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I Dropped 4 Sizes in a Year by Eating Sandwiches and This Is How

Sandwiches are a diet food? And RDN weighs in on.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Kols (@healthkols) is a CPT, health coach, and social media influencer whose goal is to "help normal people lose weight in a normal way without being super restrictive or without giving up the foods" they "already love eating." In one of her many viral videos, she reveals an unlikely food that can help you lose weight. "Sandwiches are a weight loss food, and whoever told you otherwise is lying to you," she says. "I've lost four pant sizes over the last year, and I eat at least four sandwiches a week. Count 'em four. Let me show you how I make my sandwiches to stay in my calorie deficit." The Diet Diva, Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian agrees that sandwiches can definitely fit into a weight loss plan.  "The idea that all bread is bad and you can't have carbs is not correct," she says.

She Starts with "Good Bread"

@healthkols YOU CAN EAT SANDWICHES AND LOSE WEIGHT BABE🤍🤍🤍 #weightlossforbeginners #weightlossforwomen #weightlosstipsandtricks #caloriedeficitforweightloss #caloriedeficitforwomen #caloriedeficitdiet #lowcalsandwich #lowcalorieswaps #lowcalorielunch ♬ original sound – Kols 🫶🏼🤍 Realistic Fitness

Kols starts with a good piece of bread. "I bought these two baguettes from Costco. They were literally warm when I bought them," she says. "Incredible people are so scared of bread. Bread is not the enemy." She cuts off a piece and places it in the oven, "but that piece is only about 250 calories worth of bread. I'll eat good bread if it means I can enjoy a yummy sandwich," she adds. "You need carbohydrates and bread is a good source of complex carbs. If it is whole grain then it has more fiber and protein than a white version of the bread. However, if there is a white baguette that really satisfies your craving and you can truly enjoy every bite then go for it!" says Collingwood. "Putting the bread in the oven to toast it and eat it warm can be a really enjoyable way to eat the bread."

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She Loads It with Veggies

Chopped iceberg lettuce -ingridient for cooking Studio Photo

Next up, veggies, including "red onions, sliced pickles, and shredded lettuce," she says. "We're not even going to count the calories in those because there's not enough for it to matter." Collingwood agrees that loading up with veggies is a great idea. "Red onions are high in flavor and essentially have no calories. The lettuce also provides a nice crunch and provides some volume to the sandwich. The pickles have sodium, but just a few pickles can really make a difference in adding a lot of flavor. Feel free to pile on other veggies like peppers tomatoes, mushrooms, and more," she says. 

And, Tofurky

Edmonton, Canada - June 24, 2023: Packages of different flavours of Tofurky plant based deli slices and tempeh on display on a store shelf

Next, Tofurky Deli meat. "Five slices is a hundred calories. I think I only have one left in here, but five slices for a hundred calories," she says. "I never use five. This is the knockoff brand from Ralph's. Four slices for a hundred calories." Collingwood loves Tofurkey deli meat. "It is plant based yet high in protein," she explains. "If you are a meat eater, regular deli turkey is also very low in calories and high in protein and can be an excellent choice as well."

Related: 5 Foods to Ditch for Fat Loss, Says Weight Loss Coach

And, Even Provolone

Provolone cold cut cheese slices on red serving platter on table

She then adds Sargento provolone cheese. "I use one slice for 70 calories. You can find lower calorie cheese. I just prefer this cheese. It's my favorite," she says. "Cheese has protein and calcium and can add a lot of flavor and texture to a sandwich," says Collingwood. 

Now, It's Condiment Time

Close-up of mayonnaise on a spoon on a bright table.

Now she adds condiments. "I put half a tablespoon of mayo on the bread that's toasting right now. Mayo is pretty high calorie, so I don't use a lot, but if you like mayo, you're welcome to use mayo. Mustard is zero calories per teaspoon, so I don't know, maybe 10 calories are the amount that I put on. Who cares? It's not enough to care," she says. "But the star of the show is this light balsamic vinaigrette. 60 calories for two tablespoons. I don't use two tablespoons. I probably use about half of that." Light salad dressings can be an excellent flavor enhancer, says Collingwood. "I agree with mustard…use as much as you want! Very low in calories and high in flavor.  Mayo is high calorie as she states, but Light mayo has a lot fewer calories and it's hard to tell the difference in flavor."

She Assembles the Sandwich


"The knockoff lunch meat is thicker than the Tofurky one, so I'm just going to be using two slices, which is only 50 calories," she says. "Splitting my piece of cheese in half. Layering that on. Then I'm going to add some onion. I love red onion. It's literally my favorite. I'm adding two pickles because at the end of the day, I'm a pickle girl. Okay, I'm a pickle girl. Okay, doing a little bit of shredded lettuce. Hello. This is when it becomes a mess," she continues. "Adding my balsamic. Am I measuring? No, I'm measuring with my heart. I don't really know how much this is. We're guessing. I don't really care. Mustard."

Related: The Biggest Weight Loss Mistake I Made, and What I Did Instead to Lose 60 Pounds

She Says It Adds Up to 450 Calories


The end product is a delicious looking sandwich. "It's about 450 calories, which to me this is a big sandwich for 450 calories," says Kols. "A sandwich at 450 calories that has good protein, veggies, and flavor is nice and filling!" agrees Collingwood. 

She Eats It with Popcorn and Pickles

Homemade Kettle Corn Popcorn in a Bag

"You guys already know I'm going to be having it with some popcorn because this is my favorite thing in the world. 42 pieces for 160 calories. Unreal. I don't even need 42 pieces. And then my favorite thing in the world, more pickles because I'm a pickle girl and this is the best thing to eat with a sandwich," she says. "Light popcorn is a great choice for lots of volume without a lot of calories," says Collingwood. Fun fact: "Popcorn is actually a whole grain!" However, if you want to have something sweet, a piece of fruit would be more nutritious, she adds. 

The Meal Is 600 Calories

Calories Nutrition Food Exercise Concept

"In total, this whole meal with the pickles and the chips is going to be around 600 calories, which for me is a great calorie range for lunch, especially for the amount of food I'm going to be able to eat," Kols Says. 

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RDN Weighs In


"A 600 calorie lunch can be a good amount for someone on a weight loss plan. Or you could keep it at 450 calories and save the other 150 calories for a snack mid-afternoon," says Collingwood. 

💪🔥Body Booster: Opt for light popcorn for a low-calorie, high-volume snack. Remember, it's a whole grain! Craving something sweet? Choose a piece of fruit for added nutrition.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more