(2 minute read)
Making a homemade meal is ideal for weight loss, you can half the calories of a meal by using homemade ingredients and controlling what you put in the meal.
However, this being said, it’s easy to add little additions that can rack up the calories or the meals you make and prevent you from hitting that weight loss target.
How many times have you heard “I eat so many healthy salads and meals at home but I’m seeing no progress”?
Have a look at these common cooking mistakes that could be the cause of your weight gain or lack of weight loss:
Choosing the wrong sauce:
Shop bought sauces have so much sugar in this can be disguised as sucrose, high fructose corn syrup or molasses, but it will be there! Stirfry sauces, ketchup, sweet chilli and marinades are the biggest culprits, with little nutritional value and lots of flavour, calories and sugar.
Make your own sauce - it takes 5 minutes! Think; Spices and herbs, soy sauce, a dash of honey, oil or lemon- the list is endless!
Snacking while you cook:
A nibble or two of cheese and a few olives even spoon full or two of hummus can really add up.
Try sipping on water and try and cook before you really get starving so that you are able to wait until your meal is ready. If you are really hungry I go for a carrot or some sliced cucumber!
Too large portion sizes:
This is a very common one if you are making a dinner for four portions, portion out each portion when you are serving (into Tupperware's for your other meals) so that you are left with an equal 1/4th of the food and don’t go back for seconds.
I recommend measuring out grains, rice and pasta, this way you ensure you are not cooking too much that you will inevitably end up eating.
Adding too many toppings:
Adding a handful of nuts and seeds to a salad could easily end up with a meal double the calories it started out at. Adding sour cream or cheese to pasta or chilli could also end up overdoing it. I recommend adding a tablespoon of cheese, sour cream, nuts, seeds or toppings to your meal and stick to just one, that way you can be sure you're not going overboard.
Having too much of the healthy fats:
Getting in those healthy fats is extremely important, however, be mindful of the portion sizes you should be having. One whole avocado is not one portion, half or even a quarter of a larger avocado is one portion size. Olive oil, olives and nuts again aim for a tablespoon instead of measuring it in your hand.
Using fat or salt to flavour:
Using fat (oil or butter), salt or sugar in your meal to add flavour is a sure way to increase the calorie intake. Cooking with these ingredients will actually increase your cravings for these foods.
Again use spices or herbs instead of salt, fat or sugar are much more nutritious and don’t give you all the extra calories.
Hope you find this useful! Any questions fire them across!
BSc Sports Science, Women’s Fitness Specialist and Personal Trainer