Q: How many times do you eat out per week?
• 1-2 meals per month?
• 1 meal per day per week?
• 2 meals per day per week?
• 3+ meals per day per week?
• What about the weekend? How often are you eating out on Friday, Saturday, & Sundays?
According to the United States Healthful Food Council, “…the average American adult buys a meal or snack from a restaurant 5.8 times a week, and more than 30% of children eat fast food on ANY given day.”
With nearly 70% of Americans & 80% African American women being either overweight or obese, it’s not far fetch in making a direct correlation between the rise in obesity & obesity related illnesses & the growing amounts of calorie-dense foods being consumed.
Our heart aches every time we read these statistics. Rates have tripled in the past 30 years. TRIPLED!
Why are the numbers increasing instead of decreasing, especially since we know improved nutrition and lifestyle changes are key in improved health & sustainable weight loss?
While there may be many factors beyond your control, there are a few that are within your control.
Insert home filed advantage.
What does that mean? That means Home=Control. When you make time to prepare more meals at home, you put yourself in better position to control the quality of the ingredients, food preparation, and nutritional content.
Now, you may say:
1. “I don’t have time to cook.”
2. “I’m too tired to cook.”
3. “I don’t want to cook.”
4. “Eating healthy is too expensive.”
5. “I don’t want to feel left out when I go out with my friends.”
While these may be legitimate excuses, at the end of the day, they are excuses. These were our excuses. The truth is, eating out was the #1 mistake we were making. It directly contributed to us becoming obese & consuming an unhealthy, unbalanced diet.
As much as we didn’t want to admit it, eating out on a regular basis was NOT a viable solution for sustainable weight loss & improved overall health.
Just recently, we read an article on Today.com discussing how families are STRESSED trying to get everything done & cook healthy meals at home. While it can be stressful at times, it is a process that yields great rewards beyond the scale.
Remember, change requires change. It’s doesn’t have to be a big change, it just needs to be specific & consistent.
Here are 3 tips to help you get started:
1. Cook on the weekends: Our week days are so regimented & schedules are so tight, it becomes extremely challenging & stressful to try to come home after a full day of work and prepare a meal every, single night.
Instead, try cooking on the weekends or on one of your off days. Carve out at least 2-3 hours of your day to prepare 2-3 meals. Let’s be honest–we all have that “time” we spend watching tv or doing a non-PRIORITY activity. Take that same time to prepare & cook.
2. Keep it simple: We all love watching these amazing cooking shows. They make some fabulous & creative dishes. But let’s be real! Most of us simply do not have the time or money to fix these dishes on a regular basis. While we encourage you to experiment & try new things, everyday cooking does not have to be an elaborate creation. Everyday cooking is about making healthy & delicious meals your family will enjoy. It’s about staying in control of your health & overall wellness through nutrition.
3. Prepare healthier versions of your family favorites: By making simple, healthier swaps to familiar recipes, you can make these dishes healthier while adding a nice change up making it a new HEALTHIER favorite. Once you get the hang of cooking healthier, you can begin trying & altering new recipes.
No matter what your personal circumstance may be, cooking & eating more at home has to become YOUR priority. It very difficult to lose weight (& keep it off) PLUS improve your health (like getting off that high blood pressure & diabetes medication) if your diet consists of more meals AWAY from home.
Remember, #HomeEqualsControl. Any questions?
As always, thank you for time, love & support. We hope what we have shared has helped you. Be sure to share this info with family & friends.
-Eric & Maleka Beal
Eric and Maleka Beal are health coaches and co-founders of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education.