It’s almost the end of our Weight Loss on a Budget Challenge so I just have a few more tips. Today’s Tip #27: Bring Your Lunch From Home.
There are 3 major benefits to bringing your lunch to work or while you are out.
- Saving Money – Buying your lunch everyday can be very expensive. The cheaper options (dollar menus for example) tend to be very convenient, but also FULL of empty calories, fatty meats and simple carbs. You can save money by planning out your meals according to your daily budget. Create your own healthy meal plan with low cost items like greek yogurt, low sodium deli meat, cereal, bulk items (nuts, beans, etc), cottage cheese, apples, oranges, protein shakes, etc.
- Calorie Control and Healthy Ingredients – When your make your lunch, you know exactly what’s in it. You will have selected the ingredients and you’ll know how the food was prepared. Also, you will have already considered things like calories and the nutritional value (vitamins, fiber, etc). If you have a calorie goal for the day, it’s easier to stay on track because youl know in advance what your calorie counts should be.
- Portion Control – When you order your lunch, sometimes you may not be aware of what the true portion size is for what you’re eating because you’re on the run. You may think you’re eating 1 serving of a food when you are really eating 4 servings. That’s because there are so many great restaurants out there that have huge portions that don’t work for people who want to cut back to lose weight. In the end, you may feel like you’re getting a deal on food, but you are sabotaging your weight loss efforts with those huge portions. In addition, many of us were raised to eat everything on our plates, so the thought of not eating what we just paid top dollar for doesn’t compute. Thus we end up eating more food than we need to. That leads to guilt because we don’t want to “waste” food, so we eat it. When you make your own lunch, you can better control how much food you eat.