After 3 years of trying different diets, I came up to the conclusion that no extra kilograms can be lost permanently if I don’t adopt a healthy lifestyle. Mostly every diet I tried worked perfectly until the day I was under a lot of pressure (because of work or studies mainly) and I used food to cope. But, being most of the time on a diet for the last 3 years, made me read a lot about nutrition and how our bodies react to food, to food restrictions and how our brains play a huge role in all that. So this year I decided to forget for a while about the extra weight and focus on being healthy first. As opposite as the times before, when I tried to have quick results (that don’t last because every time emotional eating sabotages all my efforts), this year I opted for small changes and easy healthy habits that I introduce to my life on a weekly basis.
The latest new healthy habit I am trying to follow is to have a low-calorie (circa 300ckal) home-made dinner. For the recipes, I am currently using the runtasty app. It has different healthy recipes that I can filter by meal, ingredients, number of calories or special diet requirements (nut free, high protein, low carbs, etc)
It’s maybe true that cooking balanced meals at home is time-consuming (buying good quality ingredients, washing, peeling, cutting and cooking). But, during that time, I try to raise the challenge by keeping my mind busy by thinking about the benefits of home-made food rather than about ordering a pizza, or sushi or going out for dinner.
Here are 3 benefits that make me stick to home cooking:
1 – Portion control:
This is the main reason why I started cooking at home. I was looking for light balanced meals to eat for dinner. I don’t have any other restriction like carb free or protein free. I only wanted a way to not overeat at least for dinner. I am convinced that over-eating during the day is not that bad as doing it right before going to bed. So by allowing myself only 300 kcal for dinner, I just have to prepare the food and divide it into small portions in advance. That way, when I come home in the evening, the choice of food and portion size is already made so I don’t get influenced by how hungry I am. Usually, after finishing my plate, I still feel like I can eat. But after having a hot sugar-free green tea, I feel full.
2 – Less sugar, salt, and fat:
It’s no secret that these three ingredients make food taste better. In fact, pre-cooked food and restaurant food are full of them in a non-healthy way sometimes in order to make the products taste better and make the clients come back again. But cooking at home encourages me to make healthy choices about the amount of salt, sugar, and fat that I am adding to my preparation. Actually, I start by adding spices and herbs first. That way, my food smells and tastes already good before having to add anything else and if needed, I would use small amounts of salt or oils.
3 – Having full control of what I eat:
Cooking at home, makes me have full control over what I eat so I don’t have to be constraints by restaurant menu or available pre-cooked food in the supermarket. I am completely free to choose what I want to eat and how. So I don’t have to eat the rice if I am ordering fish, I maybe want to eat it with something else like pasta or baked potato.
Also, by making my own food I am always sure that raw ingredients are fresh and high quality. Moreover, I tend to choose local and in-season vegetables and fruits. That way I am sure that I am avoiding conservatives and having the advantage of the raw material nutrients.
These are my main reasons for cooking at home. I now make dinner at home and I will progressively try to make all my meals my self. I am still a big fan of eating out and having a nice dinner with friends or family in a good restaurant. But, I recognize that I sometimes eat out just out of laziness. This is the kind of behavior I am trying to quit and I keep restaurant food for cheat meals or special occasions.
Let me know in the box below what do you think about restaurant food Vs. home cooked food and what are your best recipes that I can try at home.
Stay healthy and see you soon 😉