I want to lose weight but I don't have time to cook for myself.
Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisine are not an option for me. With their high sodium content, I might as well be chugging down a block of salt with a glass of seawater. I'm looking for a diet plan that consists of whole grains, lean meats, and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Something well-balanced to ensure I get my daily supply of vitamins and minerals. I'd rather lose weight by eating healthy food than by eating controlled amounts of junk food (read: Jenny Craig). Jenny Craig might work for someone who is significantly overweight, but not for someone who is trying to lose 5-10 vanity pounds. Besides, if I were to start eating cookie and pasta again , it would feel like I was taking a step backwards.
You have two choices.
Choice one is to take one day a week and cook several meals and freeze them.
Choice two is to call around to local catering companies and ask if they will prepare a meal plan of your choice for you to either pick up and deliver what you want.
You literally have no time to cook for yourself? I work full time, have two kids with activities for each during the week and on weekends, I exercise and find time to craft and I can still prepare multiple meals a day for my family.
If you don't want to or don't feel like you can, that's your choice. I just find it difficult to believe when people say they don't have time to cook. There's a plethora of recipes out there that take less than 30 minutes from fridge to table and I've even seen collections that take less than 15.
There's also once a month cooking that can be done in a single day over a weekend.
All that being said, when I was growing up, my mother and her friend started a business that consisted of them going into a client's kitchen and cooking up a weeks' worth of meals and freezing them in individual portions with heating instructions written right on the packaging. They worked with many people that had specific dietary restrictions and some that just had special requests, such as yours. She called herself a personal chef, although that's not quite the same.
This would have been in the early to mid 90s and they charged $300 per week and up, depending on the dietary restrictions/requests.
I do exactly what you're asking for 3 families in Chicago. I found many of my clients on craigslist, so look there for a someone posting as a "personal chef", or post yourself with exactly what you're looking for. You might also look for a personal chef service in your area. It's not cheap, but people really love it!
I always laugh a little when people say they don't have time for things like:
- cooking for themselves
Reminds me of being in college not so long ago and hearing people complain about not having enough time to study, then they would be partying all weekend and wasting their "study" time in the library by watching youtube videos.
If you actually care enough about something you WILL make time for it. There are 24 hours in a day, surely you can find 30 minutes a day to make yourself a meal. Or as someone already suggested on the weekend you can mass cook some meals for the rest of the week.
I'd say advertise for a personal chef if you've got the money. Basically anything pre-packed is going to be high in something and lacking somewhere else and honestly won't do you much of a favor.
Otherwise, I guess you can do pre-cut fruit and veg from the store and repack it into snack portions. I know they sell smaller containers but I think the larger party trays would be more cost effective.
I do a lot of cook ahead meals and crockpot cooking. The cook ahead is great for nights that we're pressed for time and would otherwise get take out and the crock pot does all the hard work since I can just set that and forget it. I can't tell you how much stress that takes off my shoulders in football season with 3 cheerleaders and a football player in the house!
If you'd like any recipes, let me know! Wish I could be more help since it's pretty much pre-packed = unhealthy in some manner
Also! I just thought of this! Our grocer sells pre-packed meals like kabobs that are already assembled and you just have to cook them, or stuffed peppers already assembled that also require cooking. I think that'd be healthier then the pre-done diet foods and the prep time is taken out for you
A lot of the time, I get all the prepping done the night before then all I have to do is cook the meal...I have several great low cal, low fat, good health cookbooks that are a huge help....
If you don't have time to cook, have you considered a meal delivery program? I have tried a few (some are good and some are just gross). Check out what I have to say about them on my blog (created to share my weight loss success and brag a little bit).