The clock strikes noon and the lunch race beings. Co-workers scurry to the nearest sandwich shop or burrito joint, and you’re stuck in your typical lunchtime predicament: Do you partake in the indulgent mid-day outing or stick with the healthy, budget-savvy leftovers you packed?
Your head is telling you to save on the almost $3,000 Americans are spending per year on lunch, not to mention the 200 extra calories that typically come with eating out, but your heart (and stomach) is telling you to pal around with your teammates. The good news is, you don’t have to choose; you can find a way to be social and satisfied—all while making smart decisions. Here’s how:
Plan ahead: Decide in advance how often you’ll join co-workers who eat out, and which days you’ll bring a lunch from home. And when you do hang with the lunch-out crew, suggest a healthy and affordable option, like a local salad bar. People will appreciate the variety of fresh ingredients and the ability to customize their order. To keep the cost in check, stick to the topping amount that’s included in the salad price and think twice before adding more spendy ingredients.
Bring your lunch along: Join your colleagues on their lunch run with your packed meal in hand. Plan to eat somewhere communal, like a public picnic area or a company dining hall, so everyone can enjoy a meal and conversation together.
Start a lunch club: Kick off a lunch club, where co-workers take turns making a healthy meal for each other. Pick an easy schedule to follow—once a month works well, and have members sign up for the date they’d like to be on lunch duty. You can book a meeting room to eat in, head outside, or hit the dining hall. Encourage members to share the recipe they made—that’s part of the fun!
Looking to step it up? Learn how Fitbit Group Health can help your company develop a successful wellness program, boost employee health and happiness, and improve the bottom line.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.