MasterChef Winner On Why Aussies Give Up Making Dinner At Precisely 5.40pm

Aussies would rather binge-watch Netflix than cook dinner.

Surveying more than 1000 Aussies, the research by Australian Lamb pinpointed the exact moment we give up on making dinner and decide to order in.

At 5.40pm, it's tools down in the kitchen.

At this time, we ditch cooking and order take out, with two in five of us preferring to binge Netflix than whipping up something for dinner.

Photo; Getty

But it's not just hitting the 5.40 pm mark that leads to people making poor eating decisions, 2016 MasterChef winner Elena Duggan, said.

"It's also the mid-week slump," she told 10 daily.

"When you just think you have so much to do and there's still so long to go in the week."

Why Do We Give Up on Cooking?

For 67 percent of women and 49 percent of men, feeling tired or getting home late is the biggest cooking obstacle.

Almost two-thirds of those living in NSW and Victoria find work stress reduces their inclination and inspiration to cook when they get home.

Not having enough time for food preparation was the reason 61 percent of women don't cook during the week, with that number dropping to 48 percent of men.

Photo: Getty
The Food Delivery Trap

With many not bothered to cook during the week, more than 58 percent of people order take out instead, and Queenslanders are the worst, with 63 percent ordering food at least once a week.

Australians spend $2.6 billion a year on food delivery and drinks, and this excess food ordering has left 81 percent of Aussies feeling like they've wasted money on take away.

READ MORE: Aussies Spend $140 A Month On Coffee And Takeaway, And It's Totally Blowing Their Budgets

READ MORE: Australia's Growing Food Delivery Habit Is Negatively Impacting Our Health

Two-thirds of people feel guilty for even opening a food delivery app.

Photo: Getty

Cooking at home is not just beneficial for the hip pocket, but for many people's wellbeing as well.

"I've had more coach potato remorse than cooking remorse," Duggan said.

"Being prepared can mean cooking can be quicker than waiting for a delivery."

The majority of Aussies, 89 percent, admit they feel happier and healthier when they eat meals they have cooked themselves rather than order take out.

And for 64 percent of the nation, cooking dinner is the biggest achievement of their day.

Photo: Getty
Finding That Cooking INspiration

For Duggan, it's all abut having fun in the kitchen and having "flavour bombs" ready to go.

"Put on some music, move your hips when you cook, get your whole body moving," she said.

"Flavoursome hacks, like dukkahs, pestos or marinades in the pantry or freezer can bring inspiration back to your meals."

Duggan said by using her time wisely on a weekend and getting as much food preparation done, such as chopping vegetables, getting pestos or marinades ready, or cooking food to be put in the freezer for later in the week.

For those who meal prep but by the end of the week get bored of eating the same thing, mix-and-matching ingredients is the way to go.

"If you use carrots, capsicums and onions in a stir fry one day, you can use those in an omelette the next," Duggan said.

Keep things simple and put each ingredient into a separate container so they can be grabbed as needed. Smart-thinking about what foods to buy, such as thin cuts of meats that cook quickly, can also make the cooking process easier.

But the biggest hurdle is the language we use and how cooking is considered a "burden", Duggan said.

"Instead of saying 'I have to cook', we should be saying 'I get to cook'", she said.

Main image: Elena Duggan Instagram.