It’s official – the kids are out of the house. And you’re gaining weight. Just when you finally have the time to start socializing more and enjoying yourself. Where’s this weight coming from??

Before you start blaming menopause, ask yourself this: How much are you cooking? And I don’t mean how frequently; I mean how many portions? 

Disclaimer: I am a DINK (Dual Income No Kids) lifestyle expert, not an MD. Kids weren’t for me and I specialize in writing recipes for two. And what I hear most often from my empty nesting GenX friends is that they “don’t know how to cook anymore.” Conceptually, this is easy, right? Two chicken breasts, two baked potatoes and a salad…  Except it’s not.

What about pasta? Are you making the whole box? Are you still buying half gallons of ice cream? Family size bags of chips? When you find a recipe for 4-6 servings online or in a cookbook, do you break out a calculator and start halving ingredients, or do you just make the recipe as it’s written and tell yourself that you’re meal planning?

From what I’ve observed, a major source of 50+ weight gain is due to failure to recalibrate cooking practices at home. How much food are you throwing out? If it’s just you and your spouse at home, cooking more than two portions per meal requires you to correctly portion leftovers, and eat them as portioned. This requires a somewhat predictable life; otherwise, your good intentions will end up in the trash. 

So ask yourself – now that you have more freedom, do you want a predictable life? Or would you rather acknowledge that some nights, you’d rather not eat what’s in the fridge and go out?  And bonus – if you right-size your recipes and cook intentionally, you won’t be chained to those silver bricks in your freezer.  

Not convinced? I get it. Chances are, some fitness expert convinced you years ago that if you didn’t meal plan, you’d gain weight.  How’s that workin’ for ya? Meal planning is only as good as meal eating. Otherwise, it’s meal trashing. Very, very few people in my world successfully meal plan and maintain a healthy weight. The rest are kidding themselves.

I’m not saying menopause isn’t a vicious instigator; however, be aware that overcooking begets overeating.  And overeating begets weight gain. Recalibrate your cooking practices to the number of people in your household for 8 weeks and message me on Instagram @DinkCuisine to let me know how it goes!

Weight Up: Empty Nest Recalibration! was last modified: by

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