10 Benefits Of Cooking At Home
With a strong emphasis on tracking your food during the RFT 6 Week Transformation Challenge, I thought it would be a great opportunity to discuss the many benefits of cooking and eating at home.
Here’s my top 10 reasons to make this become a part of your every day life…
You Eat Fewer Calories Without Even Realising It
Restaurant meals are often heavy on butter and salt, while packaged food is typically loaded with sodium and additives. Dishes made at home, however, tend to be more nutritious and contain fewer calories. That’s because when you cook for yourself, you control which ingredients you use and their quantities. You’re also less likely to serve yourself restaurant-sized portions, which are often large enough to feed two or three people, or treat yourself to a dessert or a cocktail. At home, we mentally approach the meal differently, making us less likely to add unnecessary items that should be consumed in moderation.
You’re More Mindful of What You’re Putting Into Your Body
Many people rush through or multitask during meals, which means they’re probably not thinking about what they’re consuming. But when you’re sitting down to a plate of food you’ve prepared, chances are you’ll eat more mindfully, noticing each flavour and component you included in your dish. Experiencing and appreciating the act of eating can also help you feel centred. Eating mindfully for even just one bite can help us to come back into the present moment, to let go of the swirl of thoughts that we are often caught up in, and to remember that a more clear, simple and connected way of being is only a bite, or a breath, away.
You Stimulate Your Brain
Don’t have a chance to get too creative during your day? Cooking is for you! Getting creative in the kitchen, experimenting with ingredients and adjusting recipes etc, can boost cognitive activity and help stave off cognitive decline.
It Gets You Into The ‘Flow’
Feel like cooking gets you into a calmer state? You’re not alone. “Cooking can feel like a meditation practice,” therapist Justyna Wawrzonek states. “Many of my clients describe cooking as ‘being in the zone,’ a feeling in which they lose track of time and just focus on the task at hand. For someone who battles negative thoughts, worries, and is constantly bombarded with doubt, fear, shame, cooking can be a healthy outlet to bring peace and serenity into their headspace.”
Avoid Food Allergies and Sensitivities
Preparing your food at home can be especially beneficial if you or a family member has a food allergy. Because you are in control in your own kitchen, you can reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.
Builds Healthy Habits
Cooking at home can jump-start your healthy lifestyle! By discovering healthy recipes, learning about food, creating and sticking to a meal plan, you and your family can be inspired to living a healthy, fit life.
Cooking Forces You to Get Your Sh*t Together
Because preparing your own food takes at least a little planning ahead, it helps promote organisation and self-sufficiency. When you’re organised in one part of your life, that mindset spills over into other areas too. For example, when you feel like you have your meals planned out, you might be inspired to figure out your workout schedule next.
It can be a challenge to save a buck these days, but cooking at home can greatly help that!
The difference between a sandwich at a local restaurant and a sandwich from your kitchen is about more than ambiance. Buying prepared food at a restaurant typically costs much more than buying ingredients to put together yourself. Cooking at home allows you to get more for your money by cutting out the excess costs of restaurant preparation and service. In other words, the more often you make your own food, the more money you’ll save.
It Can Help With Depression and Other Mental Issues
Benefits of cooking are so powerful that cooking is also used, in many mental health clinics, as part of the treatment for a bunch of mental conditions such as anxiety, depression and addiction.When cooking, patients can really focus their mind on something more positive. This whole process helps to curb negative thinking and boost their confidence.
Increases Knowledge of Food
Food is much more than just something that tastes good and fills up your stomach. What you eat can heal, cause sickness, or even inflict pain. Cooking your own meals can teach you what foods are high or low in certain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
So if regularly eating out or grabbing some takeaway on the way home from work is more prevalent in your week than you would like, or if you have a health and fitness goal you’d like to achieve, including home cooking in your plan is a great way to ensure you are giving yourself every chance of success!