5 Fat-Belly Sandwiches Turned Fitness-Friendly


When you’re eating healthy and trying to drop pounds you may think that sandwiches are off limits. And quite honestly, this is often the case. Sandwiches are usually packed with fatty ingredients like mayo, butter, cheese, and meats. And let’s not forget the bread! White bread is essentially evil when it comes to clean eating. Breads made from refined white flour contain little nutritional value, cause you to bloat, spike your blood sugar, and spur weight gain.

But never fear! We took five fat-filled sandwich favorites like cheesesteaks, chicken parm heroes, bacon and egg sandwiches—and put a healthy spin on each one so you’ll be able to indulge guilt-free. No need to schedule in an extra workout session afterwards!

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Panko-Crusted Baked Chicken Parmesan Hero

Serves 4

Make it healthy tweaks: We slimmed down the portion size; coated the chicken in fat-free panko crumbs instead of buttery breadcrumbs; baked the cutlets in lieu of frying in oil; subbed in reduced-fat mozzarella; and tossed out the Italian bread and replaced it with 100 calorie sandwich thins.


Cooking spray

1 egg

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup unseasoned panko crumbs

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 thin chicken cutlets (about 1 ¼ lbs. total)

½ cup marinara sauce

½ cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella

4 whole wheat sandwich thins


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

2. Crack egg into a bowl and whisk with fork. In another bowl combine parmesan cheese, panko, salt, and pepper.

3. Dip one chicken cutlet into the egg wash and then dip into panko mixture, coating both sides evenly. Place cutlet on baking sheet and repeat with remaining cutlets. Lightly spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray (this will help chicken get crispy) and place in oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

4. Remove baking sheet from oven and spoon 2 tablespoons of marinara over top of each cutlet and sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons of mozzarella. Return to oven and bake for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.

5. Lightly toast sandwich thins or buns in toaster oven or regular oven. Remove from oven and place chicken on thin or bun.

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Egg Whites, Bacon, and Avocado in a Pita

Serves 1

Make it healthy tweaks: Instead of the classic and fatty bacon-egg-and-cheese on a Kaiser roll (or croissant. Or bagel. Or English muffin. Or some other bad-for-you refined carb) we opted for a lighter whole wheat pita. We also swapped in turkey bacon and cut out the cheese and replaced it with a super healthy food that’s packed with heart healthy “good” fats, the avocado.


½ cup egg whites (from about 3 eggs)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 slice turkey bacon, cooked and chopped

1 whole wheat mini pita

½ avocado, sliced

1 small tomato, diced

Hot sauce (optional)


1. Coat a nonstick frying pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add egg whites to pan and season with salt and pepper. Use a rubber spatula to stir egg whites, pushing the eggs from the edge of pan into the center. After about 1 minute add the crumbled bacon. Continue stirring and cook until eggs are set, about 2-3 minutes.

2. Microwave pita for 30 seconds. Remove and cut pita in half. Stuff pita halves with egg mixture, avocado, and tomato. Top with a few dashes of hot sauce (if using).

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Leaner Cheesesteak

Serves 4

Make it healthy tweaks: Sorry, dude, no Cheez Whiz for you if you’re looking to get a six-pack, instead you’ll get your cheese fix with a slice of provolone. We also ditched the hoagie rolls and used Ezekiel hot dog buns. Ezekiel breads are made from whole grains and legumes that are high in fiber and protein.


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced

1 red or green bell pepper, sliced

1 lb. lean flank steak, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 slices provolone cheese

4 Ezekiel hot dog buns, split and toasted


1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.

2. Add steak, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to pan. Cook, stirring constantly until the beef is just cooked through, about 4 minutes.

3. Place one slice of provolone cheese in each toasted bun and top with hot steak mixture. Serve immediately.

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Turkey Reuben

Serves 1

Make it healthy tweaks: Traditional Reubens are made with corned beef, which is loaded in fat. We subbed in lean turkey and used a reduced fat dressing to cut even more calories and fat. We kept the Rye bread though—it’s full of fiber and low in calories.


2 slices Rye bread

2 tablespoons reduced-fat Russian or Thousand Island dressing

1 slice Swiss cheese

6 thin slices cooked deli turkey

3 tablespoons sauerkraut


1. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Spread dressing on one side of each slice of bread. Add Swiss cheese, turkey, and sauerkraut to one slice of bread. Top with remaining slice of bread, dressing side down.

2. Place bread in pan and cook, occasionally pressing down on bread with a spatula, until cheese has melted and bread is toasted, about 4 minutes on each side. Cut in half and serve immediately.

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Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Serves 5

Make it healthy tweaks: We got rid of the bread all together and went with lettuce wraps for and almost carb-free meal. Also banished? Mayo. We used nonfat Greek yogurt and we promise you won’t notice the difference.


1 cup chicken breast, cubed or shredded

½ cup celery, diced

½ cup grapes, halved

¼ cup pecans, chopped

¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

¼ teaspoon dried tarragon

Salt and pepper, to taste

5 large iceberg or romaine lettuce leaves


Minus the lettuce leaves, mix all ingredients in large bowl until combined. Immediately spoon mixture evenly (about ¼ cup) onto lettuce leaves. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to two days.

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