How to Avoid Going Out to Eat
4 Ways to Avoid the Temptation of Going Out to Eat
I actually had that moment today. The moment when you contemplate if you should go get food or not.
This week I have this lentil soup for dinner and although it’s not bad, it’s just not something I’m enjoying. So I started to think, “hmm I could go to Chipotle for a burrito bowl”. Then I thought about how much money I spend on groceries each week and the fact that there is plenty of food in my house.
So I found a box of Spanish rice I had left over from a previous week and remembered I had two avocados, a lemon, and lettuce that needed to be used. For dinner I had my own simpler version of a burrito bowl. I put down some lettuce pieces, added the rice, and topped it with homemade guacamole.
Sometimes it’s challenging making that decision, but I feel so much better knowing that I used resources I already had along with saving money, gas, and mileage. Plus, typically that decision is a healthier meal than what it would have been.
Here’s four ways to avoid that temptation.
Okay, so this is probably the most obvious one. Seriously though, if you haven’t given meal prepping a try, I suggest you do so! I even have a whole post about meal prepping. This is the best and the most sure way to avoid going out to eat is to have meals already. It’s hard to find an excuse about what to eat when all you have to do is heat it up. One thing though, make sure it’s a meal you would actually want to eat throughout the week. There have been times that I made a meal and it just wasn’t enjoyable so that led me to wanting to go out to get food. Hence why today I wanted to have something different.
Stock Up on Extra Quick Meals
When I say quick meals I don’t necessarily mean boxed freezer meals. Those generally are very high in sodium and not the best for you. Some suggestions I have:
- Pasta: Boxes of pasta are non-perishable along with jars of sauce. So buy a few and keep them in your pantry for those “I don’t know what to eat” days. Lately I’ve actually been getting a box of Annie’s vegan mac and cheese. It’s the first vegan mac and cheese that I feel is really close to the “real” thing.
- Veggie meat: I like to stock up on these when they are on sale because you freeze them and they last long. Plus, they are typically high in protein. It takes about 15-20 minutes to cook these and you could easily add a side of rice or veggies with it.
- Rice: There’s so many varieties of rice and different flavors you can add to it. I could eat a bowl of Spanish rice by itself because I love it so much. If you need your rice with something else you might want to consider having the veggie meat on hand as I said before.
Schedule Outings or Cheat Meals
There seems to be a lot of opinions lately about cheat meals. Some people don’t think you should ever indulge in cheat meals while others say you shouldn’t limit your enjoyment of eating because of a strict diet. A lot of times I think people envision cheat meals as ordering 3 pizzas or going out to a restaurant for some big, fancy meal. However, cheat meals could simply be an at home meal that is maybe not your usual.
My sister and I used to prep our meals together and on the weekend we would have our cheat meal. This typically would consist of something that was high in carbs or cheese (back when we were vegetarians only). Sometimes it would include a regular meal, but getting frozen yogurt for dessert instead.
Although doing this on a weekly basis is probably not ideal, I do think that have a scheduled outing makes eating right a little easier. If I know that next weekend I’m going out to dinner, I am less likely to splurge and go randomly throughout the week. It also gives me an incentive to eat healthier because I know that’s kind of like the reward at the end.
Have a Snack
Sometimes all it takes to curb our cravings is a simple snack. You might choose to eat almonds to help you feel more full or spread some peanut butter on rice cakes. Remember when choosing a snack, try not to pick something that is total junk like chips, ice cream, candy, and so on.
The main point here is it’s okay to want “bad” food and indulge sometimes. In moderation that’s acceptable, but on a daily basis it’s important to stick to what should matter most…our overall health.
“Don’t give up what you want most, for what you want now.”