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The much less you prepare dinner, the extra weight you achieve. Which will sound like an over-simplification. However a latest report from Johns Hopkins College hammers house the small-belly advantages of house cooking.

The report’s authors discovered individuals who prepare dinner their very own dinner most nights are inclined to swallow considerably much less sugar, fats, and energy than individuals who not often prepare dinner. (And no, heating up a pre-packaged meal doesn’t depend as “cooking.”) Particularly, at-home cooks eat about 140 fewer energy per day, which might add as much as a number of kilos of added weight over the course of a 12 months, the analysis suggests. Individuals who prepare dinner for themselves additionally reduce on sugar and fats in related proportions, the examine reveals.

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Restaurant meals and pre-packaged meals are typically calorie-heavy and fewer nutritious than stuff you’d put together at house from recent elements, says examine co-author Julia Wolfson, of JHU’s Bloomberg College of Public Well being. Even once you’re cooking the identical gadgets you’d usually order from a restaurant menu, it’s more healthy to eat at house, Wolfson says. Why? “I cooked professionally in eating places for a decade, and restaurant cooking will be very heavy on fat—butter, oil, cream, and many others.—and likewise on salt and sugar,” Wolfson says. “Far more so than what house cooks usually add to their meals.”

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She says deep frying—one of many unhealthiest strategies of meals prep—can be quite a bit much less widespread at house than at eating places. (However, should you’re caught eating out, select one the 15 Off-Menu Wholesome Meals You Can At all times Order.)

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So there’s your greatest one cause to organize your personal meals. However right here’s one other one: Individuals who prepare dinner quite a bit at house eat fewer energy even once they exit to eat, Wolfson’s analysis reveals. She says it’s not clear precisely why that’s the case. It’s doable house cooks eat much less and go for more healthy selections once they dine out just because they’re accustomed to the more healthy stuff they make at house, the examine signifies. So seize a spatula and tie on an apron. If you wish to keep slim and match, you could get your palms soiled within the kitchen, the examine suggests.