If you go back 50 years or more, you would find that nearly every family had home-cooked meals. Cooking was a skill learned from a young age and cultivated through years of practice. These days, it is very different.
For many people, cooking has become a lost art, something that they know about and even enjoy watching on TV, but which they hardly try themselves. There are many whose food is bought ready-made in the supermarket, or ordered in from fast-food restaurants. I believe that the explosion in obesity has a lot to do with the diminishing part cooking plays in our lives.
Why is cooking important, you may ask. I believe that it matters a great deal. In fact, it is the foundation upon which the most important fat loss factor is laid: your diet.
By diet, I do not mean a weight loss plan, or the practice of cutting down your calories. I mean your eating routine, how you choose which food to consume, how you prepare it or get it, and how much of it you take in. Cooking plays a major role in determining the quality of your diet.
You can either make your own food or buy it from someone else. Let’s examine the second option, first.
When you buy food made by someone else, you have two options: either you buy a pre-made dish in the supermarket or you go out to eat (or order takeout). When you buy a pre-made meal, you usually need to heat it up with water or in the microwave. You are paying for ease and taste.
Food companies know this and they do what they have to in order to give you a tasty dish. This includes adding ingredients which may not be so healthy, but are sure to make your taste-buds sing with appreciation. I’m referring to added fat, salt, sugar, etc. Some of these may have their place in a healthy diet, but in much smaller amounts than those usually present in pre-made food. Others, such as trans-fat and various chemicals, you shouldn’t consume in any amount.
The main goal of food manufacturers is to make you a repeat customer. To get you hooked. Do you really want to be hooked?
When you go out to eat or order in, you face a similar problem: you’re dealing with a business and the main goal of that business is to make money, not to make you healthy. This can be done by cutting costs by using low cost material, and by adding flavor even at the potential expense of your health.
Let’s make one thing clear: most of the people in the food industry are honest, honorable, and hardworking people who serve their customers well. However, none of them can serve you as well as you would serve yourself. Their primary responsibility is to serve their business. It’s the way it has to be. It’s their job. You would have done the same.
When you give up control of your diet to someone else, you lose control over it, and you know that there is a chance that you will get food of a lesser quality than you would have gotten had your mother, father, spouse or yourself made it.
Cooking food is the only way to control what you’re eating. You get to choose the ingredients, you pick the exact quantities, you create the right balance of nutrients, and you don’t squander health for taste. You also learn about food as you research recipes, and you begin to better understand what quality really is.
Losing fat depends upon a good diet. It is very hard to do without one. When you learn how to cook food, you remove the risk of someone else sabotaging your diet. You cross the most difficult hurdle on the road to a new body, and you improve your health.
Do yourself a favor, grab a cooking book this week. Start playing in the kitchen. Experiment. Enjoy the process and the result of your work. You may find that you grow to love cooking more than you would have imagined.
Here are some resources to help you:
2. All Recipes