Is it important to cook your own food while losing weight?
It was for me. John and I were huge supporters of the restaurant industry when I was morbidly obese and I do think that those lunches and evenings spent sitting in restaurant booths had a pretty big impact on my obesity. After all, some of the meals I was eating had more calories than I needed for the entire day, and of course I didn’t just have that one meal.
I’ve met a lot of people who try to lose weight without cooking. When I teach my weight loss classes, there is usually a 50/50 split among participants who cook and those who do not. When I ask the non-cooking people how they plan on losing weight successfully without cooking they say they are going to be careful when eating out, heat up diet frozen dinners in the microwave, and rely on packaged diet foods.
Although you can lose weight without cooking, I think that cooking is an essential part of weight loss for a variety of reasons.
1. You control the ingredients
Let’s face it. When you eat at a restaurant you don’t always know everything that goes into the dish you are eating. It’s hard to guess what is in the sauce or how they seasoned the food. And even processed foods can be tricky because sometimes a food can be called different names such as sugar going by so many names.
2. You control the calories
Controlling your calories is a tremendous part of weight loss and cooking your own food gives you ultimate control. Adjusting the amount of oil in a recipe or using a leaner cut of meat automatically reduces the calories, which can help you lose weight.
3. You decrease your reliance on processed foods.
I made all kinds of dishes using processed food when I was overweight and obese. Hamburger Helper was my friend and those pasta salads in a box were a frequent visitor at the table. When I really learned to cook, I also reduced how much processed foods we were eating.
4. You develop lifelong skills.
Cooking is something that builds on itself. As you learn to cook you also gain confidence in your abilities. You can pass those skills and abilities on to other people in your lives, which can help them change their lives as well.
So what do you think? Is cooking your own food important to your weight loss effort and did you have to learn how to cook? Diane