During the course of your medical weight loss program with Forum Health, you are guided to follow a healthier diet and regulate your hunger to help you overcome obstacles that may have prevented weight loss in the past. During and after your program, it is important that you cook your own healthy meals so you know what’s in your food and have adequate portions.
The reality is that many of us do not have much time to spare. Fast food, eating out at restaurants, and TV dinners are easy, but will not contribute to the healthy lifestyle you are working towards.
Additionally, eating a home-cooked meal every night is more economical than eating out, and since you control what goes into the dish it can turn out to be a whole lot healthier too.
If you want to succeed in your medical weight loss program and maintain a healthy lifestyle long after your program draws to an end, it is time that you learn healthy cooking strategies.
Organize Your Kitchen
- Sort your tools: Similar utensils should be kept together in a place close to where they will be used. Appliances you use frequently can be kept on the countertop for easy access. Tools you use only rarely should be kept somewhere out of the way.
- Sorting your ingredients: During your weight-loss program you will need to stock your home with healthy foods, and it will help if you keep your fridge clean and organized. Store fresh ingredients you’ll use frequently front and center in the fridge and pantry. You can keep a running list of currently stocked ingredients on the door of your fridge.
Plan Your Plate
- Make weekly meal plans: Turn every dinner into a no-brainer by plotting out the week’s meals in advance. Consider what you’ll cook for every meal and head to the store to buy all the ingredients you’ll need at once.
- Plan your meals in sections: The easiest way to put together a meal is to think of your plate. Every meal should have fiber, protein, carbs and fat. Mix up the same old choices by rotating veggies or cooking your meat in different spice selections night after night.
- Use herbs and spices to your advantage. Consider these ingredients to be a form of free flavoring. You will likely find that there is absolutely no need for cheese and buttery sauces when you use items like rosemary, thyme, paprika or lemon zest. Herbs and spices have nutritional benefits of their own and are low in calorie content.
Cooking as Quality Time
- Take turns: Make cooking a family affair. Everyone develops different cooking styles, so you might find that eating lean protein dishes like chicken three nights in a row isn’t so tiring when it is prepared or inspired by three different people. This will also limit the burden placed on one cook preparing food every night.
Modernize with Time-Saving Appliances
- Crockpot: This slow-cooking contraption can be left on for hours without supervision, cooking a delicious meal with little input from the chef. If you prepare all your ingredients beforehand and start up your crockpot in the morning, you can have a hot meal waiting when you get home.
- Rice cooker: As the name suggests, these machines are designed to make preparing rice easier, but this isn’t their only useful purpose. Much like a crockpot, you can add the ingredients for a soup or stew to a rice cooker, hit the button and come back later for an easy meal. You can also sauté or boil just about anything in a rice cooker.
- Microwave: Perhaps this one is obvious, but remember, the microwave can be used for much more than just reheating leftovers or nuking a frozen meal. Microwaves are excellent for everything from thawing meat to quickly boiling vegetables.
With the right tools and strategies, your cooking experiences can be truncated significantly, giving you more time to devote to other important things in your life. Learning how to cook healthily can also help you improve the health of your entire family as you lose weight. And best of all, many healthy cooking strategies taste just as wonderful as if you were dining out. You may even discover that you prefer the taste of eating in!