Ah, Christmas, the season to be jolly, drink too much and try to get as many mince pies down you as you can. As a nation, Britain is adept at over-consuming during the festive season.
In 2016, The Independent reported that the average Brit consumes 6,000 calories on Christmas Day alone. This might actually show the nation is improving though. A BBC report from 3 years earlier stated that the nation was eating an average of 7,000 calories on the big day. So, pat yourselves on the back for shaving off those unnecessary extra 1,000 calories.
Not surprisingly, after all the fun of the festive season, many people take a look at their waist and decide to get fit in the new year. This is the time that gyms sell most of their memberships, and off-licences take a dip in takings.
Could there be an easier way to lose weight? Is the answer in your kitchen already?
What is the best way to lose weight after Christmas?
It could be said that there are two basic rules of weight loss. These are generally accepted to be exercise and eating healthily.
If you exercise you will burn off calories, and tone up. You will be fitter, have less body fat, and look better. Eating healthier is also important. Reducing calories and fat in your diet will also help you to shed a few pounds.
The problem with the diet part of this equation is that people get bored easily. They may also be strapped for time and so they resort to convenience food instead of cooking.
This is where an Instant Pot, or a multi-cooker with a pressure cooking function, may be able to help.
Breaking down the Instant Pot
One thing to realise before getting too excited is that this appliance doesn’t cook food instantly. The name could be a little misleading there. However, the Instant Pot is capable of producing cooked food far quicker than through traditional methods such as baking.
The reason for this is that the cooker uses very high temperatures to produce steam and build up pressure. This means that essentially, the Instant Pot is a pressure cooker. Yet, the appliance also has many other functions and can cook rice, saute food, and slow cook too.
The appliance has been around for over ten years now and has sold tens of millions of units in the US. It has proved very popular in the UK too, and if you don’t already have one, you may be interested to know whether it could help with weight loss.
Could the Instant Pot help you lose weight?
It must be said that no appliance can make you lose weight unless you use it appropriately. If you are using your multicooker to saute bacon for every meal then you probably won’t see any results.
Nevertheless, the Instant Pot has great potential for helping someone who is dieting to continue. The reasons that the IP may help are to do with the cooking method, a couple of its functions, and the online resources available.
Starting with the latter, there is a wealth of resources on the internet for the Instant Pot. Boredom is the enemy of anyone dieting, but there is a huge range of recipes on websites such as Corrie Cooks, and other Instant Pot bloggers. This means that you can have an almost endless supply of diet-friendly recipes to try out.
The way the Instant Pot cooks, and its functions can also help you to diet.
Why is the Instant Pot’s cooking method diet-friendly?
If you keep making cheesecakes in your IP then it won’t matter how the appliance cooks. However, the cooking method lends itself to making healthy food.
A pressure cooker works by cooking with steam. This means that you rarely ever need to put any oil in the cooker. Therefore, you will reduce the number of calories and fat in your diet if you stick to cooking this way.
Pressure cookers are said to make food more digestible and yet retain more nutrients. So, there could be hidden benefits to pressure cooking your food.
Yet it isn’t just the ability to cook food quickly that is appealing to dieters. Slow cooking can be just as useful to someone who wants to have a hot meal ready in the evening but doesn’t want to spend ages preparing and cooking it. A healthy stew can be made by throwing all the ingredients in the pot before work and then switching the machine to slow cook.
Using the slow cooker could be a good way to avoid the temptation of picking up a takeaway on the way home. Knowing you have a meal already cooked might help with your willpower.
Is the Instant Pot useful for maintaining a healthy diet?
Again, it will depend on what you put in the pot, and how you use it. Typically though, a pressure cooker might be used for stews, soups, broths, and other dishes that lend themselves to lots of vegetables and lean meats.
Because of the lack of oil, you will be eating a lot of lower-fat dishes if you use an IP this way. There may be a few hidden health benefits too.
Cooking under pressure means that food retains more water, and is, therefore, more moist and succulent. This is very good for tougher cuts of meat and means that you can digest them easier.
But, there is also something else to be gained from cooking with steam. Certain food can end up producing carcinogens when cooked at high temperatures. Many people like blackened meats, and even toast. There is a belief though that this can be carcinogenic. Even food that doesn’t go black but still reaches high temperatures may end up producing some of these compounds.
Pressure cookers such as the Instant Pot do not produce these compounds. It is believed that there is little risk of acrylamide, or other carcinogens being produced by pressure cooking.
Why do you need to lose excess weight?
Of course, you may not need to lose weight at all. Bravo to you if that is so. Some people, though, would benefit from losing a few pounds.
The British Nutrition Foundation reports that losing excess weight can help with fertility problems, and lower blood cholesterol levels. There are numerous other health benefits from losing excess fat too.
Being overweight can lead to a loss of self-confidence, back and joint problems, heart disease, diabetes, and many other conditions.
Are there any negatives to using the Instant Pot for weight loss?
The most obvious problem with using an Instant Pot to aid with a diet, is if you don’t already own one. If you don’t have a multicooker already then it means buying another appliance.
The typical kitchen is stuffed with gadgets and appliances already. So, you would need to weigh up whether you are likely to stick to your diet, and whether it is worth the expense of buying another gadget.
Another concern may be that Instant Pots aren’t good for cooking everything. Some things such as fillet steak for instance would be better grilled or cooked in a skillet.
Before embarking on any diet it is worth remembering that exercise is an important part of losing weight, and then keeping those pounds off. An Instant Pot can only help someone to lose weight if it is used to cook lower-calorie, and low-fat food.
Having said that, a multicooker could help someone to shed some fat, and keep them on track through the convenience that they bring. Losing weight in the New Year could be very beneficial healthwise, and in other ways too.There are a number of unintended benefits of losing weight, and these include gaining a boost in self-esteem. Apart from feeling more healthy, you will feel much better about yourself. Before embarking on any new diet and fitness regime, however, it is always worth discussing it with your regular doctor.