This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
There are so many foods you can eat to lose weight, it can get confusing. What about sandwiches, are they healthy and good for losing weight?
Obviously there is not a single answer, there are many different kinds of sandwiches. However, even if you compare to the healthiest sandwich you can make, there are plenty of meals better for weight loss.
Find out what meals are healthier and better for weight loss. How you make a sandwich that can help you lose weight. And finally, how good or bad some popular sandwiches are for weight loss.
Sandwich vs salad for weight loss
The definition of a sandwich is “an item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with a filling between them, eaten as a light meal”.
While there are many ways to go about the ingredients for the filling, by definition all sandwiches have bread. Usually the amount of bread is relatively big compared to the amount of filling.
You can certainly lose weight while eating bread. The thing is that there are also meal ingredients that are better for weight loss. Even if you make the healthiest sandwich possible, there will be a salad that is better for your weight loss and health goals.
That being said, the ingredients you use for your sandwich can make a big difference. By choosing the right ingredients your sandwich can help you lose weight.
How to make your sandwich better for weight loss
By making a few smart choices when selecting ingredients you can make your sandwich a lot healthier and better for weight loss.
Use healthier bread
Bread makes up the largest part in most sandwiches. By making a healthier bread choice, all your sandwiches can become a lot healthier and better for weigh loss.
There are a lot of different bread choices. 2 loaves of bread with the same name can even contain different ratios of ingredients depending on what brand you choose. It’s impossible to go over every single one.
In general, you want to choose bread made with whole grains. This more or less means staying away from white bread and opting more for browner bread.
These healthier choices will contain more protein, fiber and fill you up more for less calories.
Add more protein
Eating enough protein will also help you prevent muscle loss. Since muscle helps you burn extra calories throughout the day this is a big reason to add more protein to your sandwiches.
There are slight differences between protein sources but in general, any will do for your sandwich. For vegetarians, this could mean more eggs and cheese. Other people can add ingredients ranging from fish to slices of steak.
It’s not likely you will be able to this with a sandwich but overdoing it with protein isn’t good either.
Use the right condiment
Popular sandwich condiments like mayonnaise and ketchup are not great if you’re looking to lose weight. Even if you make these yourself at home they are often high in calories without being very filling.
Ideally you want to skip on condiments when making your sandwich. One option that you can use if you must have a condiment is Dijon mustard.
Add more vegetables and fruits
Fruits and especially vegetables are generally great if you’re looking to lose weight. This also applies to the ingredients for your sandwich.
More vegetables and fruits can help you feel fuller, provide you with important vitamins and minerals and help you increase your water intake.
There are slight differences in what vegetables and fruits are better for weight loss but this is not something you should be too worried about.
Avoid sugary toppings
For some people sandwiches are synonymous to jam and cocoa spread. These spreadings are often extremely high in sugar and low in filling nutrients.
Sugar is something you want to avoid while trying to lose weight. It adds a lot of calories to your diet and it almost doesn’t reduce hunger.
Even many brands of peanut butter contain a lot of sugar. A small amount of healthy peanut butter can be good for weight loss. You generally want to avoid the brands with a lot of added sugar and oils.
Closer look at 2 popular sandwiches for weight loss
There are 2 popular sandwich recipes that deserve a closer look. Ingredient selection will obviously always matter but it’s possible to make some general remarks.
The exact amount of calories in a sandwich will vary a lot depending on ingredients.
Egg sandwich for weight loss
The name might imply that there is one general version of the egg sandwich but that’s not the case. Basically any sandwich that has eggs on it can be described as an “egg sandwich”.
Depending on the ingredients your egg sandwich can contain between 250 and 400 calories.
Even if you add a lot of vegetables to your egg sandwich it won’t be very good for weight loss.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich for weight loss
Another popular sandwich is the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. To most people it might sound obvious but a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is not good for weight loss.
Even if you use the healthiest bread, the purest peanut butter, and homemade jelly you still have a sandwich with about 340 calories that is not that filling.
If you don’t make smart ingredient choices the calorie count can go up to 430 calories. These calories are of the less filling kind.
Do sandwiches help you lose or gain weight?
Losing or gaining weight usually isn’t the result of a single meal. For some people a sandwich with good ingredients might be an improvement over their current diet. For others sandwiches make them gain weight.
There are many factors that influence weight loss.
That being said, there are many lunches and dinners that are healthier and better for weight loss than sandwiches. Ingredient selection also plays a big role. 2 different sandwiches could have greatly different results on health and weight loss.
Most pre-prepared sandwiches you can find in stores don’t contain the best ingredients. If you’re looking to lose weight you probably want to prepare your sandwiches at home with great ingredients.