It’s lunch hour at work, and you’re getting “hangry.” What’s a health-minded person to do? First step: Avoid the vending machine and fast-food drive thru. Luckily, creative brown bag lunches are not just for kids anymore, and there are plenty of resources to help get you packing.
It’s fairly common knowledge that lunches out at restaurants or purchased in a fast food drive-thru contract the wallet while expanding the waist.
In fact, according to a report in Forbes.com, “Americans on average spend nearly $1,000 annually, or $10 per lunch, and eat out twice per week. That amount is higher for men who outspend their female counterparts by 44%. Men spend on average $21 for lunch, while women hover around $14.”
In addition to the financial cost of eating out for lunch, the health costs could be weighty. Restaurant food is often high in calories, fat and sodium. When you couple large portion sizes with the temptation of the variety of foods found on a menu, total dietary disaster could ensue.
“Healthy eating is harder than the drive-thru,” says Stephen Compston, RD, LD, CDE, Outpatient Dietary Educator at Renown. “You have to think about what you want to eat, shop for the meal, cook the meal and then enjoy the meal. Without a plan, you can go to the store and buy ingredients that may not add up to a whole meal.”
Luckily, there are many resources available to help you get started in planning healthy, delicious as well as creative brown bag lunches to take to work.
Pack a Healthy Lunch for Work: 3 Great Resources
- Sound Body, Sound Mind – This Renown Health Pinterest board features fitness and recipe tips from local experts. Check out the pin on “50+Healthy Recipes to Pack up for Work,” or “Cut calories with the 5 flavor-packed substitutes for mayo.”
- Packed Lunches for Adults on Pinterest – This board features tips on what to pack, recipes, healthy snacks and food for travel. Feast your eyes on these pins: “Low-Carb Lunches to bring to work” and “Gingey Bites: Healthy Packed Lunches for the Office”
- 16 Smart Tips for Packing a Healthier Lunch – Learn how to make packing a lunch easy with easy-to-implement tips. Ideas include making enough dinner to ensure there are leftovers, putting the leftovers in a lunchbox right after dinner, creative ways to use leftovers, writing out a packing list for the morning and more.
So, planning out a brown bag lunch takes time and effort but can result in a healthier bank account and trimmer you.
Where do you get ideas to help you pack a healthy lunch for work? What’s your go-to, healthy, packed-at-home work lunch? Let us know in the comments below.