What’s the best weight loss program to help you get healthier in 2017?


Instead of making the usual vague New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, eat healthy food, and get to the gym more often, commit to a single easy-to-monitor change.



The Best Weight Loss Program Starts with Cooking at Home



Restaurant meals are calorie bombs. Just research the number of calories in what you thought was a healthier entree and you will be unpleasantly surprised.


This one simple change, resolving to cook more of your meals at home, can be the best weight loss program you’ve ever tried. Not only that, it will save you money!


In addition to losing weight, you’ll enjoy other benefits from eating in. You may find that cooking is relaxing and fun. You may acquire a new skill. You may have bonding time with your spouse, son or daughter. You may find that eating a home cooked meal makes socializing more fun.



Nutritionists Recommend Cooking as the Best Weight Loss Program



When clients ask nutritionist Joy McCarthy for one easy diet change, her answer is always the same: Start cooking your own food. She believes that “great health starts in the kitchen.”


Celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder lists four reasons that cooking is the best weight loss program:


1. You’ll make better choices


Vegetables look much more appetizing at the farmer’s market than when you’re looking at a fast-food menu. So, you’re more likely to make healthy choices.


Cooking also means that you’ll eat more healthy food and less packaged, processed foods.
People who cooked meals at home at least six days a week consumed fewer calories than those who frequently ate out, a study published recently in the journal Public Health Nutrition found.


2. You’ll eliminate the guessing game


We really have no idea what’s actually in that restaurant meal we’re eating.


But, take my word for it. Every dish has a lot of shortening, usually butter, and an excessive amount of salt for added flavor.


When we cook for ourselves, we eliminate the guesswork. We have control over what we put in our meals and we often make healthier choices than are made by restaurant chefs. Their main goal is to make the food taste great so the patrons return. Our goal is to eat healthy meals and control the portions.


3. You’ll eat more mindfully


Most of us do other activities while we eat. We’ve convinced ourselves that we’re too busy to stop multi-tasking. We play on our phones, we watch television or Netflix, or we read while we’re eating.


Eating mindfully means we pay attention only to eating the food we prepared. We savor every bite, put our fork down from time to time, and chew our food enough to help digestion.


The result of mindful eating is that we enjoy the food more and we stop eating before we are full instead of stuffing ourselves and feeling terrible later.


4. You’ll find it’s easier than you think


Cooking is not a difficult skill to acquire. In fact, it’s easier than you may think. Don’t be intimidated by the celebrity chefs you see on the Food Network.


Start with something easy that only has a few ingredients. Buy a beginners cookbook. Download some 5-ingredient recipes from your favorite website. Ask a friend who cooks to show you some dishes.


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