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Every office seems to have that one employee. It’s the one who whips out her perfect portions of leftover quinoa, tofu and cabbage wraps or a perfectly prepared mason jar salad when everyone else is rushing through the drive-thru or snagging a hot dog vendor down the street. They are also likely sipping water out of a fancy water bottle while you still have yesterday’s empty coke can on your desk and of course, they take the stairs every.single.time.

The truth is, one healthy habit leads to others and this coworker might actually be onto something. More employees are opting to bring a lunch to the office because it’s convenient, healthy, and cheaper.

While it may seem easier to grab something off the street or from a local restaurant, eating out takes time and effort in the middle of your day. When you bring a lunch, it is available wherever and whenever you get hungry is a lot more handy.

Most restaurant food, even “healthy” ones still have too many calories, salt, and fat. (That’s why it tastes so good). But if you can use lunch to eat a little healthier, you can indulge during dinner or dessert later and not completely negate those goals you made in January.

If the health and convenience factors aren’t enough proof, that employee who is unboxing her bento is also pocketing $200 per month by packing her own lunch. I don’t know about you, but I could use an extra $2,000 this year.

Nichole Fratangelo from Reader’s Digest put this to the test. For two months, she prepared her lunch at home and brought it to work every day. She documented her BYOL journey into a few important lessons we can all learn from those people who opt to “stay in” for lunch.

  1. They plan ahead

The time to think about lunch is right after dinner. You’ve got to prepare the night before because you’re not going to have time as you rush out the door and if you’re at work without lunch plans, it’s too late. The most dedicated lunchers meal prep over the weekend for the entire week ahead, but you can throw something before you go to bed and be all set.

  1. They use leftovers

Those people that bring a lunch also likely make dinner at home as well. This provides a foundation for a delicious lunch the next day. However, not everyone is satisfied eating the same thing they had for dinner, but the best lunchers know how to repurpose dinner to make it something else that is equally delicious.

  1. They aren’t perfect

Very few people are 100% perfect on anything 100% of the time. Every once in a while, even diehard members of the paper sack brigade will bust out a cheeseburger. So, plan for lunch with a friend or take a client out once or twice a week and stay flexible.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that most of the people on the BYOL bandwagon actually enjoy what they are doing. It gives them power and control that you can’t get from a hot dog vendor.

The empowerment that comes from eating healthy and doing something good for yourself is so much better than a cookie with your value meal (and we all know those cookies are delicious). Give it a try for a week or two and see what a difference it might make for you.

More employees are opting to bring a lunch to the office because it’s convenient, healthy, and cheaper. While it may seem easier to grab something off the street or from a local restaurant, eating out takes time and effort in the middle of your day.

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