Every day my inbox fills up with Google Alerts that I’ve subscribed to so I can stay up-to-date on weight loss products [gimmicks], fitness tips and health and wellness news.
There’s not much new news in the weight loss alerts. There are a lot of articles promoting garcinia cambogia. Recently John Janetzko’s personal testimony about how he lost 125 pounds but still feels fat has been popular.
And blogs giving tips to people that want to lose weight without dieting never lose their appeal. The tips are typically things that you’ve heard before like drink water before meals and use a smaller plate. All good stuff, but it would take a lot of these relatively mundane tips to add up to weight loss of any significance.
The one tip that would help people not only lose the weight, but keep it off, is missing. It doesn’t make the tip lists and isn’t trending in the alerts.
What’s the one weight loss tip that no one is talking about?
Home. Cooked. Meals.
The biggest lifestyle change that you can make to lose weight and improve your overall health is to prepare your own meals 95 percent of the time.
Eating Out Leads To Weight Gain
The Keystone Forum, a panel funded by the FDA, studied the relationship between eating meals away from home and the increasing number of overweight Americans. The number of times the average American eats away from home has doubled over the past 25 years. Americans now eat food not prepared at home more than four times a week. The biggest problem with eating out often is the food portions are bigger and are higher in fats and calories than home-cooked meals.
The Keystone Forum released a report from the study that made these observations:
- Frequently eating foods prepared away from home is associated with obesity, higher body fat and a higher BMI.
- Women who eat foods prepared outside the home more than five times per week consume about 290 more calories on average each day than women who eat these foods less often.
- Eating more fast-food meals is linked to eating more calories, more saturated fat, fewer fruits and vegetables, and less milk.
The study also found that eating out has had an impact on the rising incidence of overweight and obesity in children and teens.
Prep, Planning and Basic Skills Are All You Need
There are plenty of reasons why people don’t cook their own meals. Lack of time, interest or know-how are all factors. If your life is hectic with a job and family responsibilities, relying on take-out or eat-and-eat meals from the grocery might seem like the best option. But with some basic recipes and a little planning you can prepare healthy meals that your family will love.
If you’re not sure where to begin, Kalyn’s Kitchen.com is a home-cooking blog that has an index of healthy recipes with step-by-step instructions and pictorials. A few months ago I published The Top Ten Healthy Recipe Web Sites. This post that provides links to the best healthy recipe web sites for you to bookmark.
If culinary skills is what you’re lacking there are also plenty of resources on-line that can help you need prepare healthy, tasty dishes. Check out the list of free online cooking classes at About.com. This page is full of links where you can go to learn the skills you need to be a cooking wizard in your own kitchen.
You may be able to find live cooking classses locally. Junior colleges, park districts, and food co-ops often offer healthy cooking classes to the community for a nominal fee.
The Weight Loss Tip That’s Not In Google
Weight loss is a popular topic and everyone that wants to lose weight is looking for pointers. A Google search for ‘weight loss tips’ provides 280,000,000 results.
Undeniably the fast food tidal wave that began in the 1970s giving us quick access to high calorie, low quality meals is largely to blame for our 21st century obesity problem. The only way to fix the problem is to avoid what caused it to begin with.
When you do the cooking you control the ingredients, fat, sodium, calories and quality. It’s one of the best things you can do for your health.
Be Social! Share!