Every so often, you hear about someone who lost weight by following a sandwich diet. Essentially, what they've done is mainly consume healthy sandwiches for weight loss. Sandwiches can be a perfectly healthy choice to incorporate into your diet, as long as you make them with healthy ingredients.
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It's not impossible to lose weight eating sandwiches. However, whether or not you lose weight will depend on both the diet you're following and the types of sandwiches you're consuming.
Eating Sandwiches on a Diet
Sandwiches often get a bad reputation based on how rich in carbohydrates they are. However, there's usually nothing wrong with integrating healthy sandwiches into a diet. Whether these will be healthy sandwiches for weight loss will depend on your overall eating habits.
There are a wide variety of diets you can follow if you're hoping to lose weight. For long-term weight loss what matters is that you adopt healthy eating habits that you can stick to. Whether or not you can follow a sandwich diet will depend on how many calories you're allowed to consume and the ratio of macronutrients you're ingesting.
For example, diets like reduced-calorie, high-carbohydrate and high-protein diets might all allow you to eat carbohydrates. However, on low-carbohydrate diets you want to avoid consuming carbohydrate-rich foods like sandwiches on a regular basis. This is due to the number of carbohydrates in bread.
There might be some overlap between the macronutrients you can consume when following a specific diet versus simply reducing your caloric intake. However, many weight-loss diets heavily focus on adjusting macronutrient ratios, which means that healthy sandwiches for weight loss may differ between diets.
Healthy Sandwiches for Weight Loss
If you want to eat your favorite sandwich on a diet, you'll very likely need to alter or create sandwiches that specifically adhere to your diet's restrictions. For example, Harvard Health Publishing says that calorie restriction typically involves reducing your calorie consumption by 500 to 1,000 calories per day. Women may consume as little as 1,200 calories per day, while men may consume as little as 1,500 calories per day.
On a calorie-restricted diet, you may be able to eat sandwiches like our Charred Vegan Portobello "Steak" Breakfast Sandwich, with 366 calories, 15 grams of fat, 14 grams of protein and 44 grams of carbs. However, this same sandwich may not be ideal if you're following a strict, Okinawa-style, high-carbohydrate diet.
According to a July 2016 study in the journal Age and Ageing, Okinawan high-carbohydrate diets recommend reduced fat consumption and also tend to reduce calorie intake. Fat consumption might need to be as little as 6 percent of your diet's total calories.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, fat provides 9 calories per gram. If 6 percent of the calories in a 2,000-calorie diet come from fat, this means that you would be consuming just 13.3 grams of fat per day on such a diet.
In this case, a portobello steak sandwich would be off-limits. Instead, this LIVESTRONG.com recipe for Vegan Chili Baguette "Boat," with 318 calories, 7 grams of fat, 18 grams of protein and 47 grams of carbs, would be much better suited to this diet. Similarly, if you're on a high-protein diet, you might prefer sandwiches made with a combination of plant-based proteins like hummus and low-fat meat-based proteins like chicken or turkey.
Keep in mind that if you're trying to lose stomach fat and gain muscle, you'll need to involve exercise in your diet. A high-protein diet on its own can't help you build muscle. However, high-protein sandwiches in combination with increased exercise can certainly help you meet your weight-loss goals.