Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources


Cut Calories by Brown Baggin' It


Save calories (and money!) by taking your lunch to work   


By Melanie Burke


You may already know that packing your lunch every day can save you money — but it’s healthier, too! When you pack your lunch, you can monitor what foods you take with you, helping you to better manage your weight. On the other hand, when you grab takeout, you rarely know the fat and calorie counts of the foods you’re eating, not to mention the quality of the ingredients used. 

Here’s an example: if you make a turkey sandwich with whole-grain bread, veggies and mustard, and pack it with a small apple and a handful of almonds, your nutrient-packed lunch (including a couple of yummy protein- or fiber-filled snacks to help you stay full throughout the day), adds up to around 500 calories and is made up of healthful foods that you chose.

That pepperoni pizza from the place around the corner, however, packs around 350 calories and 14 grams of fat per slice, and most likely has very little nutritional value. And who sticks to one slice, anyway? After two slices, you’ve had half the maximum recommended daily value of fat, and almost half your daily calories (based on a 2,000-calorie diet). That doesn’t even include snacks! The convenience of getting food on the go is tempting, but it can set you back big time when it comes to your health.

To make it easier to avoid takeout, prep your lunches in advance — either the night before or on a Sunday night for the week ahead (especially if you know that you have busy mornings!). Cook a big pot of chili or soup, or a veggie lasagna, over the weekend, pack it in individual containers, pair them with fruit and presto: you have lunch for the week! If you need a little extra motivation to lug your lunch along, pick out a fun lunch tote to carry into the office.


Published April 3, 2016. 


Melanie Burke is a health and lifestyle writer living in the Bay Area, California. 

Reviewed by Bill Sukala, PhD, MSc, AEP on December 21, 2015.
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