Something a lot of dieters are told early on is to eat at home. Statistically, it is very true that people who eat at home tend to lose weight faster and more effectively. But why is this?
First of all, we just have more knowledge of what we’re eating when we cook at home.
You know how sugar sneaks into most sauces and marinades? Now, let’s say you’re fixing some chicken at home with a side of salad. You have some nice glaze for the chicken and a dressing for the salad. What’s important to note is that you’re holding the bottles right in your hand. You have the nutritional information to read. You can purchase options without added sugar or make your own at home.
Now consider how much information you have when you order at a restaurant. Sure, more restaurants are at least giving basic information such as calorie count or whether or not a particular meal has gluten. But you’re not going to have the same, in depth detail on every little ingredient like you do at home. You can’t see how much sugar, protein, vitamins and other components are going into the dish.
Every little ingredient comes with its own list. Some restaurants will even take the sneaky approach and post health information with citing that the statistics are based on half or lunch portions without sauce; and similar little loopholes. “Well, that information is based on the grilled chicken option, not the fried chicken! It’s not our fault you didn’t ask.”
When you eat at home, there are no surprises and no tricks. You know exactly what you’re eating.
Keep in mind that we’re not just talking about fast food joints here. Yes, fast food is often awful for you. But it gets such a bad reputation that some people think that “real” restaurants are in a separate camp. No, they aren’t. French fries are still coated in grease and drowned in salt; no matter how much you paid for them. How many calories something has is not contingent upon the price you pay to eat it.
Also, when you eat at home you can give yourself smaller portions to eat and stop when you’re full. When you’re brought large portions of food at a restaurant you feel like you’re “wasting” the food if you don’t eat it all. Even far past the point of being full.
My point here is you should avoid eating out in general, not just fast food. Of course there’s another lesson here, and that’s that eating at home won’t make a difference if you’re just eating the same old stuff. Frying up burgers and deep cooking fries at home won’t do you any favors.
The point of eating at home is to give yourself healthier options, so take them.
Let’s use an example to show how having a fridge full of healthy items helps your diet. Let’s say you have to work late one day.
The answer is to be prepared for these evenings. Have a fridge with the ingredients to make green salad, sprinkled with some fresh blueberries and a small portioned side of some sharp cheese and almonds. If you make a big pot of healthy soup double the recipe and freeze half for another night.
You’re giving yourself options, and at the end of the day that’s what the core of every diet is. Having a healthier choice and taking it.
You can use the added benefit of not only having more healthy options, but also removing the bad ones. Let’s use our salad example before. If you’re going to eat at home and those healthy options are what you have on hand, that’s what you’re going to eat. Healthy is the only choice because that’s what you filled the fridge with.
But that’s not going to be the case when you eat out. Sure, there’s a salad on the menu. But in addition to not knowing what’s in the sauces and cheeses; there’s also a bacon cheeseburger RIGHT there. You can see the picture calling you. Plus, those you are dining with might order the high calorie food and you’ll feel deprived.
If you stocked your fridge appropriately and you chose to eat at home, then the tempting junk foods won’t even be there to torture you.
Eating out is acceptable on occasion. But the more you avoid it the easier it will be to stay on your healthy eating plan.