Start out 2013 on the right foot! This is the time of year where the weight loss commercials start rolling in one after the other, and gym memberships skyrocket. It’s obvious that everyone would like to start losing some weight (or those extra Holiday pounds!) by the time the New Year begins.
To begin your weight loss journey, start with some healthy cooking basics. Using these techniques can get you into a routine of creating a healthy lifestyle for you and whoever else you cook for. The American Heart Association offers these simple cooking tips:
- Cook your vegetables by stir-frying or steaming them
- Try and use herbs, fat-free or low fat sauces and salad dressings
- If you make a big meal save some and freeze it for another time when you don’t have the time to create a new meal
- Smoothies are an easy way to get your required daily servings of fruit
- Don’t use pre-packaged seasoning packets – they’re usually loaded with salt. To be healthy make your own!,
- Try to buy frozen vegetables over canned – canned contains high amounts of sodium!
- When baking replace ½ cup butter, shortening or oil substitute with 3 ripe bananas, a cup of applesauce, fat-free/low-fat yogurt or fat-free/low-fat sour cream
- Buy whole grain products whenever possible
- Use fat-free milk or 1% instead of whole or 2%
Woman’s Day recommends these cooking tips for ways to cut out some calories and fat in your cooking:
- If you’re going to make a stir-fry, use some vegetable broth in place of oil or butter
- Take off chicken skin to skip some calories and unhealthy saturated fat
- To add some flavor to veggies or salads squeeze on some citrus fruit!
- If you’re going to need cheese, pick one with big flavor so you don’t have to use so much
- Fat-free Greek yogurt is a great replacement for sour cream
- To thicken up soup puree some vegetables to skip unwanted extra calories
- Start adding vegetables into any dish to get your recommended daily five servings
- Make your own marinade to save calories and skip the large amount of sodium in store-bought bottles
Everyone usually goes over their calorie limit around the Holidays. EatingWell.com has this article for foods to eat to help cleanse your body after overeating from a big meal.
Now…what should you cook to put your healthy-cooking skills to the test? There are plenty of websites that have a plethora of great recipes that makeover your traditional meals into healthy ones, and also has extra cooking tips!
Losing weight takes dedication, motivation and hard work. Remember to keep track of what you eat and pay attention to portion size. Get help staying motivated with family and friends. Make a change at the grocery store and buy healthy produce and food, and get rid of everything that could hurt your diet at home. Finally it takes a little bit of moving to get to losing, so make exercise a part of your daily routine! Good luck and Happy 2013!