There are a lot of little pitfalls in cooking that can hinder your weight loss. Thankfully, there are also a lot of little ways to change your cooking to be healthier and with fewer calories.
Go easy on the nonstick spray.
While it may be a lower-calorie alternative to butter, that doesn’t mean anything if you use too much of it. A lot of people will spray for as much as six seconds! So, what’s the fix? A nonstick pan for cooking and parchment paper for baking can go a long way, and for some dishes like sautéed vegetables you can skip the spray entirely and use chicken broth instead.
Steam your vegetables in the microwave.
The longer vegetables cook the more nutrients they lose. Microwaving cooks them in less time and doesn’t require any extra fats or oils!
Speaking of veggies, cut them bigger!
If you are going to cook your vegetables in oil, you’re going to want them at least a half inch thick. The bigger they are, the less oil you’re eating per vegetable.
Don’t ditch the peel.
A lot of food’s fiber and nutrients, like in apples and potatoes, is found in the skin. Fiber helps you feel fuller, so without these you might not be as satisfied as you could be.
And make sure to wash the peel!
The more pollutants in the body, the slower your metabolism, says a study published by the International Journal of Obesity. Most fresh produce will have some residue of pesticides on it, so be sure to give a thorough (approximately 30 seconds) wash to produce before you cook or eat it.
You can also leave on the chicken skin.
While you still need to take the skin off before you eat your chicken, leaving the skin on while you cook can keep the meat moist and tender, eliminating the need for calorie-laden sauces or mayonnaise. This doesn’t apply, however, if you’re making a soup or casserole.
Also, use a rack when cooking meat.
You don’t want what you’re cooking to sit in its own liquid fat, put a cooking rack in the bottom of the pan to elevate it. You can keep the meat moist by adding some lower-fat liquids like lemon juice or broth.
Finally, lay off the hot sauce.
A single tablespoon of many hot sauce brands can be almost 10% of your daily sodium intake. The more sodium, the more your body makes insulin and the more your body turns sugar to fat. If you like the heat, an easy substitute is cayenne peppers or red pepper flakes.
Cooking is important, but so are the foods. Here at University Bariatrics we’re here to help you with registered dietitians as well as only the safest and most effective bariatric surgeries.