You may know that cooking at home frequently is ideal, yet you still find yourself hitting the takeout line or heating up packaged frozen dinners more often than you’d like. We’re here to help you get healthier! Check out these 9 biggest bangs from home cooking, and then scout our recipes for healthy homemade meal ideas.
Cook-at-home benefits don’t come from popping a packaged meal into the microwave or dumping an envelope of powdered whatever into a pot. When we talk about home cooking, the kind that makes us healthier, we’re referring to prepping dishes that incorporate plenty of clean eating ingredients rather than highly-processed foods. Healthy homemade meals, like the recipes on our 7-Day Clean Eating Menu, are packed with whole foods and minimally-processed foods to help you lose weight and feel healthier.
Cooking at home with nutritious ingredients isn’t hard either. On SkinnyMs., we share tons of recipes that don’t require lots of prep or time spent over a stove. Check out 21 Easy and Quick Clean Eating Recipes and Top 20 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes on Skinny Ms.
1. Consume fewer calories.
A 2014 study that examined the eating habits of more than 9,000 adults discovered that those who cooked frequently at home consumed, on average, about 200 fewer calories daily than those who cooked less at home. 
2. Consume fewer calories when you eat out.
The same study found that the folks who prepared meals at home most frequently (six to seven nights each week) also consumed fewer calories when they did eat at restaurants, suggesting home cooks may be more mindful about what they consume.
3. Be less salty.
In general, processed foods are notoriously high in added sodium, which contributes to high blood pressure. One of the top cook-at-home benefits is that you can easily flavor recipes with herbs and spices instead of salt. Add deliciousness to your meals with 7 Fresh Herbs that Amp up the Flavor.
4. Rock your portions.
Homemade meals allow you to get a better handle on eating the portion sizes that help you lose inches and keep them off. Get a serving size refresher with 8 Easy Tips for Controlling Portion Sizes.
5. Toss the trans fats.
Trans fats, like partially hydrogenated oil, are used to extend the shelf life of processed foods. The very big problem is that these fats raise bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower good (HDL) cholesterol. Preparing healthy homemade recipes is a great way to reduce exposure to trans fats.
6. Slash the sugar.
Home cooks consumed less sugar, according to the findings of the cook-at-home study. Those eating at restaurants or choosing prepared frozen foods most frequently consumed 12% more sugar than the most frequent home cooks. If you really want to make a healthy break from the white stuff, take the 30-Day No Sugar Challenge.
7. Cultivate connections.
From chopping veggies to dishing portions, preparing and eating homemade meals is a fantastic way to build connections with loved ones.
8. Build a healthier body–long-term.
Frequent home cooking may help us be more mindful of what we’re eating; what’s more, that benefit may extend to other members of the household. Research suggests a child is 24% more likely to eat healthier foods and 12% less likely to be overweight when he or she regularly shared family mealtime. Preparing and eating meals with the family–including kids or grandkids–sets the foundation for a lifetime of healthier food choices.  Try 7 Best Dinner Meals Kids Love Eating.
9. Save money.
One of the top cook-at-home benefits isn’t measured in calories–it’s measured in dollars. Processed foods, like frozen dinners, are pricey, and so is takeout, even if you’re choosing so-called “value” menu items. Homemade recipes let you choose foods that won’t bust the budget. Check out 10 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget.
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 Johns Hopkins