Weight Loss Support - No more restaurants!

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07-06-2008, 09:21 PM
This may be too dumb to post here, but I just had a revelation. Now, for the most part, I am a pretty frugal person. I don't own credit cards, I rarely buy myself clothing, go on vacations, go to the movies, etc. But I just checked my online bank account, I realized that in the past month, I've spent about 200 bucks on restaurants!!!! That is insane, and ridiculous!!! Not only is it unhealthy, but that money could be going towards my graduate classes, a gym membership, etc.
Just so I'm accountable to someone, I'm offering myself a challenge, and you guys are welcome to use it too. I want to go a whole month without eating out. Soooooo..... I'm starting tomorrow, since today's almost over and not much of a challenge. I realize this may seem fairly stupid, and makes me look like a weak loser, but atleast I'm trying to fix this, right?
July 7- No restaurants today! And I was tempted, because some jerk STOLE MY LAUNDRY from our apartment laundrymat.
July 8- no restaurants today!
July 9- success! And I walked 4 miles today!
July 10-another day without eating out. And I walked another 4 miles today:)
July 11-I ended up not going out with my students (too tired) and I did another 4 miles today.
July 12-no eating out today! 4 more miles
July 13-no eating out today! 4 more miles
July 14-no eating out today! 4 more miles
July 15-no eating out today! 4 more miles
July 16-no eating out today!
July 17-no eating out today!
July 18-no eating out today! I went to the movies and brought my own snacks!
July 19- no restaurants today! 4 miles today
July 20- still on track:) 4 miles today
July 21- still on track--4 more miles!
July 22- no eating out--4 miles
July 23- still on track--4 miles
July 24- got asked to go to a junk foody-restaurant and I said no; too rainy to walk today:(
July 25-did my walking and ate at home:)
July 26-no eating out today; walked 4 miles
July 27-no eating out today!
July 28-I ate out today at a salad bar--I made good choices and only paid $6, so not a total loss! I still walked.
July 29-walked 2 miles today; no eating out.
July 30-didn't walk today, but I didn't eat out either! Pants fit better:)
July 31-no eating out. I'm doing the treadmill for an hour tonight after dinner. No excuses!!
Aug. 1-lots of walking today at the zoo, and ate out. I ate within my WW points though.
Aug. 2-ate at IHOP with friends, but ate pretty healthy. I totally ignored the bacon!
Aug. 3-no eating out today and did 1.5 miles on the treadmill.
Aug. 4
Aug. 5-
Aug. 6-
Aug. 7-

07-06-2008, 09:57 PM
I used to be on a board where they had a "no eating out" challenge every month. They were all married women with children, so the kids didn't eat out either. Some of them got to the point where they only ate out like twice a year. I think some calculated what they were saving and it was a LOT. :D

07-06-2008, 10:50 PM
You're not a loser at all. More power to you - if your social life is anything like mine (revolves around happy hours and dinners out), this will be quite a challenge!

07-06-2008, 10:59 PM
We have really cut down on how much we eat out. Some for health reasons, and some monetary. We used to eat out probably 3-4 dinners a week and breakfast 3 or 4 days. Plus a coffee shop almost every day. That's a lot!
We now have breakfast out 2 days a week, and sometimes one other meal on the weekend. Then coffee a couple times a week.

We are saving a lot of money, which allows us to afford those premium grocery items (like Fage, organic foods and the like).

07-06-2008, 11:56 PM
Sorry I can't join you ;) I totally understand why you are wanting to do this and I am all for it. My wife and I go out almost every Friday for our date night..we have learned to do what we call Friday Night Splits, where we share a meal when possible.

On my journey this past year I will say that I have had fast food only 4 times! Once with Angie at Rubios...once by myself after overtime at work DEl Taco...only place in the area opened at 12 midnight, once I needed (HA-HA) a double cheeseburger fix at Mc D's...and once with my brother for a out of town dinner. I know that has saved me $$$ and calories!

Good luck to you!

07-07-2008, 12:21 AM
Thanks guys! I never drink alcohol, so at least I don't have to worry about that. I'm thinking of giving up sprite though.... I have a can maybe 2 or 3 times a week.

07-07-2008, 12:38 AM
Hey Chicky!!

Good luck with your challenge! I can relate. We are a family of three on one income. We have to cut where we can. I can't say I have sworn off the eating out though...we go at least once a week....I watch sales papers and clip coupons for groceries and save the money I save...I have also taken up can collecting (coke cans...etc)....a local recycling plant pays 75 cents a pound....so when I take my walks and stuff I pick them up...so that could be some extra money for you...and you can use it for eating out once a week or whatever you want to do!

07-07-2008, 06:42 AM
Whenever the bill comes, I think to myself ... ya know how much groceries I could buy for that????

07-07-2008, 06:53 AM
Yeah DH and I are guilty of this too. We have really been trying lately to not eat out and to fix meals at home or at the very least pick up something at the grocery to take to work (for lunch) and prepare it there. I can say after a week or so of doing that I feel 100% better!

Good Luck Everybody!

07-07-2008, 07:12 AM
I don't think we have the same culture of eating out here in the UK. I don't think I've ever bought breakfast food from a restaurant other than when on vacation. If I was on the run over lunch I'd more than likely grab a pre-packed sandwich or salad than have a sit down meal somewhere. Dinners out are restricted to celebrations only unless again on vacation. We might get an occasional take-away but since I've been on my new eating plan this amounts to perhaps once every 2 or 3 months.

So I don't really know how great a challenge is for you to go without eating out for a month. Its something I could easily manage but good luck with it anyhow.


07-07-2008, 08:00 AM
We are also practicing not eating out to save money -- but I'm hoping it will have a positive side affect on our weight too!
Restaurants are expensive, and pack wayyy too many calories into meals.

07-11-2008, 02:15 AM
I'm in a dilemma. Two of my students' families invited me to lunch tomorrow. I explained about my vow of not eating out, so I can save money and be healthier. Their solution? The restaurant they want to take me to has a salad bar and they've offered to pay. If I went to lunch with them, I'm bring my own salad dressing, and fruit for dessert. I'd like to keep my vow, but I'm close to these students and their families (I teach special education pre-k, and I get to teach these kiddos 2 or 3 years, depending how young they are). I know these moms have a hard time trusting their kids with anyone, and over this past school year, they've really come out of their shells, and they trust me and the other teachers.
So, would I be an awful person for eating in a restaurant? They insist on paying, and the salad bar there is pretty good.
Btw, I'd still spend the rest of the month doing my best to avoid restaurants (at the very least, unhealthy ones, lol)

Rain Dancer
07-11-2008, 03:09 AM
Chickybird, I say, go out with the parents. You wouldn't really be breaking your promise to yourself. And, these people really want to treat you to this meal. It is important to them and to you. So, go. Enjoy and don't feel guilty. :)

BTW: I love your avatar. It makes me giggle every time I see it. :lol:

07-11-2008, 03:33 AM
Thanks rain dancer! I guess I just wanted to hear someone else say it. I really have awesome students:)
More news: My dad wants the whole family to go out next Saturday for his birthday. It's a big deal because my brother just came back from Korea after being gone 5 years, and it'll be our first family function together. I'm looking forward to it, mainly because I want to show that I can make a good healthful food choice.
I'm glad you like my avatar! Someone posted it in the joke forum, and I had to steal it!

07-11-2008, 06:19 AM
Hi chickybird - No restaurants is such a neat way to stay on plan and save money. However, you might consider modifying your promise to yourself to something like, no restaurants when it's reasonable for me to fix my own. That would make it easier for you to make decisions for such special occasions as your dad's birthday.

Since I started bringing my lunch to work as part of my healthy path over two years ago, I've been surprised at how many work related lunches I've attended. I'd never really thought about it. My plan is to make healthy choices as best available, and that's worked out good enough. And, I don't feel deprived, so I haven't even once just gone to a fast food place on my own.

Good luck with your choices at your dad's birthday lunch.

07-11-2008, 08:38 AM
I'm with Bill. A year or two ago my husband and I looked at our spending and realized how many "junky" dinners out we were eating. (We define a junky dinner out as one that we do alone, when we don't want to cook and just default into the meal.) Our resolution is to continue to eat out, but do it as part of our social life, and for special occasions. Sooooo...

We eat out in a planned way. Birthdays and anniversaries, dinners out with friends. We've tried to eliminate dinners out (or carried in) on the nights when "I'm tired...let's just go out." The irony is that having a few backup dinner at home plans means that we eat healthier, more cheaply, and in a more relaxing way, since our meal doesn't involve driving, sitting, waiting etc.

Eating out has once again become a treat. We plan it and enjoy it relatively guilt free. It is part of my meal plan when we do so.

Good luck, enjoy your dad's birthday dinner and make good choices.

07-11-2008, 02:56 PM
I haven't eaten out or ordered in since October 2006. I have not missed it either! I am perfectly content eating at home. Goodness knows I had a lifetime of eating out.

Lori Bell
07-11-2008, 06:32 PM
I agree with Pandora123. Also, never say never. We eat out to celebrate something, or if friends invite, but never just because I'm to lazy to cook. Besides that we live 15 miles from anywhere and with gas prices, you'd have to add a good $10 on top of tab, & tip.

I try to always have a few extra quick, easy & healthy meal ingredients around for emergencies. I also plan out a weeks worth of meals and only go to the grocery store once a week. (sometimes a 2nd quick stop is necessary for fresh produce & milk) This also saves money big time. I have 2 sons who LOVE to eat out, (mostly for socialization, since living in the country is pretty boring without neighbor kids) so sometimes it's hard, so during the school year, if they get 100% on a difficult test, or good report cards we also go out and celebrate.

07-20-2008, 11:10 PM
I think I'm doing well on the no restaurant thing--I'm not opposed to eating in one, but honestly, it's getting easier to resist them. I've also been experimenting with new recipes lately. I made a vegetarian Mexican lasagna today, but it was GROSS! DH loved it--I used TVP instead of meat and he didn't even notice. I think it was gross to me because I used cheese that was fat free; I think using reduced fat cheese will help next time. I did like the TVP and veggies though; I think the fat free cheese wasn't "melty" enough to mix with the other ingredients, if that makes sense.

07-21-2008, 12:43 PM
Hi!!! I just wanted to add my 2 cents in on this. I think it's awesome that you've taken a vow of "celebacy" on eating out!! lol. But your problem was the money you were blowing...not necessarily the calories. So...if someone wants to go out and celebrate and they are willing to pay your way...then sounds like you should go. And it's awesome that you're making wise food choices while you're there. I'm sure you will see many benefits of cutting back on your eating out. More money and less calories.

I myself have taken an oath of not eating out during the week simply because i am carpooling to work and don't have a ride to go eat out. Which i am perfectly happy about. I bring my healthy choice lunch to work and get outside on my break and walk a mile. But if i do forget my lunch, then the closest place is half a mile down the road and it's a subway. So, i can get extra excersize walking down for my food and i can order a healthy sub or salad to eat. But by bringing my own lunch (and carpooling) i should save alot of money this month.

07-21-2008, 02:42 PM
During the summer, my husband and I go out to eat at a nice restaurant once or twice a week. I've learned to work around it, but it is difficult to resist some of the dishes (and the desserts, of course). The problem is that it is so hard to figure out the calories in restaurant food. There's no way to know what they put on it when they cook it (even if it's broiled, they could baste in with butter). I just do the best I can. I don't want to give up that tradition because it would be unfair to my husband.

I have, however, sworn off Starbucks. I haven't been back there since the middle of May. At one point, I was going there 2-3 times a week and getting a coffee and one of their goodies (sometimes two!). I figure I've saved about $11-$15 a week by just eliminating Starbucks.

07-21-2008, 06:44 PM
Yeah , I wouldn't be opposed to eating out now. I'm eating a lot healthier now. I'm meaning to get back onto WW, and I'm kind of keeping track of points that go in my mouth. I'm enjoying my TOM this week (Yay!) but next week when the lovely bloat is gone, I'm going to the meetings again. It's time to suck up my pride and admit I need the support of group meetings. I'm dreading/looking forward to it....

07-21-2008, 10:01 PM
It's both financial and a realization that to lose weight, you have to prepare most of your food!

I used to eat lunch out at work 5 days a week and my husband did the same. We ate dinner out a couple of times during the week and a few meals on the weekends as well. Oh, and I'd go through spells of eating breakfast in the cafeteria every morning. It all adds up both out of the bank account and onto the body.

Now I pack my breakfast lunch and snacks. My husband eats his breakfast at home and packs his lunch and snacks. We eat out together on Thursday nights. If there's a special occasion to eat out for, we'll usually trade it for Thursday night. We may eat out once on a weekend. And I average less than once a week eating out with a group at lunch. More and more others are packing their lunch also and we'll eat in.

From a psychological perspective, it's so much better to be eating good food that I like than trying to choose the least bad option in a restaurant. Since there are so few options in restaurants with vegetables except for salads, and they have few non-lettuce vegetables anyway, except for the really pricey items, I almost always feel like I can make a better meal than I can buy.

07-21-2008, 10:43 PM
. . . Since there are so few options in restaurants with vegetables except for salads, and they have few non-lettuce vegetables anyway, except for the really pricey items, I almost always feel like I can make a better meal than I can buy.

This is exactly how I feel, especially for breakfast and lunch. I splurge when grocery shopping: I buy organic, all natural, and whole foods. I buy the best bread I can find, and if I have dessert, it is homemade. Thus, I am often disappointed that the food I get at restaurants is not as good as what I can get at home.

07-24-2008, 11:31 PM
I tried making chicken fried rice today with TVP. Success!