You’ve probably heard people say that it’s healthier to cook at home than to eat take-out or at a restaurant. You’ve also probably asked yourself, “Who are these people and what do they know?” Well, we’ve got your answer. The journal Public Health Nutrition recently published a research study that found people who cook dinner frequently tend to consume fewer calories than people who rarely cook.
Over 9,500 adults participated in the study, and of those, 8% lived in a household where someone cooked dinner 0-1 times per week. On average, this group consumed 2,299 calories per day. On the other side of the spectrum, 48% of participants lived in a household where dinner was cooked at least six nights per week. On average, this group consumed 2,162 calories per day—137 calories less than the first group. This daily difference of 137 calories might not seem like a lot, but it accounts for a yearly difference of 14 pounds!
The good news is you don’t need to be a contestant on Top Chef to get in the kitchen. Here are a few tips to boost your cooking game:
- Plan ahead by doing prep work on a day with more downtime. This can help speed up the cooking process during the week. A good example is cutting all your veggies for weekday meals on a Sunday.
- Save time by keeping shopping lists and recipes organized. This will allow you to fly in and out of the super market in no time.
- Keep it simple! Start off with recipes that only have a few ingredients and steps. There are tons of delicious options out there that don’t require a lot of work and still taste great.
- Ask your local community center or adult education center for cooking class offerings.
- Check in with your local grocery store for tour offerings. In addition to becoming more familiar with food shopping, it is a great place to pick up cooking tips.
- And of course, check in with a nutritionist on Amwell for some advice and personalized meal plans and recipes to fit your taste!