One of the main challenges with lunch is the time we have to eat it - let alone when you have to make it tasty and filling in just 250 calories. A recent poll suggested that many of us take just 16 minutes off for lunch - take a few extra minutes now to read some quick ideas to keep you happier on the 5:2 diet.
A little planning (and I mean minutes, not hours) can make lunch work for you. Leftovers, soups, healthier sandwiches and eating out options can all be suited to your 5:2 diet. Here's my 250 calorie meal ideas that still deliver on nutrients.
Large green salad using spinach, lettuce, cucumber, grated raw cabbage, grated courgette, ½ grated carrot and a chopped radish for colour. Plus, large cup of simple vegetable, soup – non-creamy.
Fresh juice made from three carrots and an apple. Cup of natural yoghurt.
Generous handful of chopped raw veg crudities and a dollop of low-fat hummus.
Tomato and bean soup using vegetable stock served with two thin rice cakes.
One cup of minestrone soup served with 2 oatcakes and a small apple.
One small baked potato with one tsp of low-fat spread and one tbsp of hummus. Serve with a fresh salad.
Turkey sandwich made of two slices of wholemeal bread, 3 slices of lean turkey meat, some salad and a tsp of mustard.
Chicken, cherry tomato and rocket sandwich made with wholemeal bread and a tsp of mustard.
Bean salad – 180g of mixed beans of your choice served with garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice and 30g of brown rice.
Small tin of tuna (in water) and a hard boiled egg, served on a bed of lettuce leaves and a small drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
One cup sweet potato soup made with carrot, onion and chilli served with 2 oatcakes.
Blitz some edamame beans, fresh ginger and low-sodium soy sauce in a blender and enjoy with a handful of mixed crudités. Eat with a small pot of low-fat yoghurt.
Two slices of wholemeal bread with a low fat spread and a banana.
Stir some lemon and pepper into 100g low fat cottage cheese and load into a wholemeal pitta bread and with some spinach leaves.
Make your own caprese salad with 2 fresh tomatoes, 30g of fresh mozzarella, some basil, salt and pepper. Finish off with a drizzle of olive oil.
Half a toasted bagel with low fat cream cheese and a handful of grapes.
Two slices of rye bread and a tablespoon of low fat hummus.
One large slice of frittata.
Two small pan-fried fishcakes with some rocket and lemon juice.
Chicken salad sandwich with 2 slices of wholemeal bread, ¼ cup of cooked chicken breast, 1 tsp natural low fat yoghut, 1 tsp low fat mayo, ¼ chopped apple and a few lettuce leaves.