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Packing Lunch Good for Waistline, Bank Account

Update Date: Mar 04, 2013 07:34 AM EST

Packing lunch is good for your waist and your wallet, experts from University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) said.

UAB Personal Finance Instructor Elizabeth Turnbull, M.B.A., explained how eating out can affect your bank account.

"If you spend even just $6 per lunch five days per week, that is $120 every four weeks. Obviously, this number increases drastically if you are married and your spouse is doing the same thing," Turnbull said.

Previous research too has shown that eating out can increase weight and puts the person at a high risk of developing insulin resistance.

"Restaurant meals are typically high in calories, fat and sodium. It is possible for you to make good choices - but it's harder to make healthy choices when the temptation is staring at you," said UAB Assistant Professor of Nutrition Sciences Beth Kitchin.

Also, packing lunch may not be as dreadful as it sounds. Keeping a lunch simple and fun requires very little time and effort. Ideally, a lunch should cover all major food groups like carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

"Bento style - where you pack several single portions in a box - offers a lot of opportunity to get creative and really use the resources you have on hand. Grab some of the leftover chicken from the night before. Add some carrot sticks, cheese and crackers - basically any finger food that travels well," Kitchin said in a news release.

Kitchin said that the following tips might ease the process of packing lunch:

  • Prepare food items on weekends when you have time so that packing is easier on weekdays.
  • Store a jar of peanut butter your office desk, so that you can use it as dip with your food.
  • Purchase ready-to-eat food items and store some in your office refrigerator so that you can always have something for lunch at work instead of going out for lunch.

Also, remember to never eat when you are at your desk. Try to take a break from work and enjoy your lunch, Kitchin added. 

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