The Pitfalls of Eating Out

By Caroline Klapper | Feb 18, 2013

I like to eat out — a lot.

I’m talking at least one meal a day (sometimes two) kind of eating out.

It’s not even that I don’t like to cook. I can actually get into cooking on occasion but finding the time and energy is another story. I work all day, try to make it to the gym for an hour or so and by the time I make it home, shower and eat dinner, the actual making of that dinner often falls to someone else.

But then there is lunch.

I could be a good girl and either go home to eat or bring something to work with me, but where is the fun in that? Part of what I like about eating out is the “out” part.

I don’t want to eat at home or at work because that’s where I spend most of my time anyway. I like to be out and about, seeing people and trying new things, which leads me to my next point.

I like variety. I’m the queen of leftover avoidance. Why? Because I just ate that yesterday.

Leftover food in my refrigerator has been known to grow appendages and walk out, offended that it was forgotten about and ignored for so long. I hate that I do this because I really don’t like wasting food. I just end up doing it all the time.

I know all this eating out isn’t good for me in several ways.

Obviously, eating out can be a calorie-ridden experience. You don’t really know what ingredients are going into the meal, and most restaurants have one main goal: making things taste good. The easy way to do this is to add butter, salt, sugar and other not-so-good-for-me stuff to the dish, and it works. It tastes good. It also adds to my waistline — never a good thing.

Then there’s the cost. Eating out is expensive. I’d guess the cheapest kind of eating out you can do is hitting up the drive through at a fast food restaurant, but even then, you’re usually looking at a $5 to $7 meal.

If I’d stayed home and made something and eaten the leftovers for another day or two, that $5 would stretch a lot farther.

Also, for anyone who is aware of the pay for a small-town newspaper reporter (no, we can’t afford designer clothes and huge loft apartments in New York like in the movies), I really can’t afford to eat out so much.

I know all this. I do, but I keep eating out anyway.

So this week I’m challenging myself. I’ve made a pledge that I will not eat out at all this week. I don’t know if I’ll make it, but I’m willing to try. Maybe I can make this a regular habit and eating out will become a treat instead of the norm for me.