So, on Tuesday of this past week, I decided to play a game with myself to address my rather chronic habit of getting takeout rather than preparing my own meals.
You can read about the whole thing here, but the basic deal is this: I challenged myself to NOT eat out more than once from Tuesday to Friday night. I knew I had at least one lunch meeting that would require me to eat out, so that was all I gave myself.
So, how did it go, you might ask?
Pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. One unexpected meal out popped up – dinner with a colleague before a work event – but we went to a marvelous locally sourced restaurant. The food was wonderful but didn’t seem too calorie heavy, so I’m not going to give myself demerits for that.
Surprisingly, I kind of enjoyed the challenge, mostly because it was both achievable and required me to control my time and planning a little more.
Some tricks that helped:
1. Adding protein to my breakfast (eggs). This meant that I could have soup and salad for lunch and not be hungry at 2pm.
2. Turning down impromptu lunch dates. I think the next step is actually planning them, so they fit into the lineup of the next week.
3. Gently influencing friends to have us all eat at home before a gathering, so we didn’t need to order crazy-calorie pizza to share together.
So, I’ve decided to keep it going through my upcoming 3-day weekend. Weekends are interesting, because preparing 3 meals in a row with my limited pantry is a bit of a challenge. But I think I can do it! And this time, I can see the map of my meals in my head…
Breakfast: English muffin with peanut butter and banana slices
Lunch: Small sandwich and side salad
Dinner: Dinner out with one of my best girlies! No guilt gonna be had.
Breakfast: Eggs with local veggies if I can get my butt to the farmers market on time
Dinner: Ravioli and salad
Lunch: Green Submarine sandwich as a reward (Fayetteville West Siders, if you haven’t eaten here yet…what the heck? Go! It’s yummy; probably the best sandwich place in town).
Dinner: Greek Pasta Salad and veggies (inspired by Amanda in my office)
Next week is my last week at work, so I know there will be a bunch of lunches out, so it’s going to be key to make sure I do dinner and breakfast right.
In time, if I can keep this up, I know both my wallet and waistline will thank me.
How do you trick and/or cajole yourself into making better food choices?
Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane at FreeDigitalPhotos.net