The Key to Weight Loss Success: Healthy Home Cooked Meals

Posted on August 1 2017

6 Simple Tips & Tricks to Help You Lose Weight

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When you’re juggling work, children, and your social life, finding time to go to the gym can feel near impossible. But did you know, changing your diet will have a much bigger effect on weight loss than exercising more? Here’s why...

The 80/20 Rule

This popular theory refers to the idea that weight loss should be based on 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise.

For the average person who wants to lose a pound a week, they need to create a deficit of around 3,500 calories a week. So, if you typically take in about 2,500 calories a day (17,500 a week), you would need to cut out 3,500 calories from your weekly total (slim down to 14,000 calories).

If you’re using the 80/20 rule, 700 calories would be burned through exercise, and the remaining 2,800 calories would be cut from your diet.

If your goal is to lose a pound a week from exercise alone, you would need to burn 500-700 calories a day. An average person would need to run over 7 miles each day to reach this goal. Most people wouldn’t be able to achieve this, especially without increasing their calorie intake. Therefore, if you focus on cutting your calories by using the 80/20 rule, you should be able to stay on track with a healthier diet.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “eating healthier is easier said than done, I’ve tried!”

Yes, it’s hard, but choosing to eat home cooked meals instead of eating out can give you a HUGE advantage.

6 Simple Tips and Tricks to Help You Lose Weight

1. Skip the Restaurants

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92% of meals from large-chain and local restaurants have more calories than the recommended amount for a single meal, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In one experiment, researchers ordered takeout from 123 restaurants in San Francisco, Little Rock, and Boston. They then scientifically tested the meals, and learned that on average, each meal contained 1,205 calories, which is more than double the amount of calories that someone needs at a single meal. (The average person should aim for about 570 calories at every meal.)

By avoiding all of the calories and salt that you typically find when you eat out, you will see those pounds start sliding away. If you replace 2 restaurant meals containing the average 1,205 calories with a healthier home-made meal for around 570 calories, you will be saving around 1,270 calories a week with that alone!

2. Start Packing Your Lunch

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When you have more control over portion sizes and what foods are going into each lunch, you can ensure that you’re making a healthier decision then what you might find in the cafeteria or the bagel joint down the road.

Not only is it healthier for you, but you can actually save around $3,000 a year by choosing to eat a packed lunch instead of eating out. Those $10 lunches and $5 iced coffees can really add up!

3. Make Healthy Modifications to Your Meals

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Making healthy substitutions in your favorite meals and sweet treats can be an easy way to cut back on fat and salt - and maybe even squeeze in some more nutrients and vitamins! You would be surprised at how delicious your meals will taste even with a healthy substitutions like these:

  • Use 3 ripe mashed bananas in place of ½ cup butter, lard or shortening
  • Use 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of 1 cup of lard or shortening

For more substitutions and quick cooking tips, download our Healthy Modifications Guide Here.

4. Stock Your Fridge/Freezer

five-star-home-foods-freezer.jpgI’m sure we’ve all done it, you look in the fridge, then the freezer… and all you find is a bag of spinach and some ketchup. So what do you do? You call that restaurant down the road that makes the delicious sicilian pizza just the way you like it.

When your freezer and fridge are full, you’ll be less tempted to order out when you can make a healthy delicious dinner right at home. Make an effort to fill your fridge with healthy produce and proteins for a no-guilt dinner!

Choosing a Home Food Delivery Service is a great way to keep your freezer full and help you stay on track.

5. Eat More Protein

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There are a few important reasons why you should eat more protein when you’re trying to lose weight:

  • Protein makes you feel fuller longer, causing you to eat less often
  • You burn more calories to process protein than carbs and fat
  • Your body cannot effectively burn and use fat as energy if it doesn’t have help from either carbohydrates or protein
  • Protein promotes muscle repair and growth

Items like Certified Angus Beef®, chicken, and ground turkey are all great sources of protein.

MyFitnessPal, a Free Calorie Counter, Diet & Exercise Journal, says they set their user’s protein intake to 20% of their total calories, which should be enough for the average person.

Which brings us to our final tip...

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6. Sign up for a Free Fitness Journal

Using a fitness journal like MyFitnessPal or Lifesum will allow you to track your diet and exercise on your smartphone, so you can see if you’re on track to reach your goals and correct yourself if you’re not.

 

Choosing to eat more home cooked meals instead of eating out can be a big step in the right direction. When you take control of your portion sizes and food choices, you will be living a healthier lifestyle. Once you begin to see results, it will be a lot easier to say “no” to that chinese restaurant down the road, and move even further along in your fitness journey.

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