Just as I had predicted, sticking to my "no eating out" challenge was very tough this weekend. After much discussion, Dan and I were able to pinpoint why we eat out so often. Here's what we came up with:
- We're lazy. Despite my love of food and cooking, preparing meals takes a lot of time and effort (planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc.). It's a daily chore that we want a break from. This is usually the case on a weekday when we get off work late, had a rough day, trying to work with the gym schedule, and so on.
- We're having a craving. I might be fully prepared to cook up a dinner, but Dan decides he has a hankering for seafood alfredo. On other days, the falafel place we love posts delicious photos on Facebook, like the one below, and we aren't satisfied until we have it.
|Falafel, 'shroomus, and pita, and salads from Uncle Jack's Good2Go in Ocean, NJ|
- We're socializing. Our friends like to eat. To make matters worse, it's very unlikely that they want to venture to healthy restaurants. Most times, we are making late night runs to Sonic or a pizza place.
- We're on the go. On the weekends, Dan and I are out and about all day. We're driving to the other side of the state to visit friends and family all day or hitting five grocery stores so I can score some sweet deals. When this happens, eating out is unavoidable. We're not home for two meals out of the day. What does one do, pack lunches and dinners? This is the primary culprit of our dining out problem on the weekend, and it seems there is not much we can do about it.
This Saturday, we spent the entire day out of the house. I had to visit ill family in Pennsylvania and Dan had to see a friend in South Jersey. For lunch, we stopped at a Polish market in Trenton where my extended family buys the BEST bread and delicious deli meats. I purchased bread, smoked ham, and Swiss cheese and made sandwiches in the car between destinations. The sandwiches were tasty, AND we didn't have to fail the challenge. Unfortunately, we didn't get home until 10 pm. As we drove back, we considered stopping at a restaurant for dinner, but I didn't want to lose my challenge AND I only had 7 WW Points+ to spare (I could basically eat lettuce and smell the real food with that pitiful amount of points. Most point-friendly places aren't open very late.). When we got home, Dan ate some leftovers, and I made some Italian eggs on that delicious Polish bread. While I wouldn't recommend waiting that late to eat dinner, we weren't famished since we ate lunch late, and we didn't eat a heavy meal at that late hour.
This week has helped us to recognize our downfalls when it comes to eating out. It's one thing to fight the cravings, laziness, and the social eating but another to cope with being out of the house all day. We should try to make shorter trips (which is tough with rising gas prices since we try to accomplish everything while we are out). If being out of the house all day is unavoidable, we're going to need to plan our meals-- eat lunch before we leave or pack something small so we only need to eat one meal out. Then, be sure that the meal we eat out is healthy (not cheeseteaks, fast food, or pizza).
I have to say, I am LOVING the results of this challenge on the scale this week. Stay tuned for official weigh-in news tomorrow. This challenge also saved us around $100 this week since we didn't dine out... so I spent some of that on a new pair of running shoes. ;)