Build the Perfect Healthy Sandwich for Weight Loss

Yes, you can enjoy a sandwich and still lose weight ... if you load up veggies, use the right bread, and master your protein portions. Use this neat chart from the 'Stop & Drop Diet' to master the art of making healthy, slimming sammies.

stop and drop healthy sandwichLauri Patterson/iStock

I could eat a sandwich every day for the rest of my life. Love the taste, the mouthfeel, the satiety, and the portability. What I don’t like is that those bread calories can add up pretty quickly, especially if I stray from standard sliced bread. (Calories in wraps and tortillas can be deceptively high). There are so many ways to make a really satisfying sandwich that slims.

Let’s talk protein first. The key is to choose lean, lean, lean: you don’t want to waste precious calories on fats in bacon, fatty steak, or fried chicken. Veggies are easy, but don’t stop with the obvious lettuce and tomato. You can fold in extra nutrients and fantastic flavor by trying fresh or roasted peppers, darker greens like spinach or kale, or leftover grilled veggies.

Finally, compare calories in different spreads. Mustard is almost a freebie, while mayo and “salad dressing” (e.g, Miracle Whip) are nearly all oil, with lots of calories. Sometimes I’ll use hummus or guacamole as my spread, but I use a light hand so I don’t blow calories out of the water.

Use this chart to mix and match your favorite ingredients for a perfectly portioned sandwich every time.

stop and drop sandwich chart

stop and drop bookReader’s Digest’s Editor in Chief Liz Vaccariello calls her latest book, Stop & Drop Diet, her easiest plan ever. The book and online course teach you how to stop eating unhealthy versions of the foods you love so you can drop up to five pounds in the first five days—and keep losing. You’ll get a mix-and-match 21-day meal plan designed for weight loss and balanced nutrition, plus hundreds of easy weight loss tips and tricks via videos, quizzes, slideshows, and other interactive tools. Learn more and buy the book and course here.

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Liz Vaccariello
Liz Vaccariello is the Editor-in-Chief of Parents magazine, the 2.2 million rate-base title. In addition, she is currently the Group Editorial Director for Parents Latina and Meredith's lifestyle titles including Shape, Real Simple, InStyle, Martha Stewart Living, and Health. Vaccariello has led many of the media industry's most recognizable brands, developing content across print, digital and social channels. Prior to joining Meredith, Vaccariello held numerous executive editorial roles including serving as the Chief Content Officer for Reader's Digest. She has also served as Editor-in-Chief of Rachael Ray Every Day; Editor-in-Chief of Prevention; Executive Editor of Fitness; and Editor-in-Chief of Cleveland Magazine. Vaccariello regularly appears on national broadcast media including The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, and Dr. Oz. She is the author of nine best-selling books, including the #1 New York Times bestselling Flat Belly Diet! She has received numerous awards and honors over her distinguished career and is a frequent speaker at major summits presented by the MPA, Folio, MIN, and Digiday among others. Vaccariello, who is the parent of twin daughters, earned a BA in Communications with Distinction from the University of Michigan and lives in New Jersey with her family.