Experts have always pushed the idea that the right place to start your weight loss journey is from your kitchen. You must have heard it before – get fit in the gym, but first, lose weight in the kitchen. So, when you have made that awesome decision to shed extra weight and improve overall health, look no further than your kitchen. When we cut down the frequency of eating out and ordering food in, we are more likely to consume fewer calories, without the risk of toxic ingredients such as transfat and MSG that facilitate fat accumulation in the body. However, for some of us, cooking can be a complicated chore, and with all the planning and calorie cutting that diet food requires, some cooking tricks can come in handy to accelerate weight loss. If you have been struggling to shed extra kilos, you can literally turn the table around and make the whole cooking process exciting by following these tips.
1. Change the Cooking Oil: Most Indian households use refined vegetable oil for cooking, but research has shown that this kind of heavily processed oil increases inflammation in the body, which is a pre-cursor for many life-threatening diseases including obesity. It’s important to replace hydrogenated vegetable and seed oils (corn oil, soybean oil for example) that have high omega-6 percentage trigger inflammation (major reason for obesity) with healthier oils such olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil not only to shed weight, but to avoid heart and other diseases as well.
2. Use Less Oil For Cooking: Now that we have established how important cooking oil with respect to weight loss, we would go a step further and advice to cut down the quantity of oil while cooking as well. Even the healthiest of oils (olive oil, ghee, butter, coconut oil) have a high fat content and therefore extremely calorie dense. For example, 1 tbsp of olive oil has 119 calories! Cutting down cooking oil will slash down significant calories. Using a spray oil spritzer is a good idea to just grease the vessels and have a good hold on the amount of oil.
4. Switch to Grilling, Avoid Deep Frying: Indian cuisine is probably one of the healthiest cuisines in the world taking into consideration the different varieties of amazing superfoods we use in our dishes, the amount of raw food we consume, the good balance of vegetables, lentils and legumes, along with the regular consumption of fermented foods like idli, dosa, dholka, and not to forget the variety of healthy spices that find their way into simple daily dishes, but then we do have our fair share of deep-fried indulgences like pooris and pakodas that cannot actually do not fit into the category of “healthy food.” Hence, do cut back on the consumption of deeply-fried food, period.
5. Cut Back on Salt – Season with Herbs and Spices: We often tend to season our food by adding more and more table salt, which is bad for your health. Cinnamon, nutmeg, basil, rosemary, etc. add loads of flavour without the side effects that table salt brings along.
6. Steam the Vegetables Rather Than Boiling: Steaming helps to retain the nutrients in the veggies compared to boiling, and as we all know by now, nutrients are essential in the fat-burning process, and we need to keep the nutrients in food as much as possible.
7. Explore Local Produce: Include lots of fresh veggies and fruits available locally because they retain the maximum nutrients.
8. Leave the Peel on: Sweet potato, potato, brinjal, cucumber have loads of nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber on their peels, and that’s why experts recommend to keep the peel on these veggies. All these nutrients boost metabolism and help in accelerating the weight loss process.
9. Can your Cookware Make you Obese? A study done at Harvard university says the chemicals used in making non-stick pans can lead to rapid weight gain. While we may diet and exercise every single day, there are a few factors that can act as roadblocks; for example, non-stick cookware that we commonly use in our kitchens can make you gain weight, even if you are cooking healthy meals in them. We should really be worried about chemicals leaching into our food from non-stick pans coated with such chemicals when they are heated at high temperatures or when the initial protective coating wears off because they can pose several health risks , from raising cholesterol to increasing the risk of cancer, but did you know, such chemicals might also be the reason why your belly fat refuses to budge! Cast iron, stainless steel, copper, clay pots are safe options to cook food in. Also read: “Can Cooking in Non Stick Pans Make you Overweight?”
10. Replace BPA Plastic Containers and Plastic Bottles: Did you know BPA-based plastic containers comes under the category of “obesogen.” Most of us use plastic containers to store food and such containers have been found to have BPA (bisphenol A) that has toxic effects that can trigger insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, infertility, and even weight gain. BPA also alters the function of hormones like insulin, creating insulin resistance. As we all know, insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar and triggers fat storage too, and that’s why you should avoid BPA-containing products at all cost. BPA is found in low-quality plastics, canned foods. Cut out as much plastic products as you can, switch to glass, steel, or BPA-free containers to store food.
11. Most importantly, eliminating white sugar from cooking can completely be a game changer, in fact, you can shave off extra pounds initially just by giving up sugar – without hitting the gym.
Also, cut down the use of canned food, store-bought salad dressings, and do practice portion control to see effective results. If weight loss is your #1 priority, check out my Speed Slim challenge on the Rati Beauty app.