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Do you hate to cook? Do you use that as an excuse to eat junk? Well stop!

You can still make smart eating choices when you don’t love to cook, you just need to decide what’s more important to you; your goals or your excuses?

I’m going to give you some tips for making healthy choices when you don’t like to cook!

I can totally relate to this, by the way, because I don’t love to cook either.

In fact, when I was single, I was in really rough shape when it came to food!

I ate PB&J and ramen just about everyday, and I literally drank coffee for breakfast. I knew I went through the drive-thru too often when someone told me “I really like your hair better when you wear it curly instead of straight”!

When I changed my lifestyle, I didn’t go from 0-100. I made gradual changes with my nutrition and I’m still not a gourmet chef!

And I know it’s not easy to change. Start gradually and find a couple of simple things that you can implement right away.

Here are 4 strategies that work for those who don’t like to cook:

1) Commit to planning ahead

If you’re not going to cook a well balanced meal every single time (who does that anyway?!), don’t be afraid to figure out at least some of your meals ahead of time!

  • If you are going to cook, cook in bulk!
  • Tip: Get an Instant Pot or Crockpot! These make life SO much easier for those who are always on the go or don’t love being in the kitchen.
  • Grocery shop at the beginning of the week and plan ahead!

2) Be mindful of convenience items (lean cuisines, “healthy” processed snacks”, etc)

Using the microwave isn’t a bad thing, just get good at knowing what is the better option.

For example, lean cuisines and frozen meals with lots of added sodium aren’t always the best choices.

Try the following healthy “convenience items”:

  • Steam fresh veggies are great- quick, simple, healthy, and no cooking required!
  • microwaveable pouches of grains like brown rice and quinoa
  • Salad kits (we love the ones from Wegmans- Kevin and I do these often lately! Tip: use half the dressing)
  • Other chopped and ready-to-cook vegetables (both fresh and frozen varieties)
  • Bake in the bag or tinned fish (pay attention to sodium content)
  • Soups (again, look for low-salt and avoid cream-based)
  • Rotisserie chicken- goes a long way and can be used for soups, salads, sandwiches, or as is!
  • Protein shakes- find one that you like and stick with that!

3) Learn your labels

  • Remember that the ingredients are listed in order of how much is in that item (so if sugar is the first or 2nd ingredient, stay away!)
  • Utilizing food apps, like MyFitnessPal, Cronometer or Lose It makes reading labels much easier! You can often scan a barcode or find the item already in the app

4) Make healthy choices when eating out

It’s not eating out that’s unhealthy, it’s where you’re going and the choices you’re making. If you like to support local restaurants here and there or order takeout, just be smart about it.

  • Swap fries and fried sides for salads and veggies
  • Skip the drive through whenever possible
  • Always leave the house with SOMETHING to help prevent stopping at the drive through!)
  • Don’t arrive too hungry
  • Get a “to go” box and box up half of your meal before you even start! This is a HUGE help to avoid overeating!

The most important piece of advice I want to give you is this: make a mindset switch. I’m telling you this from personal experience!

Don’t count yourself out of winning at the “health and fitness game” just because cooking isn’t a strength or something you love.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! Mandy Webb, Co-Owner, KW Fitness