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Trying to Lose Weight Before Summer? Try These Science-Backed Weight Loss Tips

Losing weight can be one of the most difficult challenges you encounter in your life because it’s both mentally and physically challenging.

Science shows that when your body begins to lose a large amount of weight, that your body actually fights to keep the weight on. Don’t let that discourage you though. It is possible to lose weight and keep it off long term or permanently . . . you just need to know how!

Here are 6 tips to help you keep that stubborn weight off:

  • Stop focusing on calories-focus on quality. A 120 calorie donut will cause insulin to spike to handle to rush of too much sugar in the body at once. Insulin is a hormone that causes your body to store fat. 120 calorie chicken breast has almost no glycemic impact meaning no sugar/insulin spike. It’s made of high quality highly absorbable amino acids which will absorb slowly and steadily into your body, keeping you satiated and building more lean muscle. Lean muscle in turn keeps you more fit. You burn more calories per pound of muscle than you do per pound of fat.

  • Avoid soda and sugary drinks completely. You don’t need them for hydration. They’re simply empty calories leading to more tummy fat. Flavored sparkling water with stevia drops is a great substitute.

  • Have fun discovering wholesome, delicious, healthy foods and recipes. Nutrient dense foods will satisfy your hunger and truly feed your cells. Fresh vegetables and plant based foods can be prepared hundreds of delicious healthy ways. Clean lean meats and fish can be broiled, poached, and simmered with healthy salsas or oils to truly satisfy your hunger and feed your cells.  Mix fresh crunchy veggies with a handful of nuts for a long lasting low sugar snack that stays with you for hours. When you allow yourself to get too hungry, it erodes your willpower and you will find yourself eating foods that aren’t good for you, that aid in weight gain, sabotaging the best version of you!

  • Commit to making lifelong changes! See yourself becoming a different person for the long term. Imaging each day that you’re not trying to lose weight—but that you’ve become a person who lives a consciously fit, slim, healthy life. Mindset change is the first step to successfully making permanent changes in your health and fitness!

  • Analyze your goal weight: Were you a size 2 in high school and 20 years later you’re trying to get back to that size? Be reasonable and honest with yourself. Make it your goal to achieve better health and a healthy weight – not an unrealistic ideal weight that you may never reach, leaving yourself feeling frustrated and defeated.

  • Keep your weight loss simple: Make small, easy to manage changes and if you don’t want to go to the gym for 3 hours a day . . . don’t! Do things that will fit into your everyday routine. Increase your walking steps by taking the stairs, take brisk walks during your lunch breaks, and find ways to move your body throughout the day that increase your metabolism and fat burning all day long.

Try some of these simple, easy, tips to lose weight. Do you have some fun tips you would like to share? Head on over to Facebook and share your weight loss secrets and tips with us!

Have a great Skinny Life day!

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Waking Up and Making Your Day Positive!

Mornings are the most important part of the day because what you do in the a.m. will set the tone for the rest of your day.  It’s the foundation on which the day is built and every morning is a new opportunity for a new you!

If you’re not a morning person, create some morning rituals that gives your day purpose. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Wake up with a sense of gratitude:

Start the day appreciating your life, your health, your family, and with love in your heart and mind. When you practice acts of gratitude in the morning by expressing thankfulness directly to the people you care about, that positivity carries you throughout your day. This will leave you feeling happier!

Read something positive:

Many people end their day reading inspiring books – mix it up and start your day this way! Either way, you will have a ritual to start your day with positive thoughts and self-improvement to grow your insight into the world around you! It will start your day on a positive note with positive ideas to carry you through your day’s journey.

Create an effective morning routine:

Happy, healthy people know morning routines are important.  A routine will help you focus and build momentum for your day! You will feel more relaxed and feel like your day is off to a balanced start. A morning routine doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact, the more simple, the better.

Start your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast:

If you feed yourself garbage right when you wake up, how can you expect to have a happy, healthy day?  You are what you eat.  So do not eat processed food, fast food, or anything that leaves you feeling bloated and full. Choose wholesome, fresh, healthy foods. When you fuel your body properly first thing in the morning, it will result in health and wellness.

I hope you found these tips helpful in creating your morning routine! I would love to hear what you do for a positive morning ritual!

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6 Foods That May Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Goals—And What to Eat Instead

If you’ve ever tried to shed excess pounds, you know that losing weight can be a complicated (and frustrating) process. Not all foods—or calories, for that matter—are created equal, and just as some foods can expedite your weight loss journey, others can derail it quickly.

Here, three health experts explain which types of foods fall into the latter category—and what you should eat instead.

Foods with emulsifiers

Why they are harmful: Many processed foods, like ice cream, mayonnaise, margarine, chocolate, bakery products, and sausages, contain emulsifiers, which are chemicals that help blend together ingredients that would not naturally mix well together (e.g. oil and water), explains NYC-based registered nurse Rebecca Lee. Emulsifiers also make food look appealing, keep it fresh, and prevent molding. That may all sound harmless, but a study on mice found that consumption of these chemicals may do a number on your body by altering gut bacteria, triggering inflammation and increasing the risk of obesity and heart disease.

Check labels carefully to see if the food you’re consuming contains emulsifiers. Common emulsifiers include: lecithins, mono- and di-glycerides, polyglycerol ester, sorbitan ester, PG ester, and sugar ester.

What to eat instead: Where possible, opt for unprocessed foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, farm fresh eggs, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Foods with MSG

Why they are harmful: Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a highly addictive flavor-enhancer commonly used in fast food (like Chick-fil-A and Kentucky Fried Chicken), Chinese takeout, ramen noodles, canned foods, processed meats, and numerous other prepackaged foods, explains Lee.

Regular consumption of MSG-laden foods is linked to weight gain, as well as many other health issues. A study of 750 Chinese men and women found that those who used the most MSG in their cooking were nearly three times more likely to be overweight than those who didn’t use any, she explains. Even scarier, the increase in obesity risk was independent of physical activity and total calories consumed.

Other MSG-linked conditions include fibromyalgia, fatty liver and liver toxicityhigh blood sugarsasthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, neurological brain disorders, digestive disorders, and metabolic syndrome, says Lee.

MSG can be disguised by more than 40 different names, explains Lee. Key terms that may denote its presence: glutamate, anything “hydrolyzed”, yeast extract, gelatin, soy protein, soy or whey protein, soy sauce, anything “…protein”, and calcium or sodium caseinate. MSG is hard to avoid because the FDA requires it to be listed on the label only if it’s used as a main ingredient, and not if it’s used only as a processing agent, which is a very common practice, explains Lee.

What to eat instead: Seek out foods that are minimally processed and seasoned with simple spices. Even better, flavor your meals with chile peppers for an extra metabolic boost. (Numerous studies suggest that capsaicin, the compound in chile peppers that gives them their heat, also raises metabolism).

Artificial sweeteners

Why they are harmful: Many people use zero-calorie sugar substitutes as a weight-loss tool, but these sweeteners may actually have the opposite effect, says Lee. In a mice study, those who were fed artificial sweeteners saccharin, sucralose or aspartame developed glucose intolerance, a metabolic condition associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. “The artificial sweeteners altered the animals’ gut microbiomes towards a balance of bacteria associated with metabolic diseases,” says Lee. What’s more, in a follow-up study on 7 human volunteers, 4 became glucose intolerant after consuming the maximum recommended dose of saccharin for just one week.

What to eat instead: Consuming too much regular added sugar isn’t good for you either, so satisfy your sweet cravings the natural way with whole fruits, cinnamon, nut butters, or sweet potatoes.

Refined carbs

Why they are harmful: Eating a diet high in refined carbs (think: pasta, bread, sweets) will cause a surge in blood sugar, which will trigger your pancreas to produce insulin to help clear the sugar from your blood, explains New Jersey-based registered dietitian Jeanette Kimszal. That translates into your body digesting and absorbing food more rapidly, which can cause energy crashes later on and damage your metabolism in the long term.

What to eat instead: Reach for complex carbohydrates consisting of whole grains and vegetables, like quinoa or spaghetti squash. “They contain fiber, which will slow digestion and keep your metabolism in check,” explains Kimszal. “Look for whole grain products that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and do not contain the words ‘enriched’ on the package.”

Low-fat products

Why they are harmful: Most of us tend to assume that foods labeled ‘low-fat’ are good for weight loss, which in theory makes sense, given the fact that gram for gram, fat has twice as many calories as proteins and carbs. But in a study published in the journal Appetite, researchers analyzed nutrition information for nearly 6,000 foods in Canada and found that, overall, products with low-fat claims were not significantly lower in calories than their full-fat equivalents. What’s more, “low-fat foods may even lead people to consume extra calories,” says Lee. A separate studyinvestigating the effects of different fats on satiety found that participants were less hungry two hours after eating regular muffins compared to fat-free muffins.

What to eat instead: Instead of avoiding fat, rev up your metabolism by consuming good-for-you fats, like the omega-3’s found in salmon, tuna, mackerel and other cold water fish.

Soda

Why it is harmful: “Because it contains high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), soda can cause metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions (increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around waist) that occur together, increasing your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, NYC-based registered dietitian, author of The F-Factor Diet and creator of F-Factor. Fructose, when consumed in the same quantities as other sugar, has more damaging effects on the metabolism, she adds. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that HFCS may lead to obesity because of its negative effects on the metabolism.

What to drink instead: Get your fizzy fill with Kombucha, a carbonated, fermented tea that’s loaded with probiotics, recommends Zuckerbot. Probiotics have been shown to help regulate digestion, weight and metabolism.

Hope these nutrition tips help you live your ultimate healthy life!

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Article originally posted on Cooking Light

It’s National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month, a campaign which encourages everyone to take time to appreciate what eating healthy foods can do to add to our lives. For some people thinking about healthy eating feels burdensome because the concept is confusing or new to them. Making healthy eating a habit is easier than you may think. And believe it or not, small changes can make a big difference. As we move into March, I challenge you to incorporate at least half of the items below into your diet. It simplifies things when we focus more on what we get to eat rather than the myriad of things we must avoid. Who knows, as you focus on integrating these yummy essentials into your meals and snacks each day, they may become life-long, easy habits!

  1. Eat a healthy variety of lean protein foods: Seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, nuts, and seeds are excellent choices. If you are eating ground beef, turkey breast, or chicken breast, choose leaner cuts.
  2. Make at least half of your plate fruits and vegetables: Choose red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower, along with other vegetables for your meals. The more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs for health.
  3. If you are eating dairy products, try to focus more on adding cultured dairy products like low-fat yogurts, kefir,  sour cream into your day.  Cultured dairy digests better by adding important probiotics into the gut. A healthy gut that has a rich pro-biotic and pre-biotic environment is critical to ideal digestion and healthy weight.  Putting a couple of dollops of low-fat sour cream into your black bean soup is the perfect way to make it delicious AND get those valuable cultures.  Dannon’s Oikos Triple Zero greek yogurt is a fabulous option to get high protein, gut-nourishing probiotics, and great taste which comes from the Stevia sweetening they use.  All this healthiness and NO added sugar!   

  4. We’ve talked about whole grains but let’s get more creative in our whole-grain eating. Check labels for a higher protein, higher fiber content in your grains. For breads–think whole wheat, brown rice, bulgur,  buckwheat, oatmeal, and rolled oats.  For rice dishes think quinoa or wild rice. Love pasta?  You can find edamame pasta online that has a whopping 25 grams of protein per serving and tastes amazing!  There are also higher protein pastas that are made with Lentil flour or split pea flour. All super healthy choices that beat refined-grain foods with low fiber and protein content.Your pallet will love these new tastes and textures and you’ll thank yourself as you see the health benefits now and in your future!
  5. Salt. Is it good or bad?  It can be both. We need salt to keep healthy electrolyte balance but too much can be dangerous for those prone to high blood pressure. Conversely, those with low blood pressure are often told by their doctors to increase salt intake. Keep a close relationship with your doc so you know your typical vital signs and how to stay balanced. When you do use salt use a natural sea salt or pink Himalayan sea salt, complete with other minerals your body needs.
  6. Water up. Challenge yourself to drink water as your main beverages. Use water in different forms with a different twist to keep it interesting. Add a slice of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon, for a refreshing still water drink. For sparking versions add your liquid flavored stevia for a fun satisfying thirst quencher. My favorite flavor is root beer.  All the fun with no negative health impact!

Remember that how, when, why, and where we eat are just as important as what we eat. Develop a healthy eating pattern that includes nutritious, healthy, foods and your body will thank you for years to come.

If you would like to get your community involved in March National Nutrition Month, here are some great ideas: 36 Ideas to Get Involved.

Have a great Skinny Life day!

Stop Procrastinating for a Healthier You

Every day we have choices we make, whether conscious or unconscious.

Sometimes the most impactful choices we make, for better or worse, are the ones in which we choose to do nothing at all.

Many health problems we deal with in our lives, whether they be from unhealthy diets, lack of exercise, start with simple procrastination,

Most of us put off the hard things or things we don’t want to do until tomorrow, then tomorrow never comes because we grow accustomed to the idea that things should be easier than they are.

Today, any progress is made by yesterday’s efforts – no matter how big or small. The way we make continuous, positive, healthy changes, comes down to creating new habits and practicing self-discipline and taking action in the moment, even when it feels challenging.

We can choose to live a healthy lifestyle or we can choose to live a sedentary one.  When we wait or make excuses to get up and move, we essentially making a choice to embrace sedentary habits that are truly destructive to our health.

Your body and mind both need to be exercised to gain strength, flexibility, and balance. They both need to be worked consistently to grow, become healthier, and stronger over time. But the secret to creating a healthier lifestyle is to stop procrastinating and have a “do now” mindset.

You can accomplish many great things today, that don’t need to wait until tomorrow.  Getting started requires doing the smallest things.  Jump up and do 25 squats. Run up and down the stairs three times.  When you take positive action in these small ways you are plantings those seeds of discipline, exercise, and healthy eating that will continue to take root and blossom. What you plant today will harvest tomorrow.

Changing habits and learning to do things today that you typically put off is going to be challenging When you’re struggling to make progress, try not to overthink things..  That’s why Nike’s “Just do it” slogan is truly brilliant.  Making a deliberate decision to love yourself enough to make your health a priority can empower you in a way that builds strength and conviction you’ve never had before.

It’s not realistic to think you can change your entire lifestyle and eating habits all at once.  But if you take small but significant steps – one at a time, every day suddenly you realize you’ve become a new version of you. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and decide on one thing you need to improve on. Do you have a soda habit? Tell yourself you can have one a week, then over time, cut that to every other week, then monthly, and so on.  You will find that eventually, you don’t even crave it anymore.  Do you need to move your body more? Start with moderate or light exercise. Maybe you will walk around the block this week, then next week you will walk 2 blocks. Every small positive change will add up to significant changes.

I challenge you each day to take action in the moment before you talk yourself out of it. Over time you’ll be looking in the mirror at a whole new you!

 

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Low Carb Chipotle Chicken Salad

We have a DELICIOUS dinner idea for you! Chiplote Chicken Salad! Low carb and packed with delicious flavor!

If you’re cutting back on carbs, this recipe will prove you don’t have to give up flavor when cutting out carbohydrates.

The ingredient that really makes this chicken salad a winner is the Chipotle in Adobo Sauce. it adds a smoky flavor to the salad that we just love. It also gives the chicken salad a little bit of a spicy kick but not too much.

Servings: 8
Author: Susanne Eagan
Ingredients
4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
1 small onion diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 7 oz can chipotles chili in adobo sauce
1 teaspoons House Seasoning blend
Get Ingredients Powered by Chicory
Instructions

Cook chicken breasts then shred using two forks, set aside in a medium sized bowl

In a blender or food processor mix mayonnaise, sour cream, and 1/2 to a whole can of the chipotle peppers (the amount of peppers depends on your personal taste and how spicy you want it to be) and blend until smooth.

Add the chipotle mixture to the shredded chicken and onion. Mix until well combined.

Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving.

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Focus on Becoming a Happier, Healthier You in 2018

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of adults in the USA are obese and experience weight-related conditions such as cardiac disease, diabetes, and cancer increasing annually. Obesity is such a big problem in the US that it costs the country in excess of $147 billion in medical costs every year. Luckily it is a new year which means countless of people around the USA are embarking on health and fitness regimes as part of their 2018 New Year’s resolutions.

One of the most fatal flaws of New Year’s resolutions and goal-setting in general, is that we tend to bite off more than we can chew. By not setting realistic goals we end up disappointed and demotivated and generally forget about our good intentions by the time January ends. Realistic goals that are easily achievable within a year will eventually become second-nature and will leave you feeling happier, healthier and possibly even shed some unwanted weight by the time the festive season comes around again.

Make more time for you

Most of people tend to give a little too much of themselves to others and not enough to themselves. It is very easy to stretch yourself too thin and overextend yourself. While it may have been acceptable last year, you need to make more time for yourself in 2018. You can do so by doing a solo workout or enjoying a relaxing day at the spa. By making yourself a priority you will be able to focus on your health and well-being without a struggle which, in turn, will make you feeling happier and healthier throughout the year. Take the gym class you always wanted to attend, follow an individual training plan or buy the new weight set that you have had your eye on for a while. It is important to realize that you are important and deserving of a good life.

Stop doing the workouts that you hate

Make 2018 your year and focus on what makes you happy. You are not forced to run to lose weight nor do you have to eat lettuce daily to become healthier. Find alternatives that will better suit your lifestyle and will make you happier in the long-run.  Use the new year to find something that you do love that will have the same kind of healthy effects on your body and mind as the activities that you really do not enjoy.

Add 1 low-impact workout to your exercise routine

While running and HIIT are great for your health it is important to give your knees a break as well. You don’t have to stop engaging in these workouts altogether but aim to supplement your high-impact training with some low-impact strengthening exercises such as Pilates or yoga.  Mixing things up will benefit your weight-loss endeavors greatly and will also prevent you from becoming bored with your workouts. Boredom is one of the biggest reasons people give up on their good intentions to stick to a healthy lifestyle.

While it may seem empowering to aim high with your New Year’s resolutions it is imperative to keep them realistic. You did not pick up all the excess weight in a day nor can you expect to lose it overnight. Whatever your health goals are for 2018, make sure they are doable and don’t give up at the first sign of a roadblock. Your perseverance will pay off and 2018 will become your best year yet.

Written by our contributing writer: Jane Sandwood

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New Awareness for 2018!

Goals that stick. Weight loss that stays off. A healthier you. Sometimes we fall short of our best intentions and resolutions. Unfortunately, there is not a magic pill, one food you can consume, or one exercise machine, that will create optimal health. Your daily routines are what are most important if you are striving to get healthy and stay healthy. To create a routine that serves your best health and to stay with it requires a higher level of awareness in all aspects of your life.

Here are 7 tips for a healthier you:

  1. Gratitude Awareness. Gratitude has been shown to lower stress, which prevents many other physical and mental consequences. Instead of focusing on how you wish you looked or what your body can and cannot do, express and feel gratitude for all you can do and all that you already have. We all have things about ourselves that we would like to improve.
  2. Movement Awareness.  Make a valiant effort to move more. Try to get in 30 minutes of exercise daily and find new ways to move your body. Drop down in a plank when you have a minute. Take the stairs. Walk to the market. Add those up and you’ll have a day of good exercise without taking a lot of time away from other things.
  3. Food Quality Awareness. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. Forget the fad diets and focus on the highest quality foods possible. High quality means nutrient dense for the calories that you eat.  include a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. When you grocery shop, shop on the outside aisles. The inner aisles usually have most of the processed food, junk food, and other food your body would be happier without.
  4. Relationship Awareness. Building a community of people who can help you through life’s ups and downs is a vital step towards happiness and good health. Create and build relationships that provide encouragement and accountability to both parties. Find a new walking or workout partner. Attend a cooking class in your area for healthy cooking and meet other like-minded people with the same goals and lifestyle.
  5. Goal Awareness. General goals such as “exercise more” are not effective. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Timely. “I will walk 20 minutes over my lunch break on Tuesdays and Thursdays” is a SMART goal. Why? Because you have made a definitive goal that is measurable and doable. What SMART goals will you make?
  6. Health Care Awareness  Many medical conditions can be stopped or slowed down if detected in the early stages by getting preventative screenings and yearly doctor checkups! Ask your physician what screenings you should be getting depending on your age group.
  7. Self Talk Awareness. Health goals don’t always go as planned. If you are overweight, chances are, you didn’t gain it overnight – so don’t expect to lose it that fast. When you run into obstacles, don’t degrade yourself with negative self-talk.  Focus on all of the positive changes you have made, no matter how small they seem. Treat yourself with kindness, like you would a good friend.

I hope these tips help you live longer, live happier, and reach the goals you desire.

Have a great Skinny Life day!

New Year, New You

Are you excited for a new year and new you?

New Years resolutions don’t have to be about losing weight.|

You can also incorporate other healthy resolutions into your 2018 plans.  Researchers have found that people who deliberately balance all areas of their lives also have better health!

Of course, if losing weight is important to your health, you should incorporate weight loss goals into your 2018 plan of action. But make sure you round out your physical fitness goals with some life-balancing commitments that will make you feel more wholeness and happiness.

Here is a list of healthy resolutions for you to vow to do this year.

  • Prioritize sleep. If you have trouble sleeping seven to eight hours, look into non-drug therapies. There are fabulous mind-rebooting technologies, like NuCalm that can help train your brain for better sleep.
  • Reduce your sugar intake. Cut back on sodas and high sugar fruit juices. Start reading labels and if you see the ingredient “high fructcose corn syrup” try to find an alternative product. Eat whole fruits and fruit smoothies with the entire fruit to get the benefit of the sugar balancing fibers.
  • Go on a trip. Planning a vacation increases happiness and who doesn’t want to adventure around a new city, sandy white beach, or explore a new destination? Exploring the world also can help you appreciate what you have at home!
  • Read more. Give your brain some mental exercise and escape into a good book. It’s another great way to explore the world without leaving home.
  • Give up soda and diet soda. Yes, your diet soda may have “zero calories” however, the ingredients in diet sodas can hurt your health and they don’t aid in losing weight. Opt for sparkling water with flavored stevia. Try root beer flavored stevia!
  • Practice gratitude. Find things throughout your day that you are grateful for. When you appreciate the things you have and the things around you, it will improve your mental well-being.
  • Volunteer and donate your time to people in need. Not only does it feel good to be kind and help others, it also benefits receiver by putting your own problems into perspective.
  • Forgive someone. Holding onto anger and resentment is poison to your soul. Life’s too short to live in the past. Move on. Everyone is doing the best they can from their own state of consciousness.
  • Wear sunscreen. Your skin will thank you as you age.
  • Love yourself. If there is one person who is guaranteed to be in your life from your date of birth to the end . . . it is you. Learn to forgive, love, and be yourself.

I hope these resolutions will help you in 2018!

To your healthiest year yet!

Have a Skinny Life year!

Crystal

Study Suggests Home Cooking is a Main Ingredient in Healthier Diet

People who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who cook less, according to new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research.

“When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all – even if they are not trying to lose weight,” says Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, a CLF-Lerner Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and lead author of the study.

The findings also suggest that those who frequently cooked at home – six-to-seven nights a week – also consumed fewer calories on the occasions when they ate out.

The study is to be presented at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La., on November 17, and appear online in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

Wolfson and co-author Sara N. Bleich, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School, analyzed data from the 2007-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from more than 9,000 participants aged 20 and older.  The survey asked detailed questions about what participants ate during a 24-hour period as well as other eating behaviors such as fast food in the past 30 days. The researchers found that 8 percent of adults cooked dinner once or less a week and this group consumed, on an average day, 2,301 total calories, 84 grams of fat and 135 grams of sugar. Forty-eight percent of participants cooked dinner six to seven times a week and they consumed 2,164 calories, 81 grams of fat and 119 grams of sugar on an average day. The researchers also found that those who cook at home more frequently rely less on frozen foods and are less likely to choose fast foods on the occasions when they eat out.

The research found blacks are more likely to live in households where cooking occurs less frequently than whites; and individuals who work more than 35 hours a week outside the home cook less, as well.

“Obesity is an escalating public health problem that contributes to other serious health issues, including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease,” says Wolfson. “The evidence shows people who cook at home eat a more healthy diet. Moving forward, it’s important to educate the public about the benefits of cooking at home, identify strategies that encourage and enable more cooking at home, and help everyone, regardless of how much they cook, make healthier choices when eating out.”

Wolfson says there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution to getting people to cook more. “Time and financial constraints are important barriers to healthy cooking and frequent cooking may not be feasible for everyone. But people who cook infrequently may benefit from cooking classes, menu preparation coaching or even lessons in how to navigate the grocery store or read calorie counts on menus in restaurants”

“Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight-loss intention?” was written by Julia A. Wolfson and Sara N. Bleich.  Funding for the study was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (grant number 1K01HL096409).

Full article can be found here: ARTICLE

 

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