How to Eat Healthy Without Cooking: 10 Ideas!


Nagina Abdullah


November 26, 2018

Love healthy food shortcuts? Here are 10 ways to eat healthy without cooking.

Want to eat healthy, but don’t have time to cook? 

I get it! The last thing you feel like doing after a long day is to stand for hours in the kitchen.

Today, you learn how to eat healthy without cooking.

Want to learn more? Read on!

How to eat healthy when you don’t have time to cook

How can you eat healthy if you hate cooking?

Great question. I used to be there, too. Not that I hate cooking (I actually like it a lot), but with a busy corporate job and two kids at home, I just didn’t have time to cook. 

Any time I spent in the kitchen was time away from my family. 

And let’s face it — when I came home, drained after a stressful day at work, I didn’t feel like spending every evening cooking. 

But by using healthy, no-cook foods, I can now spend my time doing fun activities with my kids, like hiking, skiing, and playing in the water… AND lose weight at the same time.

hiking with kids

I’m not alone. My clients are busy, professional women who don’t have time to cook. Yet, they go on to lose 20-60 pounds with simple lifestyle changes. 

You see, with the right foods, you boost your metabolism so that your fat melts off while you’re watching Netflix with your spouse or playing with your kids. 

According to research, foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts help shave off weight. Other foods include lean protein. Processed foods high in starches, refined grains, fats and sugar lead to weight gain. 

Unfortunately, many ready-made meals are processed. For example, that pizza or sandwich you take on the go is probably loaded with sugar, starches, and other not-so-good ingredients. 

And the quality of your food counts too. A calorie isn’t a calorie, but instead, you need to eat the right type of food. 

Specific foods that are real weight-loss boosters include: 

So, now you know what to eat. But the question is:

How do you use these foods without having to cook?

Here are 10 smart ideas for how to eat healthy without cooking!

1. Whip up a smoothie to bring down your weight

The first defense against cooking and pro-healthy eating is easy. Smoothies! They’re so healthy because they have a big dose of your daily recommended servings of fruit and veggies. They’re packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals to support your whole body and brain. 

They take literally 5 minutes to whip up, and you get to have a shake for breakfast! If you make them more filling with good quality protein, they’ll sustain you well into lunchtime.  

Some of my favorite ways to bulk up a smoothie to be more filling are protein powder, greek yogurt, or nut butter. 

Here are some of my recent smoothie recipes with modifications to make them more filling and fat burning.

How to eat healthy without cooking - smoothies
Add cinnamon to your smoothie for extra blood sugar stability and sweetness. One of the many benefits of cinnamon.

2. Handheld foods are easy to take, make, and eat

Not just any sandwich will help burn away that annoying layer of fat. Use a high fiber bread (I recommend Ezekial bread) or better yet, try making a wrap with collard greens for easy, quick handheld foods that are WAY healthier than store-bought on white or even whole wheat bread. 

Make sure you prioritize protein again with meats or hard boiled eggs, healthy fats with avocado, and healthy carbs with hummus or another bean spread.

3. Stay sustained throughout the day to keep your metabolism up

When you allow yourself to get too hungry, your blood sugar dips too low and you become ravenous. It’s way too easy to eat junk food when you’re this hungry and even if you get a healthy meal, you’ll probably overstuff yourself. That means you’ll have trouble digesting, which bloats you.  

Plus, fast food has been shown to be addictive. It’s easy to get stuck in the vicious cycle of eating junk food on busy days and ultimately, making it a habit. 

That’s why, if you start to feel your tummy growling in the afternoon, you should choose healthy, high-protein, low sugar foods (nuts, avocado, greek yogurt). 

Try some no-cook, no-bake healthy easy snacks and meals like chia seed pudding or overnight oats. You just pour chia seeds or oats into jars at night, top with nuts, berries, and unsweetened almond milk, and let it sit in the fridge. 

In the morning, breakfast is served! Or you can have it as an afternoon snack.

Either way, you boost your metabolism while eating healthy food that requires zero cooking.

4. Cheat! Microwave to reheat healthy meals or zap fresh veggies

Don’t be afraid to use the microwave. If you have healthy leftovers that need to be warmed up, zap away! There are also really easy ways to cook vegetables in the microwave now, like healthy quinoa or green beans in a microwaveable bag.

Read this article for more foods that burn belly fat.

I wouldn’t microwave stuff in plastic too often, because of the risk of it leaching into the food. You can transfer it to a glass bowl or container and then microwave. 

P.S. Check out my post on the benefits of using a BPA free water bottle.

5. Set-it-and-forget-it = watch the pounds fall away

I love crock pot meals because they’re SO easy and, at the same time, you can make them really healthy.

Spend 15 minutes tossing food into the crock pot and walk away. Try this crock pot lentil recipe or other healthy comfort-food crock pot bean recipes

6. Batch cook to set up your week for smooth calorie-burning

Another option to make your week easier is to cook in bulk. On the weekend, spend a few hours cooking big batches of food to get you through the week. I like to cook a big batch of this curried garbanzo beans recipe that helped me lose my first 10 pounds

7. Cooking with friends is more fun

Have a cooking party with a friend or two! You can spend a Saturday sipping sparkling water and catching up with friends while you all cook meals for the week together.

How to eat healthy without cooking - time with friends
Enjoy this scrumptious cinnamon tea recipe, served hot or over ice.

It’s way more fun than feeling trapped in the kitchen by yourself, it makes the time go by so much quicker, and hey, laughing burns calories too!

8. When eating out, don’t be afraid to modify

Something a lot of people ask me is, “how can I eat out and still eat healthy?” 

There are some rules of thumb: 

Ask for steamed veggies instead of a deep-fried side dish, ask for the dressing on the side so you can decide how drenched your salad is. 

Also, opt for white fish or a vegetarian/vegan main course instead of red meat. 

These little modifications can make a big difference in the number of calories you eat during your meal, and how heavy you feel when you leave the restaurant.

That said though, something I teach in my weight loss program Slim Down Transformation is moderation. You can lose weight even if you eat chocolate cake on the weekends — it’s all about eating healthy most of the time.

Like my accountability weight loss coaching client  Tree, who lost 20 pounds but enjoyed her chocolate cake when eating out.

Facebook weight loss post

9. Don’t eat the whole thing in one sitting

Most restaurant meals are way bigger than we would ever serve ourselves at home. Eat slowly, enjoy the food and the company, and pay attention to when your tummy gives you the “I’m getting full” signal.

When you feel satisfied, but not uncomfortably stuffed, ask for a box to take the rest home. You can heat it up for lunch tomorrow and split the calories for each meal in half. Eating less in one setting also aides in a low sodium diet, which reduces bloating and that “full feeling”.(1)

10. Eat at grocerants and still slim down

When you don’t have time to make a meal, here’s a great solution for how to eat healthy without cooking. Eat prepared foods at a grocery store. More and more grocery stores are offering healthy hot and raw food. The Whole Foods hot bar is a great example. 

You can read the ingredients, sometimes even the nutrition facts. You pick and choose exactly what fat-busting foods go into your body without doing more than scooping it up.

Over to you!

There you have it! Now you know how to eat healthy without cooking.

Next, let me know:

What are some healthy shortcuts you take when you don’t feel like cooking?

Drop a quick comment below!

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Nagina Sethi Abdullah, BA, MBA

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for middle-aged women and professionals. She coaches women to boost their metabolism naturally, shed pounds and keep them off. Her work with weight loss clients led to the creation of Masala Body, an online weight loss platform that provides an easy and accessible system that helps women sustainably lose weight. She has helped over 1200 women successfully lose from 10-80 lbs and create a sustainable lifestyle change. Nagina earned her degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

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