It can be hard deciding what to cook when you’re trying to lose weight, but you really don’t have to stick with salads for every meal! Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of planning and some minor changes in the way you cook to help you keep your calorie limits and watch those pounds slip away.
Here are some tips you can try when preparing meals to keep calories and fat to a minimum:
1. Invest a bit more and get a non-stick pan for your basic sautéing instead of slathering on a lot of oil. If you do use oil to cook, be sure to use coconut, olive oil or rbST free organic butter.
2. Include more vegetables in your cooking than meat, dairy, or other items. Vegetables help fill you up with fiber and nutrients, that help keep you full for a longer amount of time. You can also opt to change traditional recipes to reduce their calorie content, such as substituting macaroni in your mac and cheese with broccoli or diced carrots.
3. Whenever you can, avoid deep frying food items. Instead of eating fried chicken, it’s better to boil, roast or bake it to keep the amount of calories in check. In case you didn’t already know, a tablespoon of oil is about 120 calories, and when you deep fry an item, you will be ingesting many unnecessary calories without even noticing it.
4. If you feel oil and sugar is the only way to flavor the food you cook, then you are wrong. Seasonings and extracts have fewer calories and give just as much flavor, and you may realize you have an affinity to them after a while!
5. When baking, try using applesauce to replace sugar as it contains fewer calories.
6. When making desserts, opt for lower calorie ones like fruits with greek yogurt or banana halves topped with ricotta cheese, cocoa powder and cherries.
7. The most important step of all is the preparation you take before cooking. The best way to stick to healthy cooking is to plan your meals in advance and ensure your pantry only stocks ingredients for healthy meals. Make a list of the low-calorie meals you plan to make for the week and only buy the ingredients needed for those meals when you go grocery shopping. This will help you avoid changing your mind at the last minute and cooking something you know you shouldn’t be eating.
These easy-to-follow tips are all you need to remember when you prepare your meals from now on. In the end, it’s all down to your calorie intake, so be sure to make it a priority to stick to your calorie limits. Some studies suggest also, that eating more often, but with smaller meals, helps to regulate your metabolism and assist in weight loss.