If you don’t like cooking, do not know how to cook, or live on your own so that you don’t want to have to cook healthy meals for one, having some healthy no-cook meal ideas or knowing how to eat healthy without cooking can be extremely helpful.
Unfortunately, most of the healthiest no-cook foods or healthy prepared diet foods are extremely expensive, which is yet another obstacle to sticking with a nutritious diet or weight loss diet if you hate cooking or don’t have the time or interest in cooking healthy meals.
So, what are the best ways to eat healthy without cooking? What about the cheapest way to eat healthy without cooking?
In this guide, we will discuss tips for how to eat healthy without cooking or doing extensive meal prep, and then provide some of the best healthy no-cook meals and healthy easy recipes for weight loss that will keep you out of the kitchen but on target for your goals.
We will cover:
- Can You Eat Healthy Without Cooking?
- How To Eat Healthy Without Cooking
Let’s jump in!
Can You Eat Healthy Without Cooking?
Cooking healthy meals for weight loss works for some people, and indeed evidence suggests that meal planning is associated with a lower risk of obesity.
However, if you hate cooking, have a very busy life and no time to cook, don’t have access to a kitchen, live by yourself, or are the only one in your household following a particular diet, cooking healthy meals for weight loss may simply be unrealistic, if not impossible.
The alternative to meal prepping for weight loss or cooking healthy weight loss meals is buying prepared healthy foods from the grocery store or buying healthy takeout options from restaurants.
There are a growing number of nutritious prepared foods available at the grocery store that can work for different weight loss diets such as the keto diet, vegan diet, other low-carb diets, low-sodium diets, and gluten-free diets.However, buying prepared keto foods, healthy weight loss foods, and organic vegan foods for weight loss can be extremely costly, even if you buy foods for weight loss diets in bulk.
Therefore, in either of these cases, knowing how to eat healthy without cooking, or having some healthy no-cook meal ideas or simple weight loss recipes that involve minimal cooking can help you stick with your diet while working with your lifestyle needs.
How To Eat Healthy Without Cooking
There are a couple of different ways that you can eat healthy without cooking.
Here are a few no-cooking diet possibilities:
#1: Eat Out or Take Out
As mentioned, you can eat at healthy restaurants such as salad bars or choose the most nutritious foods at restaurants.
However, this tends to be extremely costly and generally not as healthy as you think.
Most studies suggest that restaurant portions are up to eight times larger than what a normal serving size should be, and even the “healthiest“ appetizers, sandwiches, entrées, and salads from restaurants tend to be loaded with salt, fat, sugar, and processed oils.
#2: Barter for Meal Prep and Cooking
If you live alone and you hate cooking, or you have a roommate, one possibility is to trade services with your roommate or find a neighbor or coworker to work with.
Perhaps he or she loves to cook and is already meal-prepping weight loss foods or meal-prepping diet foods that work with your eating plan and wouldn’t mind making an extra portion for you.
In return, you could offer a different service that you don’t mind doing. Perhaps with a roommate situation, you could take over all of the cleaning, or pay an extra portion of the utilities.
With an elderly neighbor, perhaps you could do all of the landscaping, raking, shoveling, trash pick up, walking their dog, tutoring a child in school, or doing all of the grocery shopping if they prepare the food list for the week.
This sort of quid pro quo situation can be the cheapest way to eat healthy without cooking.
Plus, it is beneficial to both parties and you will still get healthy home-cooked meals but you won’t have to do buy expensive pre-made foods or do the cooking yourself.
#3: Try a Healthy Meal Delivery Kit
Unfortunately, most of the meal delivery kit boxes like HelloFresh, Sun Basket, and Every Plate do involve cooking.
Therefore, if you want no-cook meal ideas, do not like cooking, don’t have time to cook, or just don’t want to spend whatever limited time you have trying to meal prep healthy meals, these meal kits won’t work well for you.
However, there are a growing number of meal delivery options that have pre-prepared flash-frozen meals and only require reheating in the oven, toaster oven, microwave, or even just thawed and eaten without any meal prep.
My pick for the best healthy meal delivery service that doesn’t require any cooking or very minimal meal prep for healthy meals is Daily Harvest.
You can choose how many meals per week you want, sometimes even selecting the specific healthy meals for the week based on a rotating menu of healthy recipes offered, and then the pre-portioned, diet-friendly meals are delivered right to your door every week in a box.
You simply heat and eat the prepared meal or follow very minimal meal prep instructions to get a delicious, often chef-crafted nutritious breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack prepared in a matter of minutes.
So, what does “very minimal meal prep“ mean for healthy meal delivery subscriptions like Daily Harvest?
Heating pre-portioned artisanal low-calorie flatbreads in an oven, warming up a superfood-packed harvest bowl with whole grains and root veggies in the microwave or buzzing together a fruit and veggie-loaded smoothie with seeds and functional foods.
You generally don’t need to get any dishes dirty and don’t have any meal cleanup since the Daily Harvest vegan meals and snacks come right in containers you can eat from.
I love all of the Daily Harvest vegan flatbreads, soups, superfood smoothies, and especially the superfood bites, which are these little delicious nuggets you can eat on the go for breakfast or have as a snack.
Even if you aren’t vegan, you will love how hearty and wholesome these meals feel while “sneaking“ in tons of veggies, whole grains, super seeds, healthy fats, nuts, and anti-inflammatory foods rich in antioxidants.
You can choose which meals you want based on your dietary preferences, budget, how little cooking you want to do, etc.
If you aren’t looking for healthy vegan meals and prefer a healthy keto meal delivery option or low-carb meals without cooking, you can experience a similar type of service for frozen ready-to-eat healthy meal delivery and prepared frozen keto meals from Factor.
Factor started as a keto diet meal kit or meal subscription service.
The company has now expanded to include breakfast, lunch, and dinner options for other diets such as plant-based diets, low-sodium diets, low-carb diets that aren’t necessarily keto diet specific, and general weight loss or low-calorie frozen meals.
As with Daily Harvest, Factor meal delivery subscriptions allow you to choose a certain number of meals you will get per week, and then every week, you can also choose the specific meals you want to have delivered based on a rotating menu of healthy recipes offered.
These sorts of healthy no-cook meals like those from Daily Harvest and Factor are great because they are super easy to prepare, give you a rotating menu of meals to choose from so you don’t get sick of eating the same thing, and require no dishwashing or cleanup.
#4: Assemble Healthy Meals Without Cooking
The easiest way to eat healthy meals without cooking is to essentially “assemble“ meals instead of cooking them.
For example, you can “put together” a healthy meal by choosing convenience foods or prepared foods that work with your diet and then putting them together.
You might use a bento box container and then have some hummus, pre-cut crudités, some thawed frozen edamame, a pouch of healthy tuna, a couple of whole grain crackers, a handful of grapes, and some roasted pumpkin seeds in the containers.
For some more ideas on healthy convenience snacks for weight loss, check out our guide here.