Getting Away From Fast Food

There’s a common misconception that fast food costs less than food prepared at home. That’s partly because of massive corporate marketing budgets and campaigns from food companies that influence our thinking. Actually, cooking food at home costs less per person than the typical $5.00–$7.00 fast-food “value” meal.

So Why Aren’t People Cooking More?
If healthy home-cooked food costs less than fast food, why isn’t everyone cooking at home? Here are some reasons:

We’re out of practice. One of the big reasons people think fast food is cheaper than slow food is that we’re not cooking as often.The path toward fresh, healthy food being affordable and easy for everyone is cooking. It’s getting in the kitchen if you’re able to.”

We fear it. Cooking is easier than most people think—especially inexperienced cooks. However, in our sedentary culture, we watch so many cooking shows that cooking may seem like something only expert chefs can handle. But cooking is something that’s really simple that people have been doing since the beginning of time and building into their lives. Part of it is just getting over that fear.

We overcommit and under plan. We’re all working more hours, and it’s tough to find the time to cook, it doesn’t take long. Fifteen minutes a day can get you healthy, affordable food. But it takes a little bit of planning—and that’s key. You have to think in terms of ‘Let me see if I can prepare a big pot of something on Sunday that I can eat throughout the week. What are the things I can freeze?’ All of that really helps.”

Educating Yourself
So, if you’d like to cook more frequently, try these ideas:

Get in the kitchen. You have to practice cooking to become proficient. If someone you know is a good home cook and understands how to create a healthy, simple meal, make a cooking date. Select the recipes, shop together, make the food together, then sit down together and eat what you’ve made.

Hire talent to help you. Hire a personal chef or a local culinary school to lead a cooking class for you and some friends. Make it a social event where you not only get to participate in the food preparation (for practice), but also eat the results. Ask the chef to keep things basic, healthy and inexpensive.

Learn to prep and plan meals for the week. Try cooking in bulk at home once per week (Sunday is usually a good choice) and freeze or refrigerate the food for quick reheating during the week. For example, roast a chicken and a large pan of root veggies, bake a handful of sweet potatoes, and make a large pot of chili or soup. Wash, chop and dry all of your produce for the week. With these tasks done, you can have dinner on the table in 15 minutes or less.

Learn basic knife skills and invest in at least one good knife. Nothing makes cooking more pleasurable (or miserable) than a good (or bad) knife. If you’ve never used a professional-grade knife, take a basic knife skills class or search YouTube for videos on the topic.

Every success story was accomplished by executing a thought out plan. Failing to prepare is preparing to Fail.

Friends’ Impact On Weight Loss

Friends may have our backs, but their health and fitness habits can literally shape our backsides. How do friends help—or hurt—your healthy habits? Learn more from Martina M. Cartwright, PhD, RD, adjunct faculty member at the University of Arizona, independent biomedical consultant, author and nutrition counselor in Scottsdale, Arizona.

When Dietary Awareness Is Out to Lunch

The desire to copy people close to us is thought to enhance bonding and act as a social superglue (Lakin 2003). When we mimic each other’s eating behaviors, we form positive, subconscious bonds with our dining companions. What people do, rather than what they think, may be why obesity flourishes among friends.

The average person makes over 200 food decisions every day (Wansink 2006). Deciding what and where to eat are just two pieces of the dining puzzle—the other is with whom. Commiserating with pals or engaging in animated conversation over a tasty meal is often good therapy, but it can lead to distracted dining. Focusing on the conversation rather than the food often results in overeating (Hetherington 2006; Wansink 2006). Also, those who eat together subconsciously model each other’s eating styles. Normally light eaters consume more when munching with a group, while heavier eaters eat less when dining with companions (Bell & Pliner 2003). If you want to lose weight, you may find it easier if you hang out with friends who eat healthfully and exercise.

Hitting the Gym With a Friend

Motivating yourself to exercise can be challenging. Did you know that nonexercisers are more likely to get moving and stick with activity programs if supportive friends are involved? As a whole, social influence is positively associated with exercise behaviors, intentions and attitudes. Gabriele et al. (2005) explored social encouragement, which focused on positive reinforcement and statements such as “people important to me encourage me to exercise.” Positive social encouragement like this improved exercise motivation, but social constraint or negative reinforcement reflected in statements like “people will be disappointed in me if I quit exercising” were not helpful. Surrounding yourself with positive pals may keep you moving in the right direction.

SIDEBAR: Workplace Weight Gain

The workplace can be a minefield for people trying to shed pounds. Desktop candy jars and office celebrations provide a steady stream of sugary indulgence that can sabotage the most strident dieter’s efforts.

While coffee breaks and corporate parties can foster camaraderie, they entice mindless eating. Here are a few tips for taming workplace temptation:

Put a lid on goodies. Covering them with foil or a lid will curb mindless munching (Wansink 2006).

View the veggies: Leave these uncovered to promote healthier grazing.

When dining with a co-worker, split large portions.

Socialize and celebrate without food.

Limit happy-hour drinks/alcohol.

Avoid desktop dining.

Limit the “office feeder” influence.

Set an example: Bring in healthier snacks like fresh fruit, and replace the candy with dried fruit or nuts.

Support co-workers who are trying to lose weight.

References
Bell, R., & Pliner, P.L. 2003. Time to eat: The relationship between the number of people eating and meal duration in three lunch settings. Appetite, 41 (2), 215–18.

Gabriele, J.M., et al. 2005. Differentiated roles of social encouragement and social constraint on physical activity behavior. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 29 (3), 210–15.

Hetherington, M.M., et al. 2006. Situational effects on meal intake: A comparison of eating alone and eating with others. Physiology & Behavior, 88 (4-5), 498–505.

Lakin, J.L., et al. 2003. The chameleon effect as social glue: Evidence for the evolutionary significance of nonconscious mimicry. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 27 (3), 145–62.

Wansink, B. 2006. Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. New York: Bantam.

Happy Leg Day!

15 min dynamic warmup

Pre lift isolated muscle activation
3 sets of 15 x 20 reps

Abductor machine
Adductor machine
Glute machine
Quad extensions
Lying leg curls
Calf raises
Box jumps

Strength workout
4 sets x 8 reps
Barbell front squats
Barbell Bulgarian split squats from clean position
Heavy Leg Press
TRX single leg Pistol Squats

Abs
3 x 12 reps
Weighted Hanging leg raises
Decline abdominal transverse sit up
Cable crunch

Cardio Finish
1:1 high / low intervals on bike 20 min

Food log:
7am
1/2 sweet potato
1 cup diced grilled veggies
8 oz chicken
1 multi vitamin, 1 fish oil, 1 probiotic

9am
4 oz chicken
1/4 cup almonds
Animal Flex (joint support supplement)

12 pm
1/2 sweet potato
1 cup diced veggies
8 oz chicken

2-4pm Workout
BCAA Drink

4pm Post workout
2 scoops whey
1 pixy stick

5pm
1/2 sweet potato
1 cup diced veggies
8 oz chicken

8pm
2 cup veggies
8 oz protein

10pm BCAA drank!