Nutrition

Stop Eating Lunch Out: Here’s How to Pack Your Lunch to Help Support Weight Loss

Heads up. Brown bag lunches are making a comeback.

By: Rebecca Jacobs

Before we even dive in, we know what you’re thinking. It’s way easier (like WAY easier) to grab lunch out with coworkers, right? Packing lunch is such a drag. Not only do you have to do all the things to get ready for work, but now you have to food prep? Yeah, we know, making your own lunch is a hard sell. 

But, what if we told you it didn’t have to require a ton of your spare super-duper valuable time? We have solutions. We’re letting you in on some top-secret hacks that only the boss ladies know about when it comes to packing lunches for work with little to no time. Oh, and they’re weight loss-friendly. Pretty dope, huh?

So, let’s get to it. Grab your note pad, and jot down notes on what’s going to make your life easier when it comes to packing your lunch. Because guess what? Packing your lunch may be a gamechanger, helping you reach your health goals, no matter what they are. 

Why Eating Lunch Out Every Day is Not Such a Great Idea 

Real talk-we need to talk about why eating lunch out can be a real buzz kill for your weight loss success. While that caesar salad and taco bowl may appear healthy (those salad dressing are quite deceiving), your daily lunch outing may be holding back your health success more than you know. 

Here are just a few reasons why you may want to say no to that afternoon lunch date with your coworker BFF and ask them to join you in your brown bag lunch challenge instead. 

Hello Sodium….and water retention

Let’s just take a moment to talk about the fact that sandwiches really aren’t all that healthy. Sandwiches are often a go-to lunch choice as they are easy, affordable, and can be woofed down at your desk. So, what’s the problem? Cold cuts are loaded with sodium, and too much sodium equals water retention. Too much sodium can lead to a higher risk of high blood pressure. So, the bottom line? Ditch the lunch sandwich. And, if you don’t want to totally give it up, make your own sandwich using one of our sandwich making hacks below. 

Trans and hydrogenated fats

(yuck and yuck): Can we just say no to trans and hydrogenated fats? They are a serious no go when it comes to supporting health. They are notorious for increasing your risk of things like high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease. Yeah, no thanks. The problem here is that these fats may be hidden in that salad dressing your drizzle (aka pour) all over your salad, and any fried food you grab on the go. The biggest issue is that when you eat out, you don’t control what goes into the foods you are eating. These fats may pop up in places you wouldn’t expect, like that healthy-looking salad dressing. 

Those Calories Add Up

While weight loss is definitely much more than just calories in, calories out, we have to be careful with how many calories we are eating when dining out.  Fast foods can rack up your calorie intake, quick. To help cut back on your calorie intake, making your lunch yourself is the ideal way to focus on quality foods and really make those calories count. 

Let’s Talk Money Honey

We can’t forget the fact that eating lunch out can quickly lead to quite an expensive habit. With the average take out lunch costing $10, you could save yourself up to $200 per month, if you pack your lunch instead! So, from a financial standpoint, making your lunch just makes sense. 

The Top Hacks You Need to Pack Your Lunch Like a Pro

#1 Make the Standard Sandwich Healthy

We already talked about how bad deli meat is, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to totally give up your fav lunch sandwich. Try making your own with roasted turkey breast or rotisserie chicken with some avo mayo, and all the fixings (lettuce, tomato, onion.) Lay low on the carbs by opting for lettuce leaves or even sliced bell peppers for the “bun.” 

#2 Keep it Simple

Simplify your life by keeping your weight loss friendly lunch simple. Stick to the basics. Choose a healthy fat, clean protein, and complex carb. A great healthy lunch would be a large dark leafy green salad with two hard-boiled eggs, tomato, onion, sliced avocado, with a drizzle of raw apple cider vinegar. Serve this up with a side of hummus with bell peppers. 

#3 Stock up on Storage Containers

When you prep lunch, having a handful of storage containers on hand is going to help make your life easier. Opt for glass to avoid BPA exposure, and if you’re really feeling fancy, get a bento box to fill with all your fav lunch goodies or mason-style jars for salads. Plus, glass mason jars get bonus points since you can use them for all of your post-workout shakes after you get your sweat dripping workout on using FitOn’s free fitness app. 

#4 Use Leftovers

You know that healthy homemade dinner you had last night? Think about how you can double or triple your dinner recipes to repurpose for the following day’s lunch. Trust us, it will save you tons of meal prep time. Plus, leftovers can be delish. You can simply spruce up that zucchini lasagna with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for added flavor and protein, and some freshly chopped basil for flavor. Yum! 

Ditch the Daily Lunch Outings

So, there you have it. The four hacks you need to pack your weight loss-friendly lunch and ditch those daily lunch outings. 

Eating more whole and nutrient-dense homemade foods vs. fast food lunches may be the trick to kicking your weight loss success into high gear. 

So, what are you waiting for? Go old school, and pack yourself that brown bag lunch. Hey, you may just set a new healthy trend at the office all while boosting your health and saving yourself some cashola. Now, that’s a win.