Generally speaking, home-cooked meals are supposed to be healthy because you’re more conscious about the ingredients you use. But there are a few mistakes that you’re making that could make you fatter. Eating healthy foods plays a huge role for people who are trying to lose weight. And, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, nearly 50 percent of Americans try to shed that extra fat and keep fit every year. While some take to exercising, others change their diets completely, including cooking more meals at home. If you’re doing everything right but the extra pounds don’t seem to budge, here are the top cooking mistakes you’re making that could be canceling your weight loss efforts.
1. Using Excess Oils in Your Cooking
Cooking oils are a must-have in most dishes, and they also bring along a bundle of health benefits. Where it becomes concerning is how much cooking oil you’re using when preparing your meals.
As the old adage goes, too much of anything is poisonous. The same goes for using excess oils in your meals. Most oils are good and important, but only when used in moderation.
2. Going Extra on Flavoring
Without a doubt, flavoring helps to improve the taste of your meals. While salt and sugar are the most used compounds in our drinks and foods, going overboard can make you gain fat pretty quickly. Practicing control when using these ingredients is crucial in keeping your weight in check. Plus, too much of salt and sugar can lead to addiction to a level where you don’t even realize you’re overdoing it.
3. Nibbling While Preparing Food
This might go unnoticed but you will be shocked to discover just how much food you eat while preparing and cooking your meals at home. You might be downing a glass (or two) of wine or snacking on your favorite nuts or crackers, and just like that, you add on extra weight albeit unconsciously. It’s understandable to taste food while cooking to ensure that you have the right flavor. But it’s advisable to be conscious that you may be piling on extra calories. Likewise, the sweet aroma of food makes us feel hungry when cooking. That’s why you need to practice control and save your taste buds for the real meal.
4. Not Minding the Portion Sizes
When serving home-cooked meals, sometimes we are too generous and surpass what we are supposed to be eating. A good trick to avoid this is using measuring cups so that you know the exact portion size that you’re supposed to be serving. Likewise, if the recipe says ‘four servings’, make sure you divide the dish into four servings, even if you’re only two. Keep the extras in the refrigerator to avoid overeating.
5. Mind Your Toppings
The good thing about cooking at home is that you can add your preferred toppings the way you like. Unfortunately, this is the highway to extra calories, hence weight gain. If you’re into the habit of pouring sauce over almost everything or adding heaps of cheese on your salad, then you’re getting all wrong. Go slow on those toppings and you’ll be avoiding raking in extra calories.
6. Not Using Spices
So you bought almost all varieties of spices but you rarely use them? Well, you’ll be pleased to learn that spices add great flavor to your meals at near zero calories. Plus, most of these spices have antioxidant properties which make them even more healthy. Do you have turmeric powder? Try sprinkling it on rice as it simmers, or add it to milk to make gold tea. What about cinnamon? It’s an awesome spice to add to your dishes too. Try experimenting with your spices today to get a ton of flavor accompanied by health benefits.
7. Your Method of Cooking
Home cooked meals are the best in the world. But, the method you use to cook these meals could make a whole difference between healthy eating and weight gain. Take deep frying for example. All it does is load you up with excess oils that end up doing more harm than good to your body. Parching is also another mistake people make when prepping meals at home. Understandably, foods cooked this way are delicious and mouthwatering. Regardless, your health should always come first.
8. Overcooking Food
Some people may be doing this without realizing that it’s wrong. Knowing the exact time you need to cook a specific meal will help to preserve the nutrients. Veggies are especially soft and cook within minutes. Similarly, eating char-grilled meat puts you at a higher risk of cancer, especially for women in menopause. If you grill meat, be sure to use a grill instead of a pan so that the extra fat can drain. And take care not to grill the meat for too long.
Another important factor you should avoid is cooking food in plastic containers. This means microwaving your food. According to experts, microwaving in plastic containers exposes you to toxic chemicals that could have adverse effects on your health. And one more thing, always incorporate a high-fiber diet in your daily meals to help with your weight loss efforts and generally improve your health.
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