Tracking and monitoring what you eat is a huge commitment. It can be challenging to remain focused day in and day out. If you are serious about healthy eating, the office can be your downfall. Between sugary and fatty snacks that are there for the taking and the unhealthy habits associated with the lunch break, staying on track in the office can be a nightmare. But it doesn’t have to be! With a little willpower and planning, you can establish an easy win by bringing your lunch to work.
Benefits of Making Your Lunch
There are lots of benefits to bringing your lunch to work, and not all of them are health benefits. Consider the following reasons why bringing lunch to work could be a game changer:
- Know exactly what you’re eating. If you are trying to stick to X amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates per day, it will be much easier to tweak a lunch that you make yourself to fit your goals than to go out and order food. Restaurants cook with a lot of fat, sugar, and salt. Even if you go out and order a salad, there will likely be a crazy amount of fat in the salad dressing that comes with it. You can make healthier versions of your favorite foods by reducing the sugar, fat and/or sodium in your own cooking.
- It gives you options. While many of your coworkers might go out for lunch, you have a lot of flexibility when you bring your own lunch. You can have a lunch date in a coworker’s office or mingle with other coworkers in the break room. Additionally, you can eat your lunch outside if the weather is nice. Getting some fresh air can be the perfect break to the hectic workday – and if you work in Corporate Park, there are tons of places that you can eat lunch outdoors.
- Save money! One of the most common reasons why bringing lunch to work is a good idea is that you can save money. If you eat lunch out every day, even by modest estimates, you’ll be spending at least $50 per week on lunch alone. Think about heading out to a deli for lunch. You’re paying $10+ for a sandwich, when you could buy a whole loaf of bread and enough meat, cheese, and condiments for a week’s worth of sandwiches with that money. If you’re on a tight budget, save that $50-100 that you would spend on lunch during the workweek. You can put that towards something else, like your personal training 😉
- Establishing a routine will be key for your health and fitness. Sticking to a lunch routine at work can carry over into other aspects of your life. Eating a healthy lunch can motivate you to keep making healthy choices, such as going to the gym after work.
How to Bring Your Lunch to Work
A lot of people hesitate to bring lunch to work because they think that it is boring and time consuming. These tips can make packing your lunch easy.
- (Re)use leftovers. How many times have your leftovers gone to waste? Instead of throwing good food (and money!) down the drain, bring your leftovers to lunch the next day. You can also repurpose your leftovers if you are tired of eating the same thing. Salads, sandwiches, and burritos are good vehicles to repurpose leftovers into something new and exciting.
- Mix it up. There are tons of things that you can bring to work for lunch beyond your average sandwich and salad. Especially if you have a microwave and a fridge at work, the possibilities are endless. Use your creativity and come up with some exciting lunches. These meals might even serve as conversation starters between you and your coworkers.
- Plan ahead. Constantly rushing to prepare your lunches last minute is not a good long-term plan. You’ll likely feel frustrated and stressed if you wait until you’re halfway out the door to make your lunch. In some cases, you might give up altogether and elect to eat out. Many people prefer making their lunch the night before. Some people use the weekend to make big batches of food that they can eat throughout the week. Cook a whole package of chicken and a box of rice on Sunday, and you’ll be good to go for lunch every day of the week. Find what works for you, and incorporate it into your routine.
There are tons of ways to start bringing your lunch with you to work. If this is something that you want to try, experiment with it and find what works for you. Even just bringing your lunch to work a few days a week can make a difference. Keep checking our blog for more tips about crushing the workday, even when you work a regular 9-5 desk job.