Sure, your ready-to-eat delivery dinner may be filled with healthy whole foods and flavorful ingredients, but is it really as good as what you would cook yourself?
Brace yourself, convenience lovers. According to a new study, published earlier this year in Health Psychology, the answer is: no.
Thanks to what researchers have dubbed as the “Ikea Effect,” participants reported that food tasted better when they prepared it themselves, The Wall Street Journal reports.
“When people prepare things—if they build, for example, a cupboard—people like it more,” says Simone Dohle, co-author of the study and a professor at the University of Cologne in Germany.
For the study, the researchers brought in 120 women to taste-test blended drinks and divided them into four groups. The first two groups taste-tested low-calorie raspberry smoothies. One half of the group blended up the raspberries, milk, and sugar themselves, while the other half tried the same smoothie that was prepared by the researchers ahead of time. They found that group that had DIY-ed the smoothie rated the taste significantly higher than the group who got it ready-made.
That’s good news when it comes to your wallet (but not necessarily when it comes to your late-night lo mein cravings)—and it could be a big help if you’re struggling with weight loss and obesity. By focusing on home-cooked meals, you usually are eating healthier ingredients and meals, without even trying.
So next time you really feel like skipping that post-spin chicken and roasted veggies in favor of ordering takeout, drop your phone—you’ll enjoy your DIY so much more.
Just because you’re playing chef at home doesn’t mean you need to spend all night: Try these brilliant and delicious 15-minute recipes you can make any night of the week. Or whip up these Paleo-vegan recipes in 10 minutes or less.