There are several reasons why you may not want to don your aprons and prepare a meal. Perhaps you’re too tired, busy, or you just don’t like it!
Even those who adore cooking occasionally find it difficult to face making a homemade meal from scratch. Here are our top recommendations for maintaining a healthy diet when you aren’t cooking for yourself.
Is It Possible To Eat Well Without Cooking?
You don’t have to forgo eating wholesome, energising meals just because you don’t feel like or can’t face cooking. If you study the food labels, you can still eat pre-made or packaged food and maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
For instance, it’s crucial to learn how to read the contents and health labels on the packets of pre-made and packaged goods. In this manner, you are able to choose your purchases wisely.
Read the labels on your prepared and packaged foods – There are food labels that say a particular food item is low in salt, fat or sugar that are premade and packaged. These might be better options. Keep these things in mind:
- Low salt foods contain no more than 0.3 g of salt per 100 g of food.
- A food is considered low fat if it has no more than 3 g of fat per 100 g.
- Low sugar refers to a food’s 5 g of sugar per 100 g or less.
Below are some things to keep in mind when reading food packaging labels.
Traffic Light Labels – On the front of some food packaging are labels with traffic lights. These can be used to get a general idea of the food’s nutritional value.
They use the traffic light indicators for all of these elements to list the amounts of fat, salt, and sugar in the product. For instance, the ingredients are classified as high (red), medium (amber), or low (green).
Additionally, the number of calories in the dish is listed. Products with more green than red categories should generally be chosen.
List Of Ingredients – The ingredients are presented in descending order of quantity in the dish. For instance, if sugar is listed as the first ingredient, the product mostly includes sugar. It’s possible that it’s not the healthiest choice as a result.
Keep in mind that some common nutrients may occasionally go by several other names. For instance, sugar may be classified as invert sugar, fructose, glucose, maltose, sucrose, syrup, or molasses.
Manufacturers use this trick so that sugar is not at the top of the ingredients list. So look carefully at the label to not fall for the trick.
Select wholesome convenience foods – Because a large number of us lead busy lives, a growing number of convenience foods are appearing on the shelves of our local supermarkets.
These frequently have a poor reputation due to their high calorie, fat, salt, sugar, and additive content. However, there are also many more convenient foods that are healthier, so knowing what to search for might be useful. Among the top choices are:
- Canned pulses, including lentils or chickpeas, and microwavable pouches of nutritious grains such as brown rice and quinoa
- Freshly prepared salads
- Freshly prepared veggies (canned, frozen, or fresh)
- Soups with fish that has been canned or baked in the bag (keep an eye out for low salt and avoid ones with a cream sauce)
The majority of snacks don’t even need to be cooked. Try to resist the urge to eat processed and sugary foods like candy or chips when you feel hungry. Instead, opt for wholesome munchies like:
- Hummus, sliced vegetables, fresh fruit, a tiny handful of unsalted nuts, and dried fruit
- Sugar-free cereal bars
- Yogurts with little sugar and fat
Eating Out Healthily
Whenever you order in or dine out, choose healthy options. If you frequently dine out or order takeout, strive to make healthy decisions whenever you can. The following could be useful.
- Consider where you’re eating and choose a healthy option over fast-food restaurants and buffets that offer “all you can eat.”
- Choose sides like a green salad or steamed veggies instead of unhealthy sides such as fries or garlic bread.
- Avoid carbonated or alcoholic beverages in favour of sugar-free, low-calorie sodas or water.
- Instead of deep-frying, creaming, buttering, or battering your food, choose grilled, baked, or steamed options.
- Eat dishes with fish, seafood, or chicken instead of red meat.
- Eat nothing when you are already too hungry. You may be more inclined to select a substantial, unhealthy dinner with numerous sides. Taking a peek at the online menu ahead and making your selections in advance may also be helpful.
- Wait a short while before eating dessert to give your main meal time to digest and signal to your stomach that you are full. If you still want something sweet, go for a fruit salad or sorbet. Or treat a friend to dessert.
Try making your own smoothies. Without having to prepare much, smoothies are a terrific way to add vitamins and minerals to your diet. They’re a fantastic breakfast or snack. There are many to choose from, but you can also make them quickly and easily yourself.
Your preferred milk or yogurt should be added to a blender along with some fruits and veggies. To add extra proteins and good fats, you could also add seeds, nut butters, and nuts.
Even if a smoothie contains multiple types of fruit or vegetables, keep in mind that one single glass (150 ml) only counts as one part of the recommended five a day. You should only consume one smoothie each day.
Make Cooking As Simple As You Can
Making a nutritious, home-cooked lunch doesn’t have to be challenging if you decide to go into the kitchen. You may find several cookbooks, websites, and applications that offer quick and simple meal suggestions.
Start with a simple recipe that doesn’t require a lot of materials, tools, or preparation time. To make things even simpler, you may also use frozen vegetables. One-pot dishes, casseroles, and pasta bakes are excellent places to start.
Making a lot of food at once will help you make the most of the time you actually spend cooking and ensure that there is always enough for another meal.
Cook two to three portions of a stew or casserole, for instance, so that you have some leftovers for the coming week. In order to have food available whenever you need it, you could also freeze any leftovers from your meal.
Hopefully, this article has been useful in helping you learn how to continue eating healthy even when you’re not cooking.
As you can see, there are many methods to eating healthy if you don’t cook, such as keeping an eye on food labels and ingredient lists and choosing better options at restaurants.