Most Americans today aren’t following the government’s recommended dietary guidelines. In fact, they’re not eating nearly enough fruits and vegetables, and they consume too much sodium, sugar and saturated fats. They also go out to eat more often than they should.
Although it is possible to eat healthy away from home, studies have shown that most people don’t, choosing foods with more calories, fat and saturated fat than what they’d get at home. The USDA Economic Research Service found that restaurant food has a significant impact on caloric intake and diet quality. Meals and snacks from restaurants contain, on average, 134 more calories than the same food prepared at home.
To eat healthier, cook more meals at home. Follow these tips to make food prep a breeze:
It might take you 15 minutes or so to plan out all the meals you and your family will eat for the week, but at least you won’t be standing in front of the fridge at dinnertime wondering what to eat. By doing so, you’ll also avoid the temptation of going out to eat. With your list in hand, you can do just one grocery trip for the week to get all you need. Another timesaver!
Sign Up For A Meal Planning Service
You can reduce time spent planning and shopping by paying a meal planning service to do it for you. Most of these services incorporate well-rounded meals and deliver foods uncooked, with accompanying recipes. Many offer meals to fit special dietary needs as well.
Although some services deliver cooked meals, by seeing the raw ingredients you can be sure of exactly what you are eating. This is a fun way to try new foods and eat more veggies.
Pack Your Lunch
Brown bagging it is an easy way to ensure a healthy lunch and reduce your caloric intake. In fact, eating fewer lunches out will save you, on average, 158 calories per lunch. But don’t get in a turkey sandwich rut. Consider packing healthy leftovers, salads, bento box-style lunches and more to keep things fun! Just search online for “lunch box planning” and you will have no shortage of fresh ideas.
Source: UCF College of Medicine