Hey, you, with the Reuben, dripping Russian dressing on the expense reports. And you, with the chopped salad, dropping bacon bits into your keyboard.

The office lunch, which 62 percent of us eat at our desks, according to the 2011 Desktop Dining survey from the American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods, can deal a caloric wallop if you're not careful.

Deceptively fattening salads and sodium-heavy soups can surprise people who think they're making healthy choices, said Jenny Sucov, editor of EverydayHealth.com.

Skipping lunch, or waiting too long to eat, slows metabolism, encourages overeating and hurts concentration, said Amy Jamieson-Petonic, director of wellness coaching at the Cleveland Clinic and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

And though the Desktop Dining survey shows that most office workers make the healthful choice of bringing lunch from home, giving them control over ingredients, for the 41 percent of us who buy lunch out or eat takeout at our desks, popular meals can pack a heavy punch.

Take a look at the top lunch foods eaten at restaurants and those taken back to the office to eat, according to market research firm NPD Group. We give examples of each from popular restaurants, then used the calculator at everydayhealth.com/calorie-counter.aspx to determine what you'd have to do to burn them off.

Of course, calories aren't the only concern. People should also watch sodium, saturated fat and added sugar, Sucov said. And it's best to eat a nutritionally dense meal of complex carbohydrates and lean protein, plus fruits and veggies, to leave you feeling full and nourished, said Jamieson-Petonic.

But when it comes to weight loss, the key is to burn more calories than you consume (erase 3,500 calories to lose a pound).

The calculations are based on a 150-pound person. People who weigh less would have to exercise longer to burn the same number of calories.

Carbonated soft drink

Coke, 20 fluid oz: 240 calories, 0g fat, 75mg sodium.

Burn it off: 38 minutes of tennis or 1 hour of mopping.

Healthier alternative: Water (0 calories, 0g fat, 0mg sodium).

Burn it off: Nothing.


Subway Melt, 6-inch (turkey, ham, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, cucumbers, honey mustard sauce on wheat): 400 calories, 11g fat, 1,330mg sodium.

Burn it off: 30 minutes of vigorous biking or 78 minutes of light gardening.

Healthier alternative: Subway Turkey sandwich, 6-inch (turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, green peppers, cucumbers, yellow mustard on wheat): 285 calories, 3.5g fat, 915mg sodium.

Burn it off: 20 minutes of vigorous biking or 56 minutes of light gardening.


McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese: 510 calories, 26g fat, 1,190mg sodium.

Burn it off: 71 minutes of walking (4.5 mph) or 45 minutes of running (6 mph).

Healthier alternative: Cheeseburger from McDonald's (300 calories, 12g fat, 750mg sodium).

Burn it off: 42 minutes of walking (4.5 mph) or 27 minutes of running (6 mph).

French fries

Wendy's natural-cut fries (medium): 420 calories, 21g fat, 460mg sodium.

Burn it off: 46 minutes of basketball or 123 minutes of bowling.

Healthier alternative: Apple slices (40 calories, 0g fat, 0mg sodium).

Burn it off: 4 minutes of basketball or 12 minutes of bowling.

Chicken sandwich

Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich: 430 calories, 17g fat, 1,410mg sodium.

Burn it off: 63 minutes of walking (3.5 mph) uphill or 100 minutes of walking (3.5 mph) on a level surface.

Healthier alternative: Chargrilled chicken sandwich (290 calories, 4g fat, 1,030mg sodium).

Burn it off: 43 minutes of walking (3.5 mph) uphill or 67 minutes of walking (3.5 mph) on a level surface.


KFC two-piece Original Recipe chicken (drumstick and thigh): 370 calories, 24g fat, 1,040mg sodium.

Burn it off: 41 minutes of jumping rope or 93 minutes of vacuuming.

Healthier alternative: KFC two-piece grilled chicken (260 calories, 14g fat, 829mg sodium).

Burn it off: 29 minutes of jumping rope or 66 minutes of vacuuming.


Chipotle burrito with steak, rice, black beans, cheese, sour cream, tomato salsa and lettuce: 970 calories, 38g fat, 2,070mg sodium

Burn it off: 86 minutes of swimming breaststroke or 171 minutes of kayaking.

Healthier alternative: Chipotle burrito bowl (no tortilla) with chicken, rice, fajita vegetables, cheese, tomato salsa and lettuce (460 calories, 18.5g fat, 1,340mg sodium).

Burn it off: 41 minutes of swimming breast stroke or 81 minutes of kayaking.


Argo Tea Classic chai with 2 percent milk (medium): 234 calories, 4g fat (sodium not listed).

Burn it off: 31 minutes of power yoga or 83 minutes of light yoga.

Healthier alternative: Sugar-free classic chai with nonfat milk (medium) (70 calories, 0g fat).

Burn it off: 9 minutes of power yoga or 25 minutes of light yoga.


Two slices of Pizza Hut Supreme pan pizza: 580 calories, 28g fat, 1,300mg sodium.

Burn it off: 1 hour of soccer or 114 minutes of golf (walking the course and carrying clubs).

Healthier alternative: Two slices of Pizza Hut Veggie Lovers Thin 'n' Crispy pizza (360 calories, 12g fat, 1,050mg sodium).

Burn it off: 37 minutes of soccer or 71 minutes of golf (walking the course and carrying clubs).