Preparing Meals – An Easy Yet Amazing Way to Lose Weight

In recent years, as the obesity is on a dramatic rise, a lot of research is being made to control this fast spreading epidemic which leads to some more serious issues like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and more. Fortunately, new findings are coming forth, many of which are as easy as eating a cake (though a cake can again add to your weight, ha-ha). For example, a new study from Johns Hopkins University has proven that the more you cook at home, the less you tend to become overweight or obese. Interesting, right? Let’s look more into it!

The authors of the above-mentioned report found that those who cook their own meals tend to consume considerably less fat, sugar and calories than those who hardly cook on their own. (Hey, if you want to argue that you heat up your pre-cooked meal, that is not ‘cooking’!) So, you have every chance to lose weight by preparing meals.

If you go into details, at-home cooks consume around 140 fewer calories every day which could contribute to a lot of pounds of added weight during a year. The study also shows that those who cook their own meals also consume less fat and sugar in similar proportions.

Pre-packaged foods and restaurant meals tend to be loaded with calories and less in nutrition than foods you’d make at home from fresh ingredients. Even if you cook the same dishes which you order in a restaurant, the ones you prepare at home tend to be healthier. Reason? Professional chefs admit that restaurant meals are extremely heavy on fats (oil, butter, cream etc) and also on sugar and salt, much, much more than at-home chefs normally add to their food. Chefs further also admit that deep frying, one of the unhealthiest techniques of cooking, is used a lot in restaurants and is much less common in homes.

But this is not the only reason you should prepare your own food; there’s one more. It has been found that those who cook at home, take in fewer calories even if they eat out. The reason for this is not yet clear. Perhaps it’s because as the at-home cooks are accustomed to make healthy food choices when they cook at home, they make the same when they dine out.

The observation of Jean-Michel Cohen, a French diet doctor, also supports the above findings. As per Cohen, societies that cook more are slimmer and healthier than those who cook rarely. A great example is the French. French population contains only 16.9% of obese people, while in the UK population, the percentage is 22.7 as they cook far less than the French. In the American society the proportion is still more, i.e. 33.9% because they cook even less.

The doctor points out that it helps to control weight only if you cook healthy, with plenty of high quality protein and fresh veggies.

Does Cooking in itself Promote Healthy Eating?

Yes, certainly, Cohen says. When you prepare meals, you need to think about ingredients, purchase them, cut or chop them, heat them and watch them transforming into meals, and also clean up later. During the entire process, you are in control. If you consider this psychologically, it’s no way like eating fast or processed food. Cooking from raw ingredients is exactly opposite of eating bagels on the train or sandwiches at your desk.

From another point of view, it’s even opposite of dieting. According to Michael Pollan, a wholefood adviser and author of the bestselling “Cooked”, cooking turns you into a producer, rather than only a consumer. This makes a lot of difference to your health.

We Reduced Cooking Time

As per Pollan, the time spent in cooking meals in American households has dropped by 50% since the mid-60s when it was just less than an hour a day and now it’s 27 minutes. A little more time is spent in cooking in the UK, but not much. They have fallen from about 90 minutes to about 35, while the French have dropped from 90 minutes to less than an hour. Pollan states that the decrease in home cooking closely tracks the increase in obesity and all the diet-related chronic diseases. The more bewildering fact is that by not cooking at home, we are not passing cooking skills to our children, thereby pushing them towards the trap of eating out and becoming obese.

The other side of this is that the time saved from cooking less is spent in watching TV shows more, often on a couch with a ready meal. Or we play more video games. This is an added reason for becoming obese, less exercise and movement.

So, if you haven’t yet cooked or left cooking because of busy schedules or similar reasons, and have gained weight, enter your kitchen, collect your utensils, appliances and ingredients, and start cooking. And if you tell an excuse of having no time, visit Meal Prep Weight Loss to read Daniel’s story how he lost weight by cooking his own meals and find a lot of easy-to-make recipes.