Healthy Cooking for Weight Loss
Weight loss diets can be hard to keep straight—especially when you are trying to follow your meal plan while on the go. Restaurants put the basics on the menu, but trap words like “marinated,” “dressed,” and “home-style” all indicate that there is more to the item than meets the eye, and those special sauces can add up to calorie overload.
If you want to keep off the weight you’ve lost with medical weight loss, Fayetteville and DeWitt restaurants are going to need to get a rest for a little bit. Cooking at home is the best way to control ingredients, portion sizes and ultimately the calories that you are consuming.
However, if you aren’t accustomed to cooking at home it can be a little confusing to get started—and if you have a family to feed, finding something that each member will enjoy can be pretty tricky. By using the right ingredients and mastering a few basic skills, you can start creating healthy meals that taste great. And if you do it right, you can save a pretty penny by dining in.
Timing out a well-balanced meal is often the trickiest part of cooking. Keep in mind that meat will generally take the longest to cook, while side items that require boiling water will also take more time than simpler sides like salads. When you start cooking, go ahead and pre-heat the oven and get water boiling right away. That way you have everything ready when you need it.
What you’ll need to cook depends on the recipe you are following. However, when you are just getting started there are a few basic ingredients you’ll want to keep around your house.
The basic ingredients:
- Lean meats: Include proteins like chicken, fish and pork chops. To keep meat fresh longer, wrap pieces individually in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-proof gallon bag.
- Vegetables: To start, go for basics like broccoli, carrots and fresh salad ingredients. Frozen veggies work great for casseroles and are very inexpensive to load up on, so you might benefit from keeping a few bags in your freezer.
- Starch: You’ll want to go easy on the starches, but depending on your weight loss diet you might want to have whole grain rice and pasta around the house. Potatoes are also handy for a filling side dish.
- Spices: Spices are a great way to add flavor to your meal. They are very low in calorie content and usually have a bit of nutritional benefit to them. Pick up spices like rosemary, thyme, paprika, garlic salt and fresh black pepper to add flavor to your meat and veggies.
Don’t make the mistake of frying all of your food as you attempt to cook light with oils. Purchase a high smoking oil like vegetable or canola oil and only cook with about 1 to 2 tbsps. per one pound of meat. To sauté meat, heat oil on the stove top at medium to medium-high and brown both sides of the item for just a few minutes, until it is cooked the whole way through.
If you try using too much oil, you could quickly compromise the health content of the meal you are about to enjoy.
Do you have any tips or recipes that you enjoy? Please share in a comment below!