I see it all the time. Someone wants to “clean up” their diet and get serious about losing weight but doesn’t know how to cook. So what do they do? They buy a recipe book or meal plan with complex recipes involving 15 ingredients and 17 elaborate steps. They go out to the grocery store and buy dozens of expensive, fresh ingredients. They spend 30-45 minutes preparing their first meal from the meal plan and it tastes amazing. They feel good. This is going to work. Time to start their fitness journey!
A week later they are back to eating bowl after bowl of cereal and pizza rolls.
What happened? So often we believe that in order to be serious about health and nutrition we have to be amazing cooks who slave over meal prep. But are you really going to eat veggies everyday if you have to spend 45 minutes roasting them in the oven? This is where the microwave comes in. There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a steamable bag of veggies and popping it in the microwave for 5 minutes.
The microwave can really be your best friend if you are trying to lose weight because consistency and sustainability are way more important than optimality. And what’s more consistent and sustainable than convenience? Are you really going to find the time to prep and cook raw chicken every week for the rest of your life? It’s perfectly ok to buy frozen precooked grilled chicken and pop it in the microwave for two minutes. Is this the cheapest or tastiest way to prepare chicken? Certainly not. But it’s sure damn convenient. And when you’re fighting the temptation to throw those pizza rolls in the microwave because you don’t feel like spending 45 minutes cooking your family dinner – allowing yourself the convenience of microwaving chicken, veggies, etc. is perfectly fine.
Just remember, the perfect is the enemy of the good. It’s better to do something 80% optimally for ten years than to crash and burn over and over trying to do something 99% optimally.