When on a weight loss journey, we tend to be more careful with what we eat or drink. We cook at home to help with calorie control. But small mistakes like nibbling while cooking or pouring in too much olive oil can sabotage your weight loss journey and lead to packing on more weight. Check if you are guilty of any of the following cooking mistakes and discover how to fix it.
COMMON COOKING MISTAKES
COOKING WITH TOO MUCH OIL
Adding too much oil is a common cooking mistake people make when cooking. Just because its olive oil doesn’t mean you should use too much. A tablespoon of olive oil contains about 120 calories. Adding too much skyrockets the calories in your meal and you might end up eating your daily calorie in one meal. Try to cut down the oil you use for your meal prep even if the recipe calls for it. Don’t just pour in oil, measuring and quantity control is key when it comes to oil.
NIBBLING WHILE COOKING
Lots of people are guilty of Eating while cooking. You have to keep your appetite in check when cooking, otherwise you’ll end up eating half the dish you are making. If you are hungry, try having a mini snack before cooking. A large apple, carrot or a celery stick will do the trick. Cut your choice of fruit or veggies into pieces and eat with a tablespoon of peanut butter spread over it. You can nibble at it before cooking or during meal prep.
LEAVING LEFTOVERS WITHIN SIGHT
Pack up leftovers once you’re done eating. Letting leftovers sit around can lead to overeating. Pack your leftovers in a container. if it’s still hot, allow it to cool before refrigerating it. Make sure you refrigerate within two hours, perishable foods left out for two hours or more allows bacteria to multiply rapidly and can put you at serious risk of contracting food borne illness.
Following recipes just how it is written is another common cooking mistake we make. Don’t be a slave to recipe, cook according to your dietary needs. Substitute ingredients for low calorie or healthier option. Reduce the amount of fat or sugar a recipe calls for by using half of it. The following are examples of substitutes you can use.
- Substitute all purpose flour for whole grain flour
- Substitute sugar for vanilla or cinnamon
- Substitute Syrup for applesauce or sugar free syrup
- Substitute Eggs for egg whites
- Substitute Salt for lime, lemon herbs and spices
Try not to overlook your vegetable while cooking. Over cooking veggies leads to loss of nutrients. To prevent over cooking your veggies, make sure they are tender but firm after cooking. Steam your vegetable rather than boil. Boiling can lead to nutrients being lost in water. Other ways you can cook veggies are sauteing, stir-frying or grilling. These methods allow veggies retain its taste and they are exposed to heat only a short time.
SABOTAGING YOUR SALAD
Eating salads when trying to lose weight is a good idea, but drenching your salad with too much dressing can cause more harm than good. With too much ranch dressing, bacon bits, dried fruits and croutons, a salad can pack half a day’s worth or more of fat and calories. When eating out, reduce the amount of dressing and toppings you add to your salad by asking for your dressing and toppings to be on the side or in another plate so that you can add according to your needs. When making salad at home, avoid drizzling oil for moisture instead squeeze in lemon, lime and orange to make it moist. You can also make own healthy salad dressing with this simple recipe.
CREAMY AVOCADO CILANTRO DRESSING RECIPE
- ½ ripe avocado
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¾ cup fresh cilantro
- ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 2 scallions(spring onions) chopped
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Place avocado, cilantro, yogurt, scallions, garlic, lemon juice, sugar, coconut oil and salt in a blender; Blend until smooth.
- Add to your salad and serve.