Eat at home because it’s good for you, it’s good for your family and it’s far easier than you think, says best selling food writer Mark Bittman, in a recent TIME’s cover story.
In today’s fast paced world we consume over 30% of our daily calories away from home. These less-than-wholesome calories are accumulating around our waists and 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 over a hot stove. However, evidence is mounting that we are paying big for the so-called convenience of outside food.
Obesity related diseases are on the rise, as are the number of folks who are just plain unhappy with how their bodies look and feel. Cooking at home seems to be the 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 are harmful to our health, and that’s exactly where you’ve been getting the bulk of your calories. Even restaurant food that contains fresh produce, chances are high that the produce is not organic, or local or non-GMO. Most of us are eating less than half of the recommended amount of fiber, fruit and vegetables, which eating at home could quickly change.
Simple meals made at home with fresh produce and organic meats or eggs are nutritionally superior to over-flavored, over-processed restaurant food. Not to mention the high calorie beverages and starters that so often accompany a restaurant meal. When you eat at home you take in more nutrient-dense calories that are higher in fiber.
Reason #2: It’s Far Easier Than You Think
Eating out so often has conditioned our concept of a meal to be one with complicated flavors and accompaniments. This misconception has made us fear the kitchen. But I urge you to reconsider.
Meals made at home need not 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. No need for complicated 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. Bittman’s advice on ingredient shopping is to, “Buy what you can afford, and cook it yourself. Rice, beans, bacon, salad, bread –few things are cheaper than that.”
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 also one of the best ways to reduce your body fat. Bittman states that meals eaten at home contain an average of 200 calories less than meals eaten out. Let me tell you, a reduction in 200+ calories per meal will quickly translate to pounds lost!
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.
And let’s not forget the place that a challenging, consistent exercise program has in your quest for good health and a fit physique.