It’s that time of year again, New Year’s resolutions that we all make and break. We have seen the same resolutions come and go for ourselves, most common ones; lose weight, exercise more and save money.
Here is a resolution that can help you with all three of those items, PACK A LUNCH TO WORK!
Oh, those words bring back flashes of carrying a brown bag to school and eating a mushed up PB&J sandwich with busted up chips and if we were lucky a favorite Little Debbie snack. Thanks to many advancements in technology and efficiencies, we no longer have to use the old brown bag with Ziploc baggies as our method of bringing in our calories.
Let’s just take a little food for thought, yes pun intended as to how packing a lunch can be a benefit to you.
Benefit One: Lose Weight
Yes, we all stepped on the scales after the holiday season and who couldn’t afford to lose 5-10 pounds. Your average restaurant meal has a total calorie content of 1,327 calories. Which is 66% of the recommended 2,000 calories per day.
When you pack your own lunch you are better able to control what your calorie intake will be and you can on average try to get between 560 to 750 calories in lunch.
Let’s see how a simple sandwich type lunch breaks down for you:
- Turkey sandwich on wheat bread = 340 calories
- Yogurt (6 to 8 ounces) = 100 calories
- Baby Carrots (8 carrots) = 26 calories
- Orange (1 fruit) = 62 calories
- Green tea ( 8 ounces) = 80 calories
- Total calorie intake= 608 calories
As you can see in this example this is a healthy sandwich style lunch that covers the food groups of grains, veggies, and fruits. It’s also more than half as much as you would consume if you were to go out to eat for lunch eating a cheeseburger, side of fries and unlimited soda refills.
Benefit Two: Exercise!
By packing your lunch you have more time for yourself, instead of getting into your vehicle to drive across town, to eat all those calories and then rush through-traffic to get back in time for lunch to be over with you. You can eat your lunch, take a 15 to 20-minute walk and you won’t feel as rushed. You also won’t get those 1 to 2 pm crash times. By being more active you are increasing your health benefits by being more alert later in the day.
Benefit Three: Save Money
Sure every place has a dollar menu or the box in a meal deals these days, but even this can add up quickly when you are spending $5 to $6 and more like $10 plus, five days a week.
This item really hit home when I was taking a look at my budget and started looking at the number of times I was hitting up a fast food restaurant. The money being spent in a month was crazy.
Sure I think to myself, “I make good money, I can afford to spend a little on myself.” Well, I decided I would rather take those savings and spend a little on myself doing more of my outdoor related hobbies. I sure enjoy getting new fishing gear overeating a McDonald’s double quarter pounder.
So if we are spending on average $10 per day for five day work week that’s $50 per week and $200 per month.
Here’s a table of what a sandwich type lunch looks like broken down by cost:
Lunch meat .67 per 2-3 oz
Total cost per day = $2.09, cost savings per week is just under $40 per week, that’s a savings of $160 per month.
Just think of what you can do with an extra $160 per month, pay off some debt, take a vacation, or buy a nice ticket item for yourself or family.
I think you can see that after reading these three benefits of why to pack a lunch you can easily stay on track and keep your New’s Year resolution on track. Keep in mind you don’t need January 1st, of a new year to roll around to apply for these benefits. Good luck to you on your life changing event of making the brown bag experience fun and exciting!