Keep Calm and Pack Your Lunch

by Julie Gould

We are surrounded by soda, candy, snacks and all-around unhealthy foods, which commonly lead to poor diets.

Some of us are fighting weight gain because of unhealthy snacks and a lack of exercise.

Although this is harsh news to face because weight gain can lead to serious health issues, today is the day to shed light on the issue. March 10 is National Pack Your Lunch Day.

Let’s face it: When we are at work or school, the easiest thing to do is spend a little cash during lunch hour to buy food.

However, you probably aren’t getting a very balanced meal, and although it is delicious and easy, it is not necessarily healthy.

If we added 10 or 20 minutes to our nightly schedules to make lunch for the next day, we would all start to journey into new, healthier lifestyles.

Packing your lunch offers many benefits; although they may not be life-changing, they have great long-term effects and will make your life much easier during the busy workweek:

Food Choices And Control

By packing your lunch, you afford yourself the ability to pick and choose exactly what you desire for your meal. It could be something simple, like a sandwich, or you could cook a piece of chicken breast and place it in a container.

Unfortunately, when you buy lunch at work, unless there is a cafeteria that always produces new items, you will be stuck with the same options every day — and trust me, that will get very boring, very quickly.

Packing your lunch allows you not only to change your daily food options, but also to control food quantities.

Another unfortunate factor of buying out is the serving sizes are most likely larger than the normal amount. When you pack your lunch, you're in control of portion size.

Healthy Benefits

When you pack your lunch, you're able to pack all of the food groups to ensure a well-balanced meal.

When ordering lunch out or running to the local restaurant down the road for a quick bite to eat, the meal likely won't satisfy all of the balanced food choices you could have made if you packed your lunch at home.

Packing your lunch can help with weight control, cholesterol, sodium and other health-related issues that ordered food cannot.

Plan Ahead

We all have time on Sunday evening to take an hour to cook. If you want to pack your lunch moving forward, it's smart to cook and pack on Sunday.

Cook a well-balanced meal with a protein, vegetable and starch; make sure you cook enough, though, for five meals worth. Once cooked and packed away, you don't have to worry about lunch for the rest of the week because it is already done.

Now, you just have to worry about remembering to grab it in the morning...

Money Saved

Ordering out may be quick and easy, but it comes at a price. If you order food all week, the total bill will likely be around $50.

But, if you pack your lunch, you can take the money you would have spent ordering food and put it toward a grocery store bill to buy ingredients for your lunches, which will likely come out to much less than $50.

The benefits of packing your lunch are truly endless, so everyone should strive to pack.

Once you get into a routine of cooking and packing, it won't feel like an inconvenience, but rather, a lifesaver.

When you weigh the benefits of packing lunch and ordering lunch, packing wins every time.