Weight Loss Support - Can't cook. Any hope for me?

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01-01-2006, 03:38 AM
Is it possible to lose weight even if you can't cook? I look at recipes and say "ya right, like I'll be able to cook that!"

Any non-cooks out there losing weight? All those recipes look so good, yet knowing how I cook, it will be a waste of good food. Also, dh is not working right now, so the money is tight. Lean Cuisine and things like that are out. :(

I also work full time and have 2 small kids. Everything, especially meals, needs to be convenient if I plan to go to bed before midnight. I do get a small walk in after dinner with my mom.

Thanks for any help.

175/175/145 5'4"

01-01-2006, 09:18 AM
Yes, you can. All you really need to do is figure out how to cook plain, lean protein. Each evening you can make either fish, chicken, lean beef or pork tenderloin ... a couple of vegetables (salad is easy and you can eat raw) ... and a slice of nice whole grain bread. Your family can eat as much as they want and you can watch portions.
The trick is 'plain' foods have wonderful flavours of their own. Learn to use that to your advantage.
And we can coach you through ;)

01-01-2006, 11:41 AM
Take a look at what you already eat. Most of my recipes were easily adjusted to be lower calorie. That and reducing my portions was all that I really did to lose weight (well, and exercise, of course). Also, consider doing a search of "almost homemade". There are lots of healthy recipes out there that require very little preparation on the part of the cook.

01-01-2006, 11:49 AM
Look for 5 min solutions. Try to avoid process food like Lean Crusine, but when you have to go there it is better than fattening stuff. It's lean, just not as healthy. Buy already chopped up stuff. Lettuce in a bag. Chopped onions and bell peppers are in the frozen section. Eat small mini meals throughout the day and you can cook part of your meal all day long. Such as brocolli in one sitting, a peice of fruit in one sitting, a can of asparagus in another sitting. Then for supper I like the lean protein idea followed by salad (which you prepared at the beginning of the week). Eat raw veggies. Eat yogurt. There are many days which I am not prepared to cook. Treat yourself to a Subway sandwhich. Make a wrap. You don't have to cook much, but you do have to be creative. Write it all down on a grocery list. In fact write a master list of all the things you could possibly think to eat that you would be willing to make. Then weekly pick stuff from it. Occassionally add to it.

01-01-2006, 11:56 AM
There are simple cookbooks out there, and quite a few that are designed for people who can't boil an egg. The inability to cook is not genetic! You can learn, and you may find that you actually like it. Plus, when money is tight it can become a rewarding challenge, too.

Try the advanced search on www.epicurious.com. Say you have something around you want to use, eg chicken. You can get it to look for "chicken" with other keywords like "quick", "baked", "low fat". Depending on how many of these keywords you use, you will wind up with 5 or 20 or 100 choices. Some of them are really easy. And then you don't have to get a cookbook, either.


01-01-2006, 01:34 PM
Anyone can learn how to cook! It's simply a matter of following directions ;)

01-01-2006, 01:55 PM
Years ago, I had a cookbook called "The I-Never-Cooked-Before Cookbook." Don't know if it's still out, but I'm sure there's something like it. LLV is right: anyone can cook. It's a matter of motivation, picking meals that aren't so complicated, and following the directions. Thing like hams, chickens, turkey and roasts are no-brainers -- put them in the oven and follow the minutes that are on the packaging. If you're concerned about undercooking, get a meat thermometer. You can easily fix a meal in less than 30 minutes.

01-01-2006, 02:37 PM
Thanks for the support! I'm going to plan ahead today on foods I can eat this week while I'm still on vacation. Sometimes it just gets so overwhelming I give up out of pure frustration, and I know I have a food addiction. Not being a raw fruit and veggie eater doesn't help either. Figuring out what to eat and what not to eat can over power me, and I want it to be more simple....but that's not going to happen. I know it's going to be hard work. I just have to get started.

Thanks again.


01-01-2006, 11:14 PM
I know exactly what you mean.... I cant cook either, nothing beyond toast, and scrambled eggs. but It is a lot easier than it seems, i have been learning slowly but surely. just read the directions.... good luck...



01-02-2006, 09:34 AM
I've found that I eat pretty repetitively when I'm trying hard. Not much variety, which is also easier.

01-03-2006, 09:28 AM
I can't cook. At all. Which was probably one of my biggest problems when I was heavy. I could boil water, make toast, and BAKE (cookies, bread, and other not-so-healthy stuff).

My George Foreman grill has changed my life. I cook (?) salmon, tuna steaks, beef steaks, and veggie burgers on it. Sure beats the heck out of the mac n'cheese, tortellini, and other horrendous pastas I used to eat every night. Give it a try :) .

01-05-2006, 04:23 PM
I got one for christmas, but I wanted to try it before I recommended it, but I used it last night and my lunch today was great. As you can see from my signature I have 3 girls so I use a big one (5 qt), but you can get them in all kinds of sizes for all kinds of prices. How easy is it? I cut up 4 chicken breasts, opened 2 cans of 98% fat free cream of ?? soup (I used chicken & mushroom, but any will work), turned it on low, went to bed. Then Poof-this morning I have lunch for me & dinner for all of us. I ate it alone for lunch, will probably make rice or pasta for the girls to put it on...ooooooo, or mashed potatoes. That would be good too. I found (no idea where, may have been here) a website that is full of WW crockpot recipes and I can PM it to you if you want. I am a really picky eater, so it's good to be able to have a LOT of choices and the ability to make it myself. That way I know what's in there.

01-05-2006, 04:27 PM

Two of the three I was going to suggest have already been suggested : George Foreman grill, a crockpot and a STEAMER. Those are the most wonderful things in the world. Slice open a bag of baby carrots and some brocolli florets, set it to 20 minutes, and walk back when it's dinner time.

You can also steam rice, and I've heard you can steam fish - I've never tried it, though.

01-05-2006, 04:32 PM
Either a crock pot or a George forman grill is a really good start. Also, I think there may be one of those "Idiots guides to cooking" out there. I have several of their books, and they are easy to read and follow. THe instructions are very clear and precise. Also, try watching the Food Network. They have "beginer" cooking shows on Saturday mornings.

01-05-2006, 05:09 PM
Oooo, everybody is GOOD with their suggestions here today! OK, the one I'll add is to check your library (seein' as you're watchin' your pennies) for a Better Homes & Gardens New Dieters Cookbook. Icky name, good cookbook for healthy eating. There is a picture for each item so you know what the finished product will look like and most of the recipes use very common, basic ingredients. I've always been a bit turned off by Cooking Light and some other diet cookbooks (ok, I'll say it, many of the WW cookbooks) because they make cooking sound so....I don't know, like I'm prepping for a chemistry homework assignment. Plus...when I'm especially starting out with a diet, I don't want to spend time and money making things that have unfamiliar flavors and textures. I.e., when I only have a limited number of calories to spend, I want to spend them on something I enjoy!

The other cookbook would be one of those "makeover" ones with the "skinny" versions of favorite recipes. Anybody have the name handy on one of those? I think they would be especially good for family situations.

Also, if you don't like to cook already, then maybe as you find some items that you enjoy, go ahead and double (or triple) the recipes and freeze meals for later. If you do that a few times a week, you'll soon have a nice "back-up" selection in your freezer for those times when all you want to do is heat something up and get it on the table. I used to be much better about setting aside one weekend day a month and making several casseroles, cooling them, and freezing individual portions (with the name and cal count on the ziploc baggie).

01-05-2006, 05:40 PM
Another good, free! (Free is always good! I like free.) Is www.foodnetwork.com They have how to videos on their web site that you can watch, plus serveral sections on calorie concious cooking

01-05-2006, 11:25 PM
Ellie, could you give me the URL for the WW crockpot recipes? Thanks!!! :)

01-06-2006, 12:08 AM
Yep, I'll try don't know if it will work or not, if not PM me. Here goes http://saksfamily.no-ip.com/crockpot.html. Happy crockpot-ing ladies.