The triathlete's sandwich equivalent

Whilst so many of us on the other thread are making New Year's resolutions about weight - what can we actually eat, especially at lunchtime? 

Breakfast I get - poached eggs, porridge, not sugary cereal, that's fine ... image

Dinner - well, a bit of chicken or fish, with veg and not too many potatoes (not chips). That isn't sound too difficult ... and the crips and chocolate in between I can work on that ... image

But lunch - a ham sandwich is my default setting, but too much bread is bad, butter is bad - but lentil and butter bean salad doesn't strike me as a quick, grab-it-as-you-leave solution.

(I do make my own yoghurt, though! image)

What can we eat for lunch that doesn't cost a fortune and take forever to prepare???



  • Apparently full fat butter isn't too bad for you- helps metabolise fat as an energy source!

    I know what you mean about lunches though. I need a bit of variety as I am fed up with salad every day. Sometimes I push the boat out and have a pitta bread lol image

  • I find wraps are one of the most convenient "quick" lunch options. I normally drain a can of cannellini, kidney or butter beans. Warm up two wraps in the microwave, add extras like chilli, peppers, houmous, or any other type os salad, or a bit of tuna. Healthy and nutritious and doesn't give you a bloated feeling like bread.

  • I make a salad (rocket, watercress etc spring onions, pepper, cucumber, tomato and red onion) and throw in feta, olives and an egg or tuna as well no dressing, plus one or two pieces of fruit. Lots of fruit, greek yoghurt and blueberries plus and apple for morning tea. 

    The more protein you pack in the more 'satisfied' you feel and less likely to go for the carbs.  I find if I go beyond three hours break between eating I get ravenous and make bad food choices image so I try not to do that.

  • If some of the pros are to be believed a chunk of butter in your coffee is the done thing!

    Why is bread bad Brit?

  • I don't really know - but after 30 weeks of IM training, I didn't lose an ounce, and now I really want to make a determined effort, and just sense I need to eat differently, rather than less ... 

  • Bread is my staple for lunch...

    Generally a BIG doorstep sandwich with brown bread, light mayo, no butter, cold meat   (chicken/ turkey/ ham) and maybe cheese (light Philadelphia/ emmentaal/ cheddar), cherry tomatoes and lettuce.

    2-3 pieces of fruit too.

    Im not a great example as I usually eat it all before 10:30, and then hit the cake/ chocolate in the afternoon!

  • And I did lose weight IM training...not a lot, but looked like I'd lost more than I actually had I think!

    The only thing I cut down on IM training was strong costa coffees, and they didn't have manycalories...

  • I struggled to maintain weight in the last few weeks of IM training to the point that I began to scrutinise what I was eating. I found I was eating 3-4 good meals a day and snacking non-stop in between.

  • I thought I had an undiagnosed cancer...

  • K9 wrote (see)

    I thought I had an undiagnosed cancer...

    Did anyone ask you if you had?

  • I think my downfall is the snacking in between, there is only so much fruit you can snack on.

  • image

    all getting back to normal now though!!

    Sorry - Britrisky, we're not answering the question are we?!


    How about making a big batch of tuna rice sald - rice/tuna/ sweet corn/ peppers/tomatoes/beetroot/ boiledegg/ feta/ pine nuts ,.....Orr whatever you like.

    Mix and match with cous cous/ quinoa/ pasta/ different protein ( chicken/ salmon/ ham/ whatever...

  • Iron cat.....yes...I had a few concerned comments

  • Sunday dinner too....yorkies, stuffing, mash, roasts, gravy, beef/pork/lamb image

  • do some reading and don't just jump on the low carb diet.  

    however,redducing excessive carbs is *not* low carb - its just getting your diet back on an even keel

    a sandwich is no big deal. - esp if its brown high fibre


    but 4 rounds of white toast + jam, 2 bagels, chocolate milk and a maxi pack of chilli doritos following a long ride is excessive.  A fruit salad is probably a better option  I am slowly retraining my brain.

    if you cut carbs too low you will feel crap and won't train.  

    However, you don't need a pasta dinner 4 days out of 7.  1 out of 7 is fine.

    I have a small cup of rice, or new potatoes, with dinner, and mucho green/ other veg to bulk it out 


    there's balance to be reached......

  • I find bread really addictive. One slice leads to half a loaf, and then why leave that last half there image

    I'm going to re-read the paleo for athletes book again, and take notes this time

  • M..o.useM..o.use ✭✭✭

    I've taken nutritional advice whilst training for IM and lost 35lbs. I still eat bread. You need carbs to train. The problem isn't just how much carb, it's when. A plate of chips on a Friday night before a big bike ride is fine, on Tuesday if Wednesday is your rest day, not so much. 

    Can you make a salad the evening before and all you have to do is grab it out of the fridge before you go to work in the morning?

  • Like a lot of us I thought Ironman training was going to see me lose the extra fat, and it didn't. In fact training for IMCH I gained weight. I dabbled with alsorts of diet ideas and then in the end employed a nutritionist to give me a food plan to follow throughout training for IMW. The extra weight came off and my fat % went down by almost 10%.

    Basically, carbs were't the enemy, healthy food wasn't the problem as my diet was always healthy. The harsh truth is I ate too much, even for the long hours of training I was putting in.

    Anyway I learnt a lot. In answer to the opening question though, I'm ok having bread a few times a week as long as it is proper bread, not mass produced the gloop we get in most supermarkets. I buy artisan bread which contains 4 ingredients, flour, yeast, water and salt and that is it. When I have time I make my own.

    I will have 50g or 75g of bread with lunch depending on my training that day.

    For the rest of the week I am happy having either chicken, fish or eggs with a large salad. I know that sounds boring, but you can make salads so good. I make them as colourful and use as many different combinations of ingredients as possible. You can make it more substantial with beetroot and beans mixed in.

    If I am doing 2 training sessions in 1 day and have had a carb free lunch I make sure I have something like 150g Greek yog, honey and some berries as a snack later in the day.

    I do have carbs for most evening meals but again not much. so 40 or 50g max of pasta, (unless a mega long session the next day)  rice or couscous or 200g potato. Before I was eating way too much carb. I am sure portion control in this area has made the biggest difference to me.

    Vary what you eat from day to day. Mix it up. Have a little more on heavy training days, but not by a lot. 

    Eat good quality, natural home cooked food. I have full fat milk and eat real butter, which is far more nutritious than it's 'low fat' alternatives. I avoid anything 'diet' processed or loaded with chemicals. 

    Those are the things that made a difference to me and I lost over a stone and maintained that for almost 2 years.

    Avoid the diet fads, few people can stick to cutting out whole food groups for too long. Moderation is the key IMHO  image


  • H0NKH0NK ✭✭✭

    My Lunch is ussually a large salad with extras thrown in such as olives and chillies to make it tasty and a pack of meat whatever is in the fridge. I find easier to throw that together than to make sandwiches and I prefer it.

    I lost weight whilst IM training by switching to wholegrain bread, pasta and rice and other than that I was generally eating healthy anyway. This with the exercise got me down to close to target weight but to shift the last few pounds I went through a few months where I tried to restrict my portions and watched what I was snacking on and also gave up alcohol for a period. It was all in moderation though, If I felt hungry I eat something so at no time was I starving myself.

    The challenge now is going to be keeping the weight off.

    Welcome to the forums Stoatally Different you should introduce yourself so people know who you areimage


  • This is an interesting topic, one clearly a number of us try to tackle whilst training.  Many successfully, others not so.  I have a foot in both camps and have found that taking the time each day to scan or input my food into a diary (MyFitnessPal app for me) not only makes the process of eating a more conscious one but you recognise and regulate your food intake and start to adopt healthy patterns, which is the key.

    When I'm not using that app, I reach weight loss stasis because I believe I'm eating healthily, but it's rarely in the right daily combo to fit with training or moderation

    Insofar as answering Britsky's question, I have two favourites.  Unfortunately both come out of packets but hey, that's a conscience of a busy life and lack of aptitude / interest in cooking:

    Bag of pre-washed spinach, watercress and rocket salad topped with salt, pepper or dried garlic + chicken / turkey / pork / beef.


    pre-prepared veg zapped in bag and also accompanied by chicken / turkey / pork / beef.

    Neither are ideal but they take five minutes to prepare and about the same amount of time to destroy!

  • Veggie Frittata, 6-8 eggs splash of skim milk then veggies of your choice , I usually go for spinach, mushrooms and courgette but you can use peppers, onions, potato, what ever you want.

    Make it on Sunday afternoon and it lasts for 4 days so you have 1/4 per day for lunch, you can ping it up to hot for winter days and eat it cold on summer days and add salad if you wish.

    You can also chuck in some ham or bacon if you want.

  • image Hope you guys don't mind but tipped sarah off about the thread. Is it's any help from what she has told me if you have a good breakfast you will be better for it as won't be snacking all morning before lunch.

  • | think stotally different is iron petunia, I mean 7755 matt?

  • That sounds like just the ticket, AB - but do you avoid eggs for breakfast if you're having them at lunch? Are we supposed to limit ourselves to 2 a day?

  • I eat loads of eggs - about 30 a week and my cholestrol levels are excellent. I think whilst they are high in cholesterol they are not half as bad as most processed or fatty foods.

    My snacks between meals are generally protein shakes or protein flapjacks (if beofre training). I eat minimal carbs - other than breakfast (porridge, wholemeal bread or bagels) and the flapjacks. In order to bulk out my evening meals without carbs I have two chicken breasts instead of one.



  • Eggs, although they are relatively high in dietary cholesterol don’t increase. It is the bad fats in food that cause  cholesterol levels to rise  

  • i tend to more or less eat the same if i train heavily or not at all and my weight hasnt really moved this year (last year i lost 70lbs)  despite the fact that i have done alot more miles etc.

    i must be doing something wrong or not calculating things correctly.

    surely it cant be down to all the free yogurts i get from work image there is no calories in freebies...........

  • I tend to have carbs for breakfast as in theory I have the whole day to burn through them so breakfast is either an oat so simple sachet with fruit or 2 Weetabix or shredded wheat again with fruit or two crumpets or a croissant etc. All things that come in ready sized portions to stop me sneaking extras.

    If you really want to cut back then you can switch to more Germanic breakfast iof cold meats and cheeses. But I don't like cheese.

  • I love Bircher muesli for breakfast. A tablespoon of oats soaked overnight in full fat milk, greek yoghurt, some honey, blueberries strawberries or chopped nectarine and a few nuts. Absolutely delicious! 

    I can't imagine stomaching cheese at brekkie! 

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