It can be hard deciding what to cook when you’re trying to lose weight.
Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of planning and some minor changes in the way you cook to help keep you within your daily calorie limits.
Here are some tips you can try when preparing meals to keep calories and fat to a minimum.
1. Cut Out the Oil
Instead of using oil, opt for non-stick zero calorie sprays or butter substitutes with fewer calories. If you are willing to invest more, then get a non-stick pan instead for your basic sautéing.
2. Bring on the Veggies
Include more vegetables in your cooking than meat, dairy, or pasta. Vegetables help fill you up with fiber and nutrients which can 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. Avoid Fried Foods
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. Limit seasoning with sugar and salt
Seasonings and extracts have lesser calories and give just as much flavor, and you may realize you have an affinity to them after a while!
5. Ditch the chips
Instead of reaching for your favorite bag of chips or box of crackers, have lower calories opportunities available. Have cut veggies (like celery, cucumber, carrots, etc.) or rice cakes with salsa.
6. Eat more Fruit
If plain fruit is boring to you, why not add greek yogurt with Stevia as a dipping sauce for apples. Or, banana halves with a tablespoon of peanut butter. When baking, try using applesauce to replace sugar as it contains fewer calories.
7. Plan Your Meals Every Week
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.
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.