The key to being slim? More time in the kitchen

Avoiding the kitchen like the plague is not the answer to losing weight, in fact the more time you spend in there the thinner you’ll be, according to new research.

As much as we might to try to avoid it when we’re restricting calories, those who spend more time preparing food are healthier than those who merely dash in and out.

The study, conducted by ElectrIQ a manufacturer of kitchen gadgets, found that those who spend 45 minutes or more in the kitchen per day have lower BMIs than those who only spend a short amount of time preparing meals.

Not only will they be eating healthier foods, but the research suggested that those who set aside more time to spend on their diets tend to be more active too.

Of the UK adults surveyed, 39% of those who had a healthy BMI (of 18.5 – 24.9) on average spent 45 minutes or more preparing meals per day. Those who spend this amount of time or more preparing their food were also found to be more active, with 42% reporting they exercised ‘2 – 3 times per week’.

This is in contrast to those who only spend 30 mins preparing food per day, of which only 23% exercised 2 – 3 times per week. 45% of those who spent less time on making their meals also reported having an unhealthy BMI of 25 or more.

Victor Stoica, managing director at ElectrIQ, commented: “What we can see here is that there is a clear correlation between the level of fitness, and time spent preparing food. Clearly those who are spending very little amounts of time in the kitchen – perhaps eating on impulse instead of preparing full meals, or just shoving pre-made dishes into the oven – are not putting as much time or thought into their diets, and this is having a knock-on effect in terms of their weight. Meanwhile, those who are more considered in their food preparation are more likely to exercise on a regular basis and be fitter.

“The good news, however, is that while spending more time preparing food suggests you are more inclined to make better choices – you don’t have to spend ages cooking to be healthy.”

Those who put more time into cooking were also more likely to regularly get their full 5-a-day of fruit and vegetables, with 1 in 4 reporting they did so ‘almost daily’ – compared with 1 in 5 of those who spent less than 30 minutes per day.