Cooking at home is the best way to clean up your diet because you know exactly what you’re eating and can carefully consider each ingredient. However, the complete freedom can also be temptation to cheat just a tad— adding an extra dash of this, or pinch of that, is so easy to get carried away with.
Here are some common habits that happen in the kitchen that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
Overusing the oil.
While some oils do have nutritional value, using too much moves beyond beneficial and moves into a high calorie load. We like using olive oil spray when recipes call for oil as a non-stick agent because the spray only dispenses a small amount of oil. Another kitchen trick that works perfectly is using a bit of broth instead of oil! It prevents food from sticking while adding flavor and avoiding extra calories.
One convenient strategy for easy meals that are ready-to-go is to make a double batch, freezing half for later. In a restaurant, you might put half your meal in a to-go box before you even start eating so you’re sure not to overeat. It’s a good idea to do this at home, too! When you make a big batch, put half away before you start serving yourself. This will help you have a more realistic view of how much food is on your plate.
Sticking with the same seasonings.
There are so many herbs and spices available, and they’re packed with nutritional benefits! Don’t get stuck in the “salt and pepper” rut—try some new seasonings methods! Cutting back on salt will also let the natural flavors of the food shine through, without alteration. If you’re used to cooking with lots of salt, start slow— lessening the increment of salt a little at a time, until your taste-buds don’t need salt anymore. (It does happen!) Just as your buds got used to the salty flavor, they will change to not need it anymore. Use the other spices available to help you get away from the salt shaker.
Following the recipe blindly.
The fun thing about cooking is you can make things according to your own taste, literally. Tailoring a recipe to your taste-buds—and health requirements— is important when you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Substitute some not-so-healthy ingredients for a Fat Flush-friendly ingredient, like Mashed Cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. (Here are a few more healthy substitution ideas!)
Munching too much.
Tasting as you cook is important to adjust seasonings in your dish, but keep in mind that these little nibbles count as intake and will add up. Try having a small snack before you start cooking so you aren’t ravenously hungry, which leads to too much nibbling and ‘testing’. Think sliced veggies or a few almonds.