In today’s fast paced world Americans as a whole consume almost 50% of our daily calories away from home. These less-than-wholesome calories are not only accumulating around our waists and making us sick, but they area also draining our bank accounts.
So why do we eat out and shun the kitchen? Simple: Convenience. We "don’t have the time" to toil away in the kitchen preparing our meals. However, evidence is mounting that we are paying big for the so-called convenience of outside food.
Think about it...most restaurants are more concerned with profits than your health. What do you think they are focused on when placing their food orders, price or quality? COST AND PROFIT! So they order the cheapest product they can find, which is usually the least healthy option and the "left over" processed foods.
Obesity related diseases are on the rise, as are the number of folks who are just plain unhappy with how they feel and how their bodies look. Cooking at home could be a first step in our road to healthier bodies.
Here are the top 5 reasons that you should starting cooking and eating at home…
Reason #1: It’s Good For You
Hyperprocessed foods (found in most restaurants, especially fast food) are harmful to our health. If that's where you have been getting the majority of your daily calories, you're creating a large amount of damage to your health and waistline.
The majority of us eat less than half of the recommended amount of fiber, fruits and vegetables, each and every day, which could quickly change just by eating at home with a little preparation and mindful eating.
Simple meals made at home with fresh produce and organic meats or eggs are nutritionally superior to the over-flavored, over-processed restaurant food. Not to mention you will save your belly and hips a ton of added junk calorie by avoiding the high calorie beverages, bread and starters that so often accompany a restaurant meal.
When you eat at home you have the ability to take in more healthy, nutrient-dense calories that are higher in fiber and lower in junk calories.
Reason #2: It’s Far Easier Than You Think
Eating out for the majority of your meals might have conditioned your concept of what it takes to make a meal. With so many restaurants fighting for your patronage, they are trying to be unique and "innovative", creating new, complicated flavors and accompaniments in order to impress you, and stand out from the place next door. It's easy to see why it may seem daunting to create a similar style meal at your house. This misconception has made a lot of people fear the kitchen. But I think it's time to reconsider.
Meals made at home don't need to mirror those ordered in restaurants. On the contrary, simple is better when it comes to home cooking. Plan your entire meal around a couple of pieces of fresh produce and a wholesome, lean protein and then add some spices or a simple, healthy marinade to give it plenty of flavor. No need for complicated cooking methods, sauces, or sides – these are where the harmful calories hide anyway.
Reason #3: It Costs Less
Fresh, simple ingredients do not cost much. Especially when compared to the cost of prepared meals.
Shopping the perimeter of the store is always a good plan. Here you’ll find the fresh produce, meats, dairy and seafood. Venture into the aisles for oils and spices to compliment the fresh ingredients.
Reason #4: It Is Preventative Medicine
In the US the annual health care expenses related to obesity is $150 billion, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Worldwide this number is over $1 trillion annually. These numbers are staggering, and sobering when you think of all the individual lives that are being negatively impacted by obesity.
Rather than waiting for you and your family members to experience the health risks related to obesity, start your own mission to cook simple meals at home and redirect your future. Remember the words of Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Reason #5: It Reduces Body Fat
Eating at home is one of the best ways to reduce your body fat. There are no hidden ingredients, calories or trans fats. Meals eaten at home contain an average of 200 calories less than meals eaten out. If you do the math...a reduction in 200+ calories per meal, over 10-15 meals out a week, will quickly translate into to a lot of pounds lost!
What are you waiting for? Start today, and don’t be afraid to start small.
Pick one meal that you’ll make at home either today or tomorrow, and write down your simple menu and grocery list. You could start with the Savory Greek Waffle recipe below. Then try to cook one additional meal at home every week. Its a gradual change, but eventually you will be eating a majority of your healthy meals at home...and losing the lbs!
And let’s not forget the place that a challenging, consistent exercise program has in your quest for good health and a fit physique.
If you have any questions on how you can start making gradual changes to start eating at home, or need ideas for your resistance training, don't hesitate to reach out. My mission is to do everything I can to help you accomplish everything you want!
Dedicated To Making Healthy Your Habit,
Need more motivation? Want to find out how to eat healthier, move a little more, feel better and probably lose some fat too? Join our online fitness community. Get your questions answered and let's start making your health goals easier...and fun again!
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