If you have committed to cooking more at home to help in your weight loss journey, you have made a great choice.
Home cooked meals are typically lower in calories, more nutritionally dense, and you are much more able to control the portion size than when you eat out or get takeaway.
But if you are new to cooking, the initial start can seem somewhat intimidating.
Read up on how to avoid these three common cooking mistakes to make sure you boost your weight loss success instead of hindering it.
1. Not Using the Right Tools
Any trade requires a selection of tools and equipment to attain success: cooking is no different.
When you are able to use the right tools, you are able to get the maximum quality from the food.
This translates to impressive nutrient intake, not to mention, the ability to add nutrition packed ingredients into your meals that you may not have been able to use had you not had the right equipment.
This includes proper, sharp knives, pots and pans suitable to the dish you are creating and of course, electrical equipment such as an oven, stove, blender and food processor.
While you don’t need all the fancy equipment starting out, if you are hoping to do a lot of plant-based, vegetable rich options, a blender comes in handy, as does a steaming basket and a spiralizer to make fun, vegetable noodles!
2. Taking on too Much
In the early stages of your cooking, keep it simple and basic.
It can be tempting to find a beautiful meal in your new cookbook and dive straight in, but if it is too challenging, and you get discouraged, you may not want to cook again, or worse yet, may end up just getting takeout instead.
In the beginning, it is best to start with recipes that do not have a lot of steps or a lot of ingredients, but ones that still use ingredients that are in line with your goals of losing weight or improving overall health.
Not only will you get to create a healthy meal for yourself, but as you create more and more, this will help build your confidence, allowing you to try new things as you further develop your skills and abilities.
3. Failing to Read the Recipe
The recipe is like a map to your success when it comes to cooking.
It has all the information you need to efficiently complete your dish from basic ingredients, to composed, on the table achievement – but that is only when you follow it correctly and abide by the recommendations of each step.
It can be tempting in the early stages of learning how to cook, to simply dive straight into the recipe.
The best option however, is to read the recipe through fully before you begin.
This alerts you to anything such as the need to preheat your oven, the need to reserve certain ingredients or portions of them for later, or substitutions you can make if necessary.
A successful recipe journey means you will have a successful product at the end that is bursting with flavor and health benefits and that is another positive step on your journey to becoming healthier and reaching your goals.
Alternatively, a messed-up recipe may have you running to the restaurant next door instead, sabotaging your day of healthy eating.
If you’re ready to get started with some tasty, healthy, homemade dishes, find some delicious recipe options that are in line with your health goals, head to the grocery store and get your pantry stocked. And then, head into the kitchen, and have fun!
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH – Viand Nutrition