Food, Fruit & Vegetables, Healthy, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Weight Loss / October 30, 2017

6 easily implementable tips when cooking for weight loss!

Did you know that a few simple changes can be incorporated into the way we cook to achieve better satiation, satiety, and feeling of satisfaction? Here´s how…

 

1) Sugar & spice!

We all know not to get too much sugar in the diet, as sugar in larger amounts is quite unhealthy for your body and mind. But what most people don´t realize is, that sugar is great and perfectly fine for using in modest amounts as a spice. This means 1 or maybe 2 teaspoons for cooking here and there.

Sugar will add great flavour to a dish, ensuring a taste that caters for all five basic tastes (salty, sweet, bitter, sour & umami/savoury), making the food we cook more inviting and satiating, ensuring less snacking on desserts and sweet foods afterward.

 

2) Infuse your food!

A simple yet effective tip is to incorporate water into the actual dish during preparation, rather than just having water as a drink on the side of a meal. This goes for any dish where water can be added to increase volume, e.g. porridge, bolognese sauce, and stews.

Dishes where water has been added in the cooking before ingestion has shown to increase the fullness we feel between meals (satiety). Rather than when water and food are mixed together in the stomach after being ingested separately.

This increase in satiety contributes to us being full for longer, eating less, thus ingesting fewer calories overall.

 

3) Variety & variation!

When it comes to eating, our mind pays lots of attention to the food at hand. The more variety within a dish, the more interesting it becomes to our brain. The more we want to eat it and the less likely we are to tire from the meal. This is especially great for getting down lots of veggies and keeping up a healthy food interest.

An important notion is likewise that loads of micro components, proven to be beneficial to our health and wellbeing, are hidden within the pigmentation of fresh produce. Thus, variation in colour and assortment will secure great diversity of such components.

Furthermore, cultivating the diversity in our food will affect the immediate feeling of satisfaction and fullness when we are eating (satiation) and the feeling of fullness between meals before we get hungry again (satiety) positively.

So try mixing it up a bit and choose variation in some of the following

• Colour (deep dark colours & bright saturated colours in all colours of the rainbow)
• Texture (grainy, crunchy, creamy, chewy, crispy)
• Taste (sweet, sour, savoury/umami, bitter, salty)
• Consistency (thick, soft, juicy, solid, fatty, liquid)

 

4) Frosty delights!

Don´t be shy when it comes to eating frozen fruits, vegetables, and other non-processed foods. Greens made for freezing are usually blanched and then frozen, retaining most vitamins and minerals within. Making them a perfect alternative to fresh vegetables on busy days.

With frozen alternatives cooking is easy, and those greens are just sitting in your freezer, waiting to go into that delicious meal. Especially organic produce is great for buying this way, making it last longer.

Eating frozen greens is also a great motivation to eat better and more veggies, as you escape the hassle of having to prepare raw vegetables on a busy schedule.

Frozen greens are great for on-demand cooking, which might save you a buck or two, as you avoid the issue of fresh produce exceeding the used-by date. This also contributes less to the great food waste problem of the world. Here you are in total control of what, when and how much you need to use at any given time.

 

5) Spice up that life!

Using a variety of spices and herbs will seriously increase the flavour and palatability of your meal. Especially the use of fresh herbs can take your cooking to the next level. Chefs will argue that this particular step can be what sets your cooking apart from the rest.

The use of herbs and spices will also significantly lower the need for salt in a meal, making it a much healthier alternative.

A small tip of the trade is to add and fry fresh herbs, to begin with, and then add dried herbs and spices in the end, which will secure the best exploitation of flavours in the dish.

 

6) Experiment away!

Experimenting is one of the best ways to learn how to cook. I’m sure your spouse and kids will forgive the occasional mess up taste-wise.

Being open and trying new things will not only expand your food & produce knowledge but will award you with an understanding of flavour, taste, and composition of a variety of meals.

This will make it much easier (and much more fun) to cook delicious, nutritious, healthy and balanced meals full of flavour and vigour.

Experimenting will also enhance your skills when it comes to cooking from what´s available in the house, including using leftovers, securing less food waste and lowering food costs.

So be courageous and go try some new spices, vegetables, meat sources or other foods!

Rie Bekker