How to be better about bringing your lunch to work

Story highlights

  • Learn how to dress up leftovers, and have basic recipes beyond sandwiches
  • Pack a treat or plan a freebie day so you don't feel like you're missing out

You probably have at least one coworker who, day after day, whips out a colorful Mason-jar salad or veggie-packed wrap. She's on to something: 92% of restaurant meals have too many calories, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Plus, researchers at Tufts University found that even "healthier" fast food options still pack too much salt and fat in a 2016 study. "By having more control over portion sizes and what foods are going into each lunch, you not only ensure what you're eating is healthier than what you might find in the cafeteria or vending area, but also that what you're eating is satisfying to you personally," says registered dietitian Regan Jones, RD, founding editor at HealthyAperture.com.

If that's not enough to sway you to start packing your lunch, then maybe knowing just how much money you're spending will help. Let's do some math: If you buy lunch every workday, at 10 bucks a pop, that's $200 a month -- and a whopping $2,400 a year, enough cash to take yourself and a friend on a Caribbean vacation.
    Now stock up on the best to-go containers for packing a lunch, and learn how to become the type of person who actually uses them:

    They plan the prep