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5 Cooking Mistakes that May Cause Weight Gain

A meal can be just as dangerous at home for your waistline.


Wondering why your home cooking is not affording more progress on the scale? We are told that making food at home will help us to remain healthy and fit. A study in the Public Health Nutrition journal confirmed that making our meals at home curbs what we eat as compared to dining out. “Strategies are needed to encourage more cooking among the general population and help infrequent cookers better navigate the food environment outside the home,” the study found. A meal can be just as dangerous at home as it is at a restaurant if you are not mindful of the ingredients and your portion sizes. These are the things that we are not really focused on when we are in the kitchen getting ready to make dinner. But they can be to help you keep your weight in check. Here are 5 cooking mistakes that you are making.

Watch Your Mariniades


Just because you are cooking with lean meats doesn’t mean it will end up that way on your plate. We usually want to add some pop to the meal by using marinades like barbecue sauce or other sugar-laden sauces and we believe that we are still safe. However, some marinades can add as much as 120 calories per cup! Most of us pour our sauces on our meats without repentance. Opt to add more spices to your meals like cayenne pepper, black pepper, chili powder, lemon zest, paprika, jerk seasoning, curry powder and saffron to add flavor. If you do use any marinade, watch your portions.

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Over Usage of Olive Oil


Olive oil has been touted as having great health benefits like reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, lowering blood pressure, lowering blood sugar and is known for its cancer-protective properties because of the monounsaturated fatty acids it contains. But some of us are going a little overboard with this healthy fat, by drizzling too much over our foods. Take note of how much you are using when you are cooking vegetables and other foods. Just a tablespoon of olive oil could contain as much as 115 calories and this can really rack up the calories.

You Don’t Make Substitutions

sourcream-spoonYou found a recipe that you just love and are excited to make. We tend to follow the recipe to the letter because we don’t want to go off course. Some recipes are high in calories and can really break your calorie bank for the day. For example, let’s say a recipe calls for butter, you might want to substitute that with almonds butter or nut butter. If the recipe calls for sugar, substitute it with applesauce. Greek yogurt can be a replacement for heavy cream. The thing is to adjust the recipe so you won’t pack on extra calories.

You Don’t Use Spices

Flax SeedsWe really rely on salt and sugar to enhance the flavor of our dishes. But you can reduce the amount calories that come from adding salt and sugar by going to the spice rack. Using spices and herbs can really enhance a dish without causing the meal to become unhealthy. Spices and herbs have fat-fighting power as well. Try hot pepper, black pepper turmeric, ginger, cumin, cardamom, and turmeric have antioxidants that can help burn fat. In time, you will reduce the amount of salt and sugar you add to a meal because it will retrain your taste buds.

You Are Not Using Portion Control

family cookingMaybe you mastered the flavor areas. But you are not sure why your scale won’t budge. It could be your portion sizes. Just because it is healthy, doesn’t mean we can eat a ton of it as a calorie is a calorie. Basically, one serving size is the size of your fist. If it is bigger than that you could be overeating. Measuring everything can be a pain at first, but if you start doing this–you will be able to visualize it better. Also, using the smaller plates at each meal will help you get used to what portion sizes should look like.

Unless you were professionally trained in healthy cooking, it can be troublesome to find the balance in keeping the weight off. There are always tricks to any trade. If you need help, look up places that offer cooking classes so you have a foundation. As you gain more experience and you learn to substitute certain ingredients, the less cooking mistakes you will make.

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