Are you trying to slim down and get healthier? Cooking your meals puts you back in control with what you eat that will help your body lose the extra fat. But how do you know you’re cooking the right way? The more you eat from real food, the less you have to worry about portions. There are three tricks that can help make it easier. For example, do you know what you should have in every meal?
Keep a Little Fat
Our bodies need some fat to absorb the nutrients in vegetables. Choose healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil. You don’t need a lot. A little makes vegetables taste better, and they allow the seasonings to stick to the veggies.
If you don’t want to use oil, you could consider using salad dressing that has some fat in it as well as lower fat cheese. Researchers say this study indicates that the minimum amount of fat required for optimal absorption of nutrients from vegetables is more than 6 grams of added fat. You do need to keep in mind that you are eating your veggies with other fat containing items. So when you’re calculating it out, do some research to approximate how much fat is in the main course or if you’re plating up any other sides.
So when you are filling your plate up, pretend you can see one line that sections the plate in half, and then another line that cuts one half into two parts. Then plan on serving the big half of the plate with vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower or asparagus and corn.
One quarter section should be protein, and the other should be complex carbs. This way you’re getting a better understanding of portion size. While you should eat about 3-5oz of protein and 1/2 cup of rice, beans, etc., you don’t always want to have to measure and weigh. Plus, you need to find out what amount is best for your body and weight loss goals.
The vegetables take up the largest section because they are the lowest in calories and highest in fiber and water which allows us to feel fuller faster. The protein has fat which allows us to feel satisfied. Have you ever had a salad for lunch and just didn’t feel full even though your stomach says it is?
Complex carbs naturally have fiber which helps our bodies regulate blood sugar and insulin levels as well as enable our bodies to digest our food and eliminate waste more easily.
Carbs are Complicated
There are many diet out there advocate low to no carbs. But is that really the healthiest way? Some people believe it is, but the jury is still out as to whether it is sustainable. And what we’re looking for is a healthy diet that can last you a lifetime.
There is no doubt that some carbs should be avoided or minimized. you should also limit the amount of sugar you eat every day. They increase your blood sugar which leads to mental fatigue and creates an increase in hunger.
As a side note, you should balance your simple carb grams with fiber grams. It helps your body process it better, and avoids the blood sugar spikes that can create more belly fat.
One bonus tip is to drink plenty of water. If you drink a full glass of water before a meal, you will eat less. And when we’re hydrated, we think better and can make smarter food choices.
Lara J. Fabans loves to cook from scratch in small amounts for herself and her husband. She loves CSA’s and her own backyard garden as well as eating with the seasons. Because she’s past a certain age, she can no longer eat like a teenager. However, it has been fun looking for new ways to prepare healthy portions using new flavors and finding that yes some things do bring on the brain fog.