You’ve started exercising more and have been taking the time to plan your meals so you eat better and are including plenty of vegetables, but you’re still not seeing weight loss results… what is going wrong? It is fantastic you are cooking and preparing meals, but there are a few things you could be doing to accidentally sabotage your weight loss attempts.
Overdoing portion sizes
So often it is not what we eat, but how much of it we eat. We tend to under-do the vegetable portions and over-do the protein and carbohydrate portion–yes even if it is healthy protein and carbs, too much is still too much.
If you are following a recipe, do your best to stick to the recommended portions. If the recipe says it serves four, portion out four services and only have your one. Add extra vegetables if needed.
Adding extra fat without realising
When cooking with fats, oil or butter, it is important to remember you are still consuming these calories in the end meal, so you still need to be weary of how much you use in cooking. Scrambled eggs from cafes taste amazing because they use butter and cream when cooking (and a lot of salt), but this adds many additional calories that are not going to help you achieve your overall weight loss goals. (Poached eggs are a better choice when eating out as no additional fat is required in the cooking method).
When cooking at home, use an unsaturated fat such as olive, canola or rice bran oil, and only use a small portion. Consider using spray oil too as this will greatly help reduce calorie content.
Extra hidden calories
Sauces containing high amounts of sugar and fat are sure-fire ways to add extra calories. While I generally recommend counting foods e.g., vegetables eaten, not calories, high fat and sugar sauces have little to no nutritional value. I recommend using fresh or dried herbs and spices to add flavour to your food with out the additional calories.
Overloading on toppings
Another thing to be mindful of is the topping you add to your food. Think about that pasta that you love to add cheese to or the soup you add sour cream to. Again these add extra calories you may not need. Be careful of the portion you use or again choose herbs and spices to add the extra flavour. Same goes for nuts, seeds and cheese in your salad. These are healthy ingredients, but if you include too many, the calories add up.
Making these slight changes to your cooking and meals can help make at extra difference to your weight loss.