Whether your wallet is feeling a little light or your body is feeling a little heavy, learning to cook your own meals at home might be the answer to achieving your goals. On average, Americans spend $1,200 annually on fast food by hitting the drive through twice each week. Restaurant meals cost Americans, on average $3,008, with some restaurants marking up the price of food 300% over its purchase price. Not only are Americans spending hard earned money on takeout and restaurants, but the calorie bombs found on menus and in drive-thrus are detrimental to health and weight loss efforts.
As intimidating as the idea may be to some, the only real solution is learning to cook more meals at home. FitClub has a plan to eliminate excuses and find the motivation to spruce up your recipe box and prepare homemade meals more regularly.
- Finding the time. People commonly complain that they don’t have time to prepare homemade meals, and that fast-food or take out is the easier, faster solution. Instead of relying on this excuse, can you budget your time to prepare meals instead of using your free time to surf social media or watching television? If your work week is simply too busy to devote time to preparing your food, can you use free time on the weekends to prepare dishes for use later in the week? The food you eat influences every other aspect of your health and wellness. Prioritizing the time to spend preparing healthy meals for yourself or your family should be as important as scheduling and prioritizing your workouts.
- Reevaluate the reward-factor. If you view junk food or takeout as a reward, you might need to change your perspective. The reward for a hard workout or a busy workweek should be filling and healthy meals packed with nutrients that you can enjoy with your loved ones. Eating food that has no nutritional value and makes you less healthy should not be a reward for hard work.
- Learning to enjoy the process can be its own reward. Cooking can eliminate stress once you get the hang of it. If you’re new to cooking your own meals, start slowly and with realistic expectations by using recipes that you can understand and with ingredients with which you are already familiar. After a few easy successes, you’ll gain the confidence to experiment with new foods or flavors you might not have tried. Invite your family and friends into the kitchen to participate. Not only will you be enjoying yourself, but even the pickiest eaters will have an ownership in the dish he or she prepared.
Not every meal has to be a gourmet meal to put you on the path to cooking success. With every plate you prepare, though, you know exactly what you’re eating, where it came from, and how it makes you feel. Cooking may be the magic solution we’ve all been looking for!
Do you have a favorite recipe or cooking hack? Share it with your fellow FitClub members!