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PSA: Cooking At Home Is A More Important New Year’s Resolution Than Just Exercising And Losing Weight!
With the New Year around the corner, we are all finishing up our New Year’s resolutions. It’s the time of the year when you set new goals you want to accomplish in the coming year. Many will set a resolution to exercise more or lose weight, but we all know how difficult it can be to stick to your resolution. A better approach would be to set a reasonable and realistic resolution that not only makes you healthier but also saves you money! That resolution is to start cooking at home!
Make Cooking At Home Your New Year’s Resolution
Why? In many ways, cooking at home can prove to be a better new year’s resolution than simply saying you will lose weight or exercise more.
This is because cooking at home may very well aid you in your weight loss efforts. Home-cooked meals aren’t just proven to be healthier than eating out but can also offer meaningful changes to your family life. If you want to lose weight and/or maintain a healthier weight, spend less or save more, or spend more quality time with your loved ones, this one resolution will help you achieve them all!
Is Cooking At Home Better?
There are several reasons why home-cooked meals are touted as the better choice. Here is how making cooking at home your New Year’s resolution can help you achieve several related resolutions along the way:
1.) Home Cooked Meals Have Lower Calories
If your resolution for this year is to lose weight, you should start by shifting from restaurant and fast food meals to home-cooked meals. This is because restaurant-cooked meals tend to report lower calories even though the overall meal may be much higher in calorie content. On average, a single restaurant meal may contain over 1200 calories, about half the recommended daily calorie intake.
Moreover, an estimated 92% of restaurant meals give more calories than a typical eater needs. The same applies to fast food joints which rely on heavily processed foods filled with calories and have little nutritional value.
Compared to them, home-cooked meals have a much more balanced calorie level. When you cook meals on your own, you can easily calculate the number of calories your overall meal will have. According to one study, people who cook meals at home tend to consume fewer calories than those who prefer takeout.
2.) Home Cooked Meals Help Maintain Healthy Weight Loss
Losing weight is one part of the equation; you also need to be able to maintain a healthier weight afterward. If you kickstart your year by developing a habit of cooking meals at home, you will be able to keep it up for the rest of the year. In this way, you’ll be able to achieve and sustain weight loss in the long term.
One study showed that individuals who relied on a home-cooked meal 5 times a week were 28% less likely to have an overweight BMI and 24% less likely to have excess body fat than those who relied on fewer home-cooked meals (less than 3 times a week). Therefore if you want to maintain a healthy BMI and body fat, cook more meals in the comfort of your home!
3.) Home Cooked Meals Are Vastly Healthier Than Eating Out
Home cooking will always beat takeout since home-cooked meals are much healthier and offer more nutritional value. There have been reported higher cases of obesity and higher weight linked to poor diet. There is a growing concern that a decline in domestic cooking skills is leading to such diet-related diseases.
A study published by Public Health Nutrition reported that more frequent cooking at home can lead to better diet quality. Cooking meals at home offer fewer calories, lower sugars and fats and are rich in high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables. Not to forget, they have a much better diet quality.
When cooking at home it is easy to know exactly what ingredients are used as you make your meals. Eating out can lead to ingesting various ingredients that are unknown and are cheap/unhealthy alternatives such as using Vegetable Oils to cook with instead of a healthy cooking oil like Olive or Coconut Oil.
4.) Home Cooked Meals Are Cheaper
When talking about home-cooked meals, we also need to consider the cost of meal-making. It may seem like fast food is cheaper than buying separate whole foods from a grocery chain, but this is not true. You also need to consider the overall nutrition these meals offer you. Fast food chains may be cheaper to some degree, but their food holds little nutritional value. In terms of your daily mineral and vitamin intake, you can do much better.
Surprisingly, if you follow a well-planned menu from budget foods available from supermarkets, you can adopt a healthier diet that is 24% cheaper than a convenience diet.
5.) Home Cooked Meals Help Strengthen Bonds
Besides offering plenty of health benefits, another added benefit of cooking meals at home is strengthened family bonds.
Day-to-day activities are enough to put a strain on any relationship. But doing a simple activity such as cooking together can help improve your bond and allow you to spend quality time with one another. According to one survey conducted on 1000 US adults, 87% believed that cooking together was one of the top activities that helped strengthen their relationship!
What Should Your Home Cooked Meals Incorporate?
If you plan on cooking at home more often this coming year, you must first gather your essentials. You can follow a specific diet, such as the Mediterranean (see our article on The Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet), or you can slowly start using healthy ingredients in your home meals.
We would recommend incorporating plenty of fiber through fresh fruits and vegetables, using lean meat, eggs, and whole grains for your protein, and trying to incorporate unsaturated fats such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) instead of butter or margarine. These are all healthy foods proven to help with weight loss and offer plenty of health benefits to their consumers.
What Should You Avoid
Leave out too many sugars; this means you will want to hold out on baked goods such as cakes and brownies. If you want to make healthier yet tasty meals, add flavor using spices, not sugar and salt.
Try not to use processed food during lunchtime and instead use unprocessed counterparts. For instance, try grilling chicken breast instead of frying chicken nuggets. These are simple steps you can take to make healthier meals in the comfort of your home!
In short, you can acheive a healthier lifestyle while also saving money by cooking at home! This is one of the best New Year’s Resolutions that you can make for not only yourself but your loved ones as well! Happy New Year from all of us at Prosperity Vineyards 🙂
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