Once you know the benefits of packing your own lunch, you'll never want to go through the drive-thru again.
For many adults in the workplace, the last time they brought their own lunch was probably in school! The art of bringing a packed lunch often falls by the wayside when you become an adult, choosing instead to head to the office cafeteria or spend an hour in the nearest Starbucks, rather than carry around a lunchbox during the day. However, I’m here to tell you that packing your own lunch is back with a bang, and it can have many more benefits on your health and happiness than you ever even thought! Here are just a few of the benefits of packing your own lunch.
1. You Can Make Better Informed Choices
The biggest and best of the many benefits of packing your own lunch is that you can prepare a healthy, balanced, nutritious meal. Rather than just grabbing what’s on the shelf without thinking about portion control, calories and how much it is contributing to your 5-a-day, you can make informed choices by putting together something delicious and nutritious at home.
2. You Know Exactly What You’re Eating
If you like to eat clean, the only way you can possibly achieve this at lunch is by making your own meal. When you buy lunch, you have no idea what ingredients are in that sandwich or salad. By making your own lunch, you have complete control over the ingredients.
3. You Have Control over Your Eating Habits
When packing your own lunch, you can tailor it to the way you like to eat. If you prefer to graze, you can pack accordingly. If you like a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, you can include something that prevents you from taking a trip to the unhealthy, expensive vending machine.
4. It Saves Money
Eating out is way more expensive than eating lunch brought from home, especially if you are clever in the way you prepare lunch. The temptation to just pick something up from a local deli on the way to work is super strong, especially if you are running late, but you would be shocked by just how much money you can save simply by bringing your own homemade lunch to the office every day. One single sandwich from a coffee shop can end up costing the same amount as an entire lunchbox worth of supermarket treats!
5. It’s a Positive Experience
There is nothing sadder than a bland, brown looking sandwich from the office cafeteria. If you make that little bit more effort to bring your own lunches to work, then you will find that the brighter, more enticing look of the food will perk you up in the middle of the day and give you a more positive outlook to help you see the afternoon shift through.
And now you know the benefits, here are the ways to make lunch prep even better:
6. Doubling Your Dishes Makes for Less Effort
If you are single and don’t always like the thought of putting the oven on at night just to cook a single meal, then think about your lunch for the next day too and throw in an extra chicken breast or stuffed pepper to make the effort worth it! You’re making dinner for right now anyway, you might as will take the opportunity to not have to use the oven twice by adding some bits in for lunch tomorrow as well!
7. Meal Prep Saves You Time at Lunch and during the Week
The art of meal prepping is one that, once mastered, can really change your relationship with lunch! On Sunday evening, cook up a whole batch of something that you can then separate into five individual lunches for the week ahead. This doesn’t mean you have to eat the same thing every day; you can use lots of different spices, sauces and other ingredients to make each day’s lunch have an identical staple ingredient but distinctly different tastes.
8. Bi-Weekly Shop
Rather than doing a big shop at the start of the week only to see some of your purchases go off by Friday, commit to going twice a week so ensure that the ingredients for your lunches stay fresh. The benefit of doing a twice weekly shop is that you will find that you are throwing a lot less food away at the end of the week because has been unused and reached its use by date.