix: a single 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola has 240 calories.

10) Of course, the best way to ensure your lunch meeting or business breakfast is healthy is to get involved in the planning instead of simply showing up! Busy admins will appreciate your offer to find a few diet-friendly options for the health-conscious crowd, and the online ordering and prompt delivery from Waiter.com makes it incredibly easy to find wholesome, delicious meals for all office occasions!

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — Waiter.com is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & deliveryWaiter.com offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

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