You find yourself wanting to improve your diet and either plan a new exercise routine or increase the one you already have but are short of time. It can be difficult to juggle everything in these modern times. Takeaways and convenience food are handy and readily available. Long days at work with overtime and tight deadlines can lead to lack of exercise through tiredness.
2020 saw a global pandemic which left many stranded at home, unemployed and lacking funds for healthy eating. Gyms were locked down and many were unable to keep up their routines and may have ended up in a rut and unable to to train or carry on with their daily exercise patterns.
We all know it is important to exercise and eat healthily and anything that can aid those goals is desirable. There are lots of choices for home gym equipment, diets that promise great results and kitchen gadgets that cut time and make healthy meals.
The Instant Pot is one of these small appliances that has become very popular over the last few years but can you incorporate it into your daily life to help with your training and health plan? How could it help?
What is an Instant Pot?
Firstly you may not have heard of this device or would like to understand a bit more about how it works. An Instant Pot is effectively a modern pressure cooker. Pressure cookers have been around for over 300 years and really became popular through the 1930’s to 50’s. During the Second World War they became very useful for time-short women who were working in factories for the war effort and juggling that with also feeding a family at home.
They work by sealing in the ingredients and liquid and raising the temperature to produce steam. This then increases the pressure inside the pot and the cooking process can begin. After the cooking is finished the pressure is released either through a quick release or through a natural one. They had a reputation for being dangerous in the past due to some explosions from trapped pressure but the modern versions pass numerous safety tests and are perfectly ok to have in the house.
What are the benefits of using an Instant Pot?
You want to know how using one could improve your health and training. The health aspects come from the meals it can make.
Although you could be eating pulled pork, chili con carne, mac and cheese and cakes made in an Instant Pot it is capable of making very healthy dishes. Because the Instant Pot uses steam to cook the food retains a lot of moisture and meat comes out tender and juicy. This means it is easier to digest than meat cooked in an oven or barbecued. The cooking process makes hard-to-break-down proteins easier to digest and also retains more of the nutrients and anti oxidant benefits of some foods than steaming or boiling.
There is no added fat or oil used in these recipes as they rely on steaming to cook so invariably the meals are lower in fat and calories than food prepared with other cooking methods. For example Instant Pot basmati rice is oil-free as it is steamed.
It is easy to skip meals for junk food, snacks and takeaways. Everyone gets tempted or has lazy moments but the Instant Pot lets you pre-set meals so there is less excuse not to eat properly. Put in the ingredients in the morning and set the cooker to either slow cook or to come on later in the day before you come home.
How can it help me train?
Well honestly it can’t actually help you train but it can free up time for you making it easier to visit the gym or yoga classes. Using the features mentioned you can plan your day easier and still have a nutritious meal available in the evening without having to prep or cook anything. Unfortunately you will still have to motivate yourself to go running or lift weights.
You will need to do some planning and either prep your ingredients before you go to sleep or wake up a little earlier to do them in the morning. Once done though it is as simple as popping them in the pot and adding any necessary liquid such as water or stock. You then set the timer to come on later that day. While you are out running or down the gym your pot is cooking away and conveniently keeping the food warm while you return home.
Are there any other benefits besides these?
Apart from freeing up time and hopefully allowing you to exercise more and eat healthier there are a couple of other benefits. They cook up to 70% quicker than other conventional methods of cooking and this means not only do you gain that time but you also save that much energy.
If you use your Instant Pot regularly you could see some differences in your utility bills. Not only this but because of the way it tenderises meat you can use cheaper and traditionally tougher cuts of meat. Braising steak and brisket normally take hours to cook but you can now enjoy these while taking far less time and also saving cash from not buying more expensive cuts.
Will it make any differences to you?
Whether the Instant Pot can make much difference to your lifestyle and bring you any health benefits will depend on how you use it. If you take the time to take advantage of its features you could save time and use that towards sports activities and exercise. There are also plenty of healthy recipes on the internet and taking some time to research and print out some options will insure you don’t get bored too easily and stay inspired to stick to a healthy diet.
If you do use a pressure cooker or Instant Pot you can feel happy that on top of the benefits to yourself you are also cooking in an eco friendly way with less power consumption when preparing your meals.