There are lots of different strategies that you will learn during your weight loss program, all of which are aimed at helping make eating healthy feel second nature to you. One of the important pieces of advice that you’ll receive early on in your weight loss program is to stop eating out so often. In America, the average person eats out four or five times per week. This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, at either sit-down restaurants or a fast-food drive-thru.
When you are trying to lose weight, skipping eating out and heading home to prepare your meal instead is smart. Cooking at home gives you control over your ingredients and cooking methods, meaning that it becomes a lot easier for you to have total control over your diet.
The problem is that for a lot of people who struggle with weight loss, cooking at home is a lot easier said than done. Part of the reason fast-food restaurants are so popular is because many people with busy work schedules just don’t have the time or energy to cook, and even more are lacking the tools and know-how to do it right.
Eating at home doesn’t have to mean frozen dinners. In fact, those pre-packaged meals are sometimes no better than a fast food meal. You can get started with cooking easy enough. All you need are the right tools.
To get started with cooking at home, you’ll need the right supplies. This includes:
- Nonstick baking sheets
- Measuring cups and spoons
- A steaming tray (microwaveable steamers are super helpful!)
- A skillet
- Good knives and a cutting board
Aside from these staples, you’ll need storage containers and plenty of fridge and freezer space. This will help you save left-overs, so that one night of cooking can feed you for two or three nights.
Once you have the right supplies, you’ll need to know what to make. If you haven’t done much cooking in the past, then it is a good idea to start simple. This means starting off with the basics. Go for dishes that include easy vegetables and lean proteins. Before you head out to the food store to create your grocery list, have a long talk with your medical weight loss doctor and nutrition expert. Talk about the best types of meat, veggies and starches for your weight loss plan, and the best ways to prepare those foods to keep in line with your goals.
Some experts say that cooking at home can save you money. Simple, healthy meals prepared at home can save an average $6 per meal for a family, and that $6 can add up over time. Eating three meals a day, seven days a week at home will save you a little over $120 a week, which adds up to a bit over $500 a month in savings. Combined with the benefits it provides for your weight loss program, it seems like an easy choice to go back to the kitchen and stay out of the drive-thru.