If you’re a home cook (or home cook wannabe), I’ve got some really good news for you. A study published in Public Health Nutrition Journal suggests that people who cook at home most of the time consume generally healthier meals with around 200 fewer calories daily, and only 16 grams of sugar (4 teaspoons) which is much less than the 22 teaspoons per day average. If you are trying to lose weight, this is exciting! You can drop some pounds without going on another dead-end diet.
While it can be a challenge for most people to cook at home daily, the good news of the study was that cooking at home just 2 – 3 days per week was associated with decreased calorie consumption and improved diet quality – less sugar, fat, and salt. The tricky part is translating these findings into action. People must overcome some very real barriers of regular home cooking including lack of time and cooking skills.
Get Cooking with these 5 easy steps:
- If you don’t usually cook, start gradually. Make it a goal to cook once a week and work up to cooking more often.
- Planning ahead can help you make better food choices. Use this a meal planner to prepare an organized grocery list every week. Always keep healthy staples on hand, such as nuts, whole wheat pasta, frozen vegetables and “no-salt-added” canned vegetables, and frozen seafood.
- Grab your list and go food shopping once a week. It is less stressful and time-consuming than attempting to navigate through the grocery aisles multiple weeknights after work. And you will never have to stare into your fridge wondering, “What’s for dinner?” or resort to take-out.
- Try prepping recipes the night before or in the morning. Cutting up veggies for the salad or side dish can help save time after work. Also try cooking a big meal on the weekend and then eating it as leftovers during the week and freezing extras.
- Experiment with healthy recipes and look for ways to make your favorite recipes healthier. For example, use spices and herbs to add more flavor instead of adding salt or fat.
Kickstart your healthy habit of preparing home-cooked meals with this this recipe for Extra Veggie Fried Rice . One of my favorites. Now let’s get cooking!!
Lorraine Matthews-Antosiewicz, MS, RD
Traditional weight loss diets do not work because they are not sustainable and potentially unhealthy. Want to learn how to achieve your personal best weight, and stay there for good?
Let’s talk. Give me a call @ 732-494-1149.