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Dining In Versus Dining Out

dining in          I hope you’re sleeping better and have thought a little bit more about your bedtime routine to get you relaxed and to sleep faster. Hopefully with better rest you’re feeling more energized and ready to take on whatever Spring projects you want! This week we’re focusing on how to have more energy from the food choices we make.

The Benefits of Dining In

It can be easy to decide to swing through the drive thru, or pick up takeout on the way home. Getting dinner on the table can feel like a real drag. And there are lots of great options in dining out these days. However, there’s nothing like a home-cooked meal. Studies show that cooking at home is healthier and cheaper over time. While there is tons of cheap, fast food out there, in the long run you’re likely to end up paying for that cheap food in healthcare costs. By cooking at home you’re more like to eat a diet lower in calories, sugar, sodium, and fat, and meet more of the US dietary guidelines.

A study following 12,000 adults tracked their diet and psychological well-being found that eating up to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day improved happiness. You’d be hard pressed to get close to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables while eating out. Eating at home gives you the control to cook and serve nutritious meals.

Try these 5 tips for making cooking at home easier:

  1. Plan ahead. Doing a little meal planning before going to the grocery store will help guide your shopping, prevent impulse buying, and will help make sure you have all the ingredients you need for dinner each night.
  2. Stick with what you know. Hectic weeknights are probably not the best time to try a new recipe. Stick with easy recipes you’re comfortable with when you’re busy and try new recipes when you have a little more free time to experiment.
  3. Meal prep. Doing a little work ahead of time will pay off later. Try cooking meals on the weekends so you can eat leftovers during the week. Or chop up veggies for quick, easy to grab snacks. Try crockpot meals to have dinner cooking while you’re working.
  4. Get the family involved. If you have a family, this can be a great time to show kids how to cook, or hear about your spouse’s day. Spending time together makes mealtime more enjoyable. And if you have picky eaters, getting them involved in the preparation can help encourage them to try new things. Everyone likes to feel in control once in a while.
  5. Be practical. It might not be possible or realistic to cook every night of the week. Leftovers are a great way to use up what you have an still eat at home. Or try making meals even faster by taking a few shortcuts; use the pre-chopped vegetables from the salad bar to reduce food prep time. Check out the frozen produce for easy, microwavable vegetable side dishes.

If you’re looking for tips on how to save money while eating healthy, be sure to check out these tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Healthy food does not have to be expensive!

What are your favorite quick meals?

Let us know on the Sweet Life Wellness Facebook Page!

Feeling overwhelmed about how to lose weight and keep it off? Have a talk with Kay.  Call to book your complimentary coaching call with Kay today at:  301-869-1787

Time to free yourself from emotional eating?

Begin by registering for the Emotional Eating, a Free Discovery Webinar with Kay Loughrey tomorrow, May 17 at 6:30 pm (45 minutes).

Click here -> to register for this free Webinar! Questions: Call (301) 869-1787 (Option 1).

Blog Author:Lauren Seat - Sweet Life Wellness Intern
Lauren Seat
Sweet Life Wellness Student Intern
Dietetics student at University of Maryland-College Park


  1. (2016) Eat Right, Affordably. In: Accessed 10 May 2017
  2. Oregon State University. “Want to better comply with dietary guidelines, and save money? Cook dinner at home.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 2017.<>.
  3. University of Warwick. “Fruit and veggies give you the feel-good factor.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2016. <>.