Brown Bagging It Save money and shed pounds.

When it comes to brown bag lunches, most adults probably think of schoolchildren. But taking advantage of the opportunity to bring your own lunch to work can be beneficial in numerous ways.

Instead of leaving the office for a bite to eat, you can save money and avoid empty calories. The key to getting the most of a brown bag lunch is making sure you have the proper foods to give you the energy you need. A meal with a small portion of low-fat protein and small amounts of healthy fats will keep you fuller longer.

“The combination of protein and fiber from whole grains, beans, nuts, vegetables and/or fruit will give you the most satisfying and nutritious combination of foods that will keep you feeling full until dinner,” says Connie Diekman, president of the American Dietetic Association.

Portion control is another one of the benefits of brown bagging it. Fast food places often provide oversized portions full of empty calories. By creating your own meal, you can develop a reasonable portion of nutritious food.

Brown bagging it doesn’t sentence you to a life of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Make the most of your meal. Instead of the same old ham and cheese sandwich, consider boiling some eggs for protein and having a healthy tuna salad, bringing in last night’s leftovers, or keeping a small bag of carrots in the office refrigerator for a quick snack.

If you don't mind sandwiches, kick it up a few notches with new condiments and vegetables. Consider wrapping your sandwich in lettuce leaves to cut the carbohydrates.

To make sure you don't break the bank, plan out your grocery shopping for the workweek. Make a list of all of the ingredients you need to create your lunches and stay on budget. Doing so can keep you and your wallet satisfied. Brown bagging it is the perfect way to stick to a weight loss plan or maintain your weight.