A no-cook diet plan doesn't mean meals of raw nuts and veggies but rather quick and easily prepared meals with minimal preparation. In terms of weight loss, finding the time to shop for, prepare and cook nutritious meals can be one of the biggest barriers that dieters face to eating healthy. No-Cook diet plans can be nutritious when the right kinds of foods and ingredients are included.
Foods to Include
Much like any other healthy diet, a no-cook diet plan should consist of a variety of nutritious foods. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate recommends a balanced meal consisting of half a plate of fruits and veggies, a quarter of a plate of lean protein and a quarter of a plate of whole grains.
All of these components can be part of a no-cook diet plan. If you're following a raw diet plan, however, you should avoid meat and dairy -- eating these foods raw increases your risk of food-borne illness.
No-cook plans can be a quick and easy way to prepare a healthy meal. These types of recipes often include items such as canned beans, precooked meats and fish, fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits, quick-cooking whole grains, yogurt and cheese. A no-cook breakfast could include a fruit smoothie with whole-grain toast and peanut butter. Lunch and dinner options could be a turkey and cheese wrap, veggie sandwich, three-bean soup or a scoop of chicken salad with almonds served on a bed of greens. For snacks, try a low-sugar granola bar, a handful of almonds or a piece of fruit.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Choose MyPlate
- Vermont Department of Health: Small Steps and Healthy Hints
- EatingWell: Healthy No-Cook Recipes and Tips
- Eat Right When Time Is Tight; Patricia Bannan, M.S., R.D.