It's important to have a nutritious lunch because the daily food and
drink habits that you make or break at noon can blow your entire eating
plan for the day. People too often eat lunch “on-the-go” or
when they are at work or school, where they may make distracted decisions
that are bad for their bodies and hard on their budgets. Your best decision
might be to make your own healthy dish or pack a more fitness- and finance-friendly
lunch before you go to bed or before you head out the next morning. Here's
why should brown-bag it:
1. It's Better For Your Health
Bringing your own lunch to work or school can dramatically improve your
health. When you make your own lunch, then you are in complete control
of what you are eating – you can ensure that there will not be any
hidden fats, increased sugar, or too much salt hiding in your food. On
those occasions when you prepare your lunch at home, you can use more
nutritious, natural ingredients and reduce your chances of overeating
by exercising better portion control ahead of time. You can avoid making
poor impulse decisions than lead to ordering more food than you need at
a restaurant, or by ordering high-calorie fast food items that will certainly
make it much more difficult for you to maintain a healthy weight.
So skip the fast food, the high-priced, high-end restaurant fare, the empty-calorie
soft drinks, and the sugar-laden coffee drinks and desserts. Instead,
pack a homemade hearty salad, some tasty low-cal protein picks like hard-boiled
eggs, or try your hand at preparing a homemade soup and lean-meat sandwich combo.
2. It Saves You Money
If you've checked your wallet after going out for lunch with your coworkers
for a few days in a row, you must have realized that bringing your own
food will save you a lot of money over time. But how much money will it
really save you? Let’s think dollars and sense.
If you do not know your current monthly food budget, then you might want
to save your lunch and snack receipts, add them up, and become more aware
of how eating out on a daily basis puts a dent in your paycheck. Let’s
assume for the sake of argument that you are spending between $8 to $15
per day when you go out to lunch. That's $40 to $75 a week. Even if
you don't dine out every day, think about how that might add up over
time. Is it too much, and could you be putting that money to better use?
According to an article by
Money Crashers, “By bringing in your own coffee, breakfast, lunch, snacks, and
beverages every day, you can save anywhere from $2,000 to $4,200 or more
over the span of an entire year.” What could you do with the money
you save? You might fund your retirement account, join a gym, save for
your child’s education, or take a much-deserved vacation. Now you
can make a more informed decision. This method may be one of the easiest
and best ways for you to start saving money.
3. It Saves You Time
Time is precious. Why waste it going to and from a pricey lunch haunt?
People who go out to eat at work or school spend most of their valuable
lunch minutes traveling to the eatery, ordering, and then getting back
to where they need to be. If you bring your own lunch, you can have that
precious downtime all to yourself. Think of how much more convenient and
stress-free lunchtime can be when all you have to do is walk to the refrigerator
and use the office microwave. If you can work while you eat you might
finish the day's work sooner; and the sooner you get done, the sooner
you may get to go home. If that's not in the cards, then how about
getting in a little exercise or doing something relaxing instead of sitting
in a crowded restaurant? Go for a twenty-minute walk, work out for a half
an hour, call a family member or a friend. Ease your mind and improve
your health with the time that you may save.
4. It Keeps Leftovers From Going To Waste
A time-honored tradition for eat-at-your-desk break takers, leftovers make
a first-rate lunch choice: the food is already made, you know that you
like it, and you merely have to pack it and reheat. Having a lunch that's
ready to stick in your briefcase in the morning can be as simple as putting
uneaten portions into reusable plastic containers the night before. Either
plan ahead and prepare some extra servings for dinner, or eat just a little
bit less and set something aside for yourself for later. And many say
leftover turkey and stuffing tastes even better the day after Thanksgiving.
What is the best reason to bring your own lunch? Share a comment below.