Eating at home is popular for many reasons. It tends to be cheaper than eating out all the time and most people – especially those who are dieting – like the control that it gives them when they know exactly what is going into their food. Home-cooked food tends to be free of the additives, preservatives and fat that is found in many restaurant foods. However, there are some easy mistakes to make when cooking at home that can prevent weight loss. Below are five of the most common.
Using Excessive Oil
Everyone has heard that olive oil is healthy, but it is not calorie-free: even a single teaspoon can be around 125 calories and people usually use a great deal more than that, especially when they are sautéing vegetables, which tend to soak up a lot of oil. Steaming the vegetables lightly before they are sautéed will help with this problem.
Estimating Serving Sizes
Most people understand the importance of portion control. But if someone is in a hurry and the schedule is busy, it may seem like a waste of time to measure food out and many will simply “eyeball” their portions instead. This saves time but it can also add hundreds of calories to the meal. Take the time to measure things out and learn what a healthy portion looks like; this will help with weight control over the long haul.
Being a Slave to the Recipe
Being slavish about following a recipe to the letter can also add to caloric intake. It deprives a person of the opportunity to explore ways in which it is possible to make that recipe more health-conscious. Could plain Green yogurt be substituted for sour cream to top those enchiladas? Could 2% milk be used instead of cream for that soup? Being creative in the kitchen can make the food prepared there much healthier.
Snacking While Cooking
For many people, a glass of wine and a snack while preparing dinner is simply part of the cooking ritual. However, those crackers or nuts or slices of avocado can add up calorie-wise. As an alternative, try sipping on sparkling water instead, and if a snack of some sort is absolutely necessary, try something very low-calorie like raw vegetables to munch on.
Leaving Leftovers up for Grabs
If there are any leftovers once dinner has been served, make sure to package them up and put them away as soon as possible. Otherwise, during clean-up, that pan of pasta on the stove might present too much of a temptation. If the leftovers are out of sight, they really are more likely to be out of mind as well!
Generally speaking, cooking at home is not only easier on the pocketbook, it can be easier on the body as well and avoid high-calorie restaurant food. Keeping to the rules above will make it even healthier.
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