The Crockpot, a Busy Dieters Best Friend
Face it—after a long day at work you don’t want to cook. It’s not that you can’t or that you don’t know how. It’s that you are tired. Your feet hurt and your head aches. You want someone to hand you a bag of food so that you can morph into the couch and watch whatever happens to be on the television because reaching for the remote is too tiring.
As part of your medical weight loss progress this after work mentality is a no-no. Losing weight can help you gain more energy, but while you are in the process of shedding pounds you need to think more creatively about ways that you can muster up a healthy meal when you know you are going to be tired.
The key to weight loss success when it comes to cooking healthy meals is planning ahead. One of the easiest ways to do this is with a crockpot.
Meet your new friend: The slow-cooker
A crockpot or slow cooker is one of the easiest ways to cook dinner. The pot is often made of porcelain and sits in a metal tub that is plugged into the wall. You can adjust the heating temperature from warm to high and let the crockpot cook all day long—no supervision required. Leaving a crockpot on the counter is not the same as leaving the stove on. The risks of walking away from it are low. In fact, by leaving it on while you’re at work you are more at risk of having a fantastic dinner when you get home than anything else.
Slow cookers aren’t limited to making stews and soups. You can cook everything from enchiladas to chicken drumsticks in a crock pot; it’s all about what you put in it. Talk with your weight loss doctor and nutritionist about the foods you should be incorporating into your diet and find recipes that highlight those.
Here are a few ways to make your crockpot meals even easier:
- Frozen vegetables: When you are planning on steaming or grilling veggies then fresh produce is the way to go, but for an added healthy ingredient in your crockpot meals frozen vegetables are cheap and easy. Empty the bag into the crockpot and let the slow cooker do its work.
- Freeze gallon bags of meals: When you get home from the food store spend some time divvying up the ingredients of your meals for the week into gallon bags, and then freeze those instead of putting away the ingredients independently. You can add the meat, veggies, potatoes and spices into a gallon bag and then label it with a sharpie. In the morning before work all you will need to do is empty the bag and turn on the crockpot.
- Use a liner: Crockpots make cooking easy, but cleanup can be a bear. There are crockpot liners that put a tinfoil like wrapper around the porcelain pot. Instead of having to scrub down the crockpot you can toss the tin foil, rinse and get the slow cooker ready for the next night’s meal.
When you cook in a crockpot there is a good chance you’ll have leftovers. If you put your leftovers into a Tupperware dish and take them to work the next day, you will get lunch and dinner out of one cheap and easy meal. With a little effort and a bit of planning you can cut out fast food and turn your diet around nice and easy.