Many people have a goal for weight loss but struggle to reach that goal. It can be hard to balance your life and needs with healthy nutrition habits. It can also be hard to know where to start when there are so many weight-loss trends and different opinions on the best weight-loss food.
Cooking for weight loss doesn't have to be complicated. It doesn't need to involve intricate food preparation either. The key is starting where you are and making small, sustainable changes you can maintain over the long term.
Balancing your nutritional habits with your lifestyle is essential. You want your weight loss journey to fit into your life. Here are our top 5 cooking tips that can help you reach your weight loss goals.
#1. Cook Your Own Food
Cooking your healthy food will not only save you money but will also give you more control over what you put into your body. When you order a takeaway or eat at a restaurant, you can never be sure what is going into the food. It is convenient, but you may end up eating empty calories you could avoid if you were to make it yourself.
Many places might use unnecessary amounts of fat and sugar when they prepare their food. They do this because it is usually cheaper to produce that way. It makes the food satisfying and gives your tastebuds a real exciting experience, so you will want to come back for more. While these are good ideas if you are running a food-based business, it is not a great approach to weight loss.
During your weight loss journey, there will be multiple areas in your life that need to come together to support your fitness goal. The best way you can be in charge of your nutrition habits is to eat food that you make from scratch using primarily fresh and wholesome ingredients. It helps you take accountability for your progress and reach your weight loss goals faster.
#2. Use Oil Sprays
When talking about macronutrients, oils come under fats. Fats are the most calorific macronutrients. Thus, it's very easy to consume excess calories when you add a little more fat to your food than needed. If you are using too much oil in your cooking, that will hinder your weight loss journey.
You could be eating the healthiest food in the world, but if there is too much fat and an excess of calories added from oil, you will not see the results you want. One way you can avoid this is by using sprayed oils instead of pouring oil into a pan. Spray oil helps you cover more area while still keeping your calorie count down.
#3. Grill or Steam Instead of Frying
Another way you can cut down on calories is to switch how you prepare your food. Frying food uses a lot of oil again, which we know adds more calories to your meal. On the other hand, heating oil and cooking in such hot oil for an extended time changes the oil's properties and creates new compounds that may negatively affect your health. So, minimizing fried food in your diet is a good idea on more than one account.
How can you cook your food to decrease the number of calories from excess fat and protect your health? Grilling, steaming, or cooking in the oven or an air fryer are all excellent options. You will still get all the flavor but with significantly fewer calories.
#4. Try Spiralized Veggies Instead of Pasta
Many people are not getting enough vegetables in their diet. Many also eat pasta and other processed carbohydrates more often than it's sensible, making it harder for them to lose weight. Do you think you might be guilty of that? I have good news.
The problem isn't with eating pasta in general. It's more about the amount and frequency and whether or not your overall food intake leaves you in a calorie deficit crucial for weight loss.
Incorporating more vegetables and cutting down on processed carbohydrates can be done simultaneously by trading your pasta for spiralized vegetables like carrots or zucchini. Imagine eating the spaghetti dish you love so much while also consuming fewer calories!
I am not going to lie. It will taste different, the texture will be different, but it will also add extra flavor to your favorite dish. You never know. You might find a new favorite food you can add to your repertoire.
#5. Swap Potato Chips for Air Popped Popcorn
Sometimes you need a salty and crunchy snack, and just because you are trying to lose weight, you shouldn't always have to sacrifice that. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips, you can replace that with some air-popped popcorn to satisfy that craving.
Potato chips are high in calories, fat, and sodium, which can jeopardize your fat loss goals. Air-popped popcorn doesn't use oil, so you will not have to worry about large amounts of fat or calories. You will also have more control over the sodium levels if you need to watch your salt intake. Furthermore, you can make up your flavors by creating herb seasoning or even some vegetable dips for it.
As you can see, these tips will work for any weight loss journey you are on. They can be applied to most recipes with minor tweaks, so you can still keep eating the food you love but make progress towards your weight loss goals. The vital thing to do is listen to your body and keep making those small, healthy changes and stick to them consistently.