Protein is a macronutrient that keeps you fuller for longer, preserves lean body mass (for that toned look while you lose weight), and protein’s higher thermic effect burns a lot of calories too. Research says that a high-protein meal increases concentrations of peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) hormones, both of which are associated with satiety, appetite suppression, and therefore help to reduce subsequent food intake and help cut down significant calories at the end of the day. So, include a protein source at every meal, particularly at lunch. A plate that’s predominantly filled with veggies and protein can help you feel full while minimizing the space for high-calorie, less nutritious foods. So, here are some high-protein lunch ideas for weight loss so that you do not snack on unhealthy food for the rest of the day!
1. Brown Rice, Chickpea, Beetroot, Feta Salad:
This salad is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients from brown rice, chickpeas, beetroot, and fresh herbs. By the way, feta is a low-fat cheese option. Coming to the protein part, chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, particularly for those following plant-based or vegetarian diets. Additionally, chickpeas are also high in dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps promote a feeling of fullness. This brown rice, chickpeas, beetroot, and feta salad makes for a satisfying and wholesome option for a healthy lunch or dinner. To make Brown Rice Chickpea Beetroot Feta Salad, combine cooked brown rice, chickpeas, diced beetroot, crumbled feta cheese, chopped parsley, and mint in a bowl. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper to make the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Also read: “Quinoa vs Brown Rice – Which one is Better for Weight Loss?”
2. Green Pea Pulao:
Green peas are one of those rare vegetables that are rich in protein, and it’s available through the year, in either fresh or frozen form. There’s also dietary fiber in green peas that promote satiety. Prepare a fragrant pulao by sautéing rice with green peas, whole spices like cumin seeds, cloves, and cinnamon, along with finely chopped onions and ginger-garlic paste. Add water, salt, and cook until the rice is fluffy and the peas are tender. You can have this pulao with raita or a salad on the side.
3. Paneer Burji with Roti:
The best thing about paneer burji is that you can use it inside wraps and sandwiches too. But we would suggest you to have it along with phulka or roti at lunch. To make Paneer Bhurji, heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Sauté finely chopped onions until golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chilies, and finely chopped tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are soft. Season with turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, and salt. Add crumbled paneer and stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve. Also read: “Yay! Here’s How you Can Eat Cheese and Still Lose Weight.”
4. Egg Paratha Roll:
Make a delicious egg paratha roll by stuffing a paratha (Indian flatbread) with a thin omelette, sliced onions, green chutney, lettuce and cucumber. Roll it up and enjoy a portable and protein-packed lunch.
5. Rajma Chawal:
It’s a comfort food for many, and and the good news is that it’s weight loss friendly too with a good amount of protein coming from rajma (kidney beans). Make rajma curry as usual with onions, tomatoes, and other spices. and have it with steamed brown rice for a flavorful and comforting meal.
6. Foxtail Millet Khichdi with Black Eyed Beans, Green Peas, Peanuts:
Foxtail millet is low in calories, good source of dietary fiber, promotes fullness and satiety. You can get a good amount of protein from black eyed beans, green peas, and peanuts too. To make Foxtail Millet Khichdi with Black Eyed Beans, Green Peas, and Peanuts, sauté onions, green chilies, and tomatoes in oil. Add spices and cook until fragrant. Mix in soaked foxtail millet, drained black-eyed beans, green peas, peanuts, and salt. Add water and pressure cook until tender. Serve hot, garnished with cilantro. Enjoy this wholesome and nutritious khichdi as a complete meal or with yogurt for a satisfying lunch.
7. Lauki Chana Dal (Bottle Gourd and Split Lentils) Curry with Roti:
You can get a good amount of protein from chana dal and combine it with lauki (bottle gourd) which is a low-calorie vegetable, rich in nutrients as well. To make a low-oil Lauki Chana Dal curry, cook soaked chana dal until tender. In a pan, cook the dal with onions, ginger-garlic paste, green chillies, tomatoes, and other spices. Add diced lauki (bottle gourd) and cook until tender. Mix in the cooked chana dal, season with salt, and simmer to blend flavors. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy this healthy and flavorful curry with roti or steamed rice.
8. Tofu Stir Fry:
Tofu is a protein-rich vegetarian alternative to animal-based proteins like meat, poultry, and dairy. Traditional stir fry recipes use soya sauce, but this condiment is not exactly weight loss friendly due to its high sodium content. So, to make a sauce-free tofu stir fry, sauté sliced onions, minced garlic, and grated ginger in oil until fragrant. Add cubed tofu and cook until lightly browned. Toss in mixed vegetables and stir fry. Season with ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, and chili powder. Stir well to coat everything with the spices. Cook until tofu and vegetables are done, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve this flavorful tofu stir fry as is or with steamed rice or quinoa for a satisfying meal.
Also, do check more weight-loss friendly lunch recipes on the Rati Beauty diet. The diet plans on Rati Beauty diet are designed to support weight loss by incorporating nutritious ingredients, balanced portions, and mindful eating practices. Subscribe to the Rati Beauty app for your weight loss diet plans.