We spent the month of April eating in. I learned a few things, some surprising, others not so much. Here’s what I discovered during my restaurant fast.
We don’t go out to excessively, but since part of my work in this space is writing about restaurants, we do it on a regular basis-usually on Saturdays. Sometimes we’ll grab something quick on a weeknight when I just can’t bring myself to cook (it happens to the best of us). So, eating in is our usual M.O., but I decided that I wanted to see how long we could make it. A month seemed like a reasonable goal, so we went for it.
Overall, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Naturally, the first week was the most difficult. I didn’t do a very good job of planning my lunches and ran into several days when I didn’t have time to sit down somewhere and eat. I was tempted – very tempted – to run through the Wendy’s drive-thru to order off the value menu. I didn’t, though, and I did a better job after that of packing things that fit the schedule that I knew I was going to have for the week. No time to stop? Nothing that needs a fork.
Two weeks in, we had to make a choice. Philip ran over something on Hixson Pike and we ended up with a flat tire. We had been planning to get new tires soon anyway, so we took our car to Sear’s to get new tires. So…we were stuck at the mall for five hours. No joke. We had eaten before we got there, but we knew we were going to have to wait a while longer and we were feeling pretty hungry. So…we ended up eating out. Yep. I really only made it two weeks…and then another two weeks. I decided that I couldn’t be too obsessive. I would have cooked if we had been at home, but we weren’t. No big deal.
I learned that it’s a good idea to keep frozen pizzas and frozen taco meat around. On those nights that I just don’t feel like cooking, in the past we might have gone to Zaxby’s or El Metate, but during our month of eating in, those places weren’t options. A frozen pizza can be a life saver when you just can’t bring yourself to pull out a hundred ingredients to make a meal.
Eating in for a month is what encouraged me to jump in and start using my pressure cooker (aka Instant Pot <–affiliate link). With my pressure cooker, I can just throw some things into the pot, run downstairs to work out, and have dinner ready when I get done. Like I mentioned in my pressure cooker pork shoulder post, it’s like having dinner in the slow cooker…except I don’t have to think about it at 7:30 in the morning.
After the first week, it actually got way easier. For week two and week three, I really didn’t think about eating out (except during the tire incident). Since going out to eat wasn’t an option, I knew that we were going to have to make dinner at home and didn’t even let my mind drift there.
By week four of eating in, though, I think I was getting a little antsy. Even though I was perfectly happy with cooking, I think not having the option of going out to eat started getting a little old. I was thinking about chicken fingers and fries (I mentioned Zaxby’s earlier in the post, I know…I’d been craving Zaxby’s since before we started the challenge). It wasn’t too bad, though, and I made it.
Someone asked me if I lost weight during my month of eating in. I did…I lost five pounds. I have been working on “mindful eating” after reading the book How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too (<–affiliate link), so overall I’ve been eating quite a bit less. I never really thought I was eating that much, but it turns out that being a member of the Clean-Plate Club is the reason that I’ve gained weight. ? But anyway…I don’t think that my weight loss was a direct result of eating in, but it definitely didn’t hurt.
What’s your longest “eating in” record?
This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click through a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. This does not affect the cost to you. For more information, please see my disclosures. Thank you for supporting my blog!