5 ways to eat healthier
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5 ways to eat healthier

My top recommendation for people who want to improve their health is to cook most of their meals. However, this is just 1 of 5 ways to eat healthier.

Keep in mind no one strategy works for everyone and there is no reason for you to marry to one strategy for the rest of your life. Circumstances change, and you should be able to change and adapt with them. As usual, my suggestion is to try different things and see what works for you at the present moment, and what may work for you under different circumstances.

5 ways to eat healthier

1. Cooking most of your meals

This is often the best way of ensuring you are eating healthy, monitoring your energy intake and saving money. You can choose to cook every meal if you have the time but for most of us a few to several times per week is more feasible. With a little planning you can cook enough to have leftovers on the days you can’t cook. You can also designate one day a week for meal prepping for the rest of the week.


  • Control over what goes into meals
  • Control over portion sizes and macros
  • Can save money
  • Fun and/or relaxing for some
  • Learn valuable life skills


  • Time-consuming
  • Requires some skills (knife skills, cooking skills)
  • Requires some equipment (pots, pans, knives, stove, oven, etc.)
  • Poor planning can lead to food waste

2. Preparing most of your meals

Similar to cooking most of your meals, but for people who can’t or don’t like to cook. With this option you are putting your meal together based on components that have been pre-cooked or pre-prepared. For example, a bag of salad mix + a can of tuna.


  • Some control over what goes into meals
  • Control over portion sizes and macros
  • Can save money


  • Requires some skills (food label reading)
  • Requires some planning
  • Limited to locally available options
  • Some pre-prepared items may be less healthy or have lower nutritional value than those cooked from scratch

3. Meal kits

There are several companies that offer meal kits delivered to your home on a weekly basis. The box contains the ingredients you need to cook the meals you selected for that week, sometimes along with the printed recipes (otherwise you can look up the recipes on the company’s app or online). You won’t receive common ingredients such as salt, pepper and oil. A couple of the most popular meal kits in Australia are Hello Fresh and Marley Spoon. At some stage major supermarkets started offering their own meal kits but I’m not sure they are still available.


  • Easier and more convenient than cooking from scratch
  • Requires almost zero planning
  • You can still have fun and/or relax while cooking if you enjoy it
  • Opportunity to try new dishes/cuisines
  • Learn to cook by following simple recipes


  • More expensive than doing your own shopping
  • Most services operate on subscriptions which you need to remember to pause if you go away, etc.
  • No control over ingredients they send you
  • Usually results in extra packaging, some of which may be difficult to recycle
  • Limited ability to select meals that align to your taste, dietary preferences, energy/macro requirements, etc.

4. Ready-made meals

These days you can find ready-made meals in most supermarkets, some other grocery shops and online. Moreover, many companies cater to health-conscious and/or active populations, making their products a much better option than restaurant or takeaway meals. Ready-made meals come either fresh or frozen, with many manufacturer offering both options. Most meals need to be reheated prior to consuming.


  • Convenient
  • Ability to see ingredients lists, allergens and nutrient content


  • Limited availability in some locations
  • No control over portion size, ingredients, macronutrient distribution, etc.
  • Texture of some ingredients/meals suffers with storage
  • Sustainability issues depending on packaging
  • Can be cost-effective when buying in bulk
  • You don’t learn any cooking skills

5. Personal chef

Yes, yes, I know most of us are not millionaires, but this is a really good option to get highly customised meals without having to cook them yourself. Many personal chefs also have knowledge in nutrition so they can cater for specific body composition or athletic goals. Many sports dietitians cook for the athletes/teams they work for, so I would consider them in this category.


  • Customised meals
  • Possibly the best tasting option
  • Save time
  • Access to meals you don’t know how to make


  • Cost
  • You don’t learn any cooking skills
  • Potential lack of control over what goes in your meals (depending on the chef)

[Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash]

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