It is not a surprise that restaurant dishes are full of calories and hidden ingredients. That is why meals cooked at home are a good idea for those who watch their weight. Gaining control on your kitchen is a good first step, but if you have not eaten out in months and the scale still stays on the one place, it must be time to have a closer look at your cooking habits. Below are some common mistakes that could be wrecking your plans.
Mistake № 1: Using too much oil
Olive oil is definitely a good fat, but the kitchen staple is also crazy dense calorie wise – even one tbsp puts up almost 125 calories. That might not sound like a lot, but if you are not paying attention, it is easy to use as much as four times that amount. Sticking to this single tbsp allowance can be especially hard with vegetables, as they tend to absorb oil quickly. What is a helpful trick? Lightly steam your veggies to cook them through before adding them to a fry.
Mistake № 2: Estimating serving sizes
You all know the importance of portion control, but at the end of your long day, waisting the time to measure each ingredient out can seem pointless time consuming. Instead, you eyeball serving sizes – a practice that could potentially add hundreds of hidden calories to your healthy meal. Avoid paying the price for night laziness by spending the time to really learn what healthy portions of fish, grains and produce look like.
Mistake № 3: Being a slave to the recipe
If you lose confidence in your kitchen, it can tempt to follow recipes. But by blindly sticking to the ingredient list, you are missing out on valuable opportunities to make healthy tricks. For instance, if a recipe calls for a cup of cream, try mixing half of that with pureed avocado or even Greek yogurt. This simple swap cuts calories and fat without sacrificing on taste or texture.
Resisting the urge to taste your food while prepping might seem impossible, especially when you are starving. And while a little snacking never killed anyone, a slice of avocado here and a handful of nuts there can really add up. To avoid ruining your meal by vanishing your appetites try chewing gum or sipping a glass of sparkling water while you cook. Are you still munching? Time for some tough love: for every taken bite, put a little less on the plate.
Mistake № 5: Leaving leftovers up for grabs
Imagine that dinner was delicious, you are comfortably full and you know you should be satisfied. That is, until you go to wash the dishes and the pot of pasta on the stove starts calling you. Preempt the impulse to go in for a second helping by getting rid of leftovers as soon as possible. In this case, that old saying seems to be true: out of your sight out of your mind.