7 Healthy Cooking Techniques to Help You Lose Weight

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There are countless strategies on how to lose weight.  Setting realistic goals, making a commitment, low calorie intake, regular exercise, and adopting a healthy lifestyle, are essential ways to increase your chance of success.

But losing weight also requires healthy cooking techniques that enhance the likelihood of you achieving your goal.

Unhealthy Cooking Methods Won’t Help You Lose Weight

There are healthy and unhealthy cooking methods and techniques.  Some cooking techniques deplete vitamins and nutrients in food — like boiling, for instance.  And some cooking methods can actually add calories to your meals.

For example, eggplant is a low-calorie and fiber-rich food.  But eggplant absorbs oil like a sponge when it’s fried or sautéed.

The cooking method of choice for potatoes can also hamper your success in losing weight.  Though roasted potatoes are a great complement to any meal — mashed potatoes fall in the realm of unhealthy.  Mashed potatoes usually have generous amounts of milk and butter.  And they often have their fiber-rich peels removed.  You’re more likely to go in for another helping, which undermines your chances to lose weight.

However, healthy cooking methods that preserve food nutrients, speed up cooking time, and avoid adding calories, are most beneficial when it comes to losing weight.

Healthy Cooking Techniques

Adding healthy and flavorful cooking techniques to your repertoire is one more strategy you can incorporate in your weight loss plan.

Here’s a list of healthy and simple cooking techniques that can help you to manage and lose weight.

  • Experiment with spices and herbs: Spices and herbs add flavor to dishes without pouring on sodium or extra calories.  A sprinkle of basil or fresh rosemary can add flavor to any ordinary recipe.
  • Cut vegetables into bigger pieces: Bigger cuts of vegetables have less surface area to pick up oil.  Before cooking your ingredients, cut down on your fat intake; use a mister to lightly coat your ingredients with oil.
  • Poach fish: Poaching fish in water or court bouillon (fish stock) is a great alternative to fried fish.  Oil isn’t added when poaching fish.  And the soft heat of the poaching liquid keeps the fish moist and flaky.
  • Don’t overcook pasta: You may have noticed that overcooked pasta turns out mushy — and the texture is lost.  That’s because, as the pasta cooks, starch molecules that hold the noodles together begin to breakdown. This reaction drains the fiber content of the noodle — turning it into a refined carbohydrate that eventually breaks down into sugar in your body.  Cook the noodles until just before they’re al dente. Using this technique helps to preserve the noodle’s fiber. They’ll be more filling — so you’ll eat less.  Keep in mind — pasta-cooking time varies — depending on the size and shape of the pasta.
  • When roasting meat – use a rack: When roasting a larger cut of meat, place a rack in the bottom of the pan so the meat doesn’t sit in its melted fat.  Instead of using pan drippings, baste the meat with low-fat liquids like broth, lemon juice, or wine, to keep the meat moist.
  • Pressure cook meats: Pressure cooking helps saturate ingredients with a depth of flavor that would normally require hours of conventional cooking.  Less water comes into contact with your food to leach away vitamins and minerals, while using a pressure cooker.  Pressure cooking also saves cooking time by sealing in the steam from boiling liquid.
  • Don’t remove the skins: Keep the skin on your food — like potatoes and apples.  The peels hold a majority of the food’s nutrients and fiber.  If you remove the skin on foods, the food won’t fill you up as much — making you more susceptible to snacking later.  However, chicken skin adds extra calories and saturated fat to your meal.

Remember, setting realistic goals, making a commitment, reducing calorie intake, regular exercise, and adopting a healthy lifestyle, are all necessary and safe ways to help you lose weight.  Adding healthy cooking techniques enhances your chance of success, as well.

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George Zapo, CPH
Writer
George Zapo, CPH is certified in Public Health Promotion & Education. George focuses on writing informative articles promoting healthy behavior and lifestyles. Read more of George's articles at his website: http://georgezapo.com.