Healthy recipes for weight loss

Almost always, healthy recipes for weight loss are the ones you cook yourself. Yes, it is possible to get healthy foods from take-away outlets, cafes and restaurants – but is their idea of ‘healthy’ the same as yours?

As in so many things, knowledge is power. So knowing what you put into your recipes gives you the power to make something that is healthy and delicious that will help promote weight loss.

The key element of any recipe is its flavour and healthy recipes are no different. If it tastes good, you’ll enjoy eating it – regardless of whether or not it’s fattening. The healthy bit means flavouring savoury dishes with herbs, spices, lemon juice and chillies instead of butter, cheese and salt. For sweet treats try using more fruit instead of sugar and fat.

The vegetables, meat or fish in a regular meal aren’t usually the main culprits when analysing the calorie content – it’s the method of cooking them and the sauces that accompany them that add the unwanted inches! Here are a few simple recipe modifications get you started:

  • cut off visible fat from meat before you start and drain off any fat that comes out during cooking;
  • thicken gravy and sauces with cornflour mixed into cold water instead of a roux of -butter and flour – don’t forget to cook for a few minutes after adding it though; and
  • use lemon juice instead of salt to season soups and casseroles.

Most people love roast potatoes – I know I do! – but they are usually very high in fat. To make a healthier version, par boil chunks of scrubbed but unpeeled potatoes (the vitamins are all in the skin) for 5-10 minutes, drain and return to the pan, add 1-2 teaspoons only of vegetable oil and shake vigorously (lid on) to fluff up the chunks then tip onto a non-stick baking tray and roast for 30-45 minutes at 200C. These roasties are crispy and delicious and won’t blow your calorie budget.

Over the years I’ve also found that in most sweet recipes you can reduce the fat and sugar content by up to one quarter without much difference in the finished result. That means you can have your cake and eat it – just not too often!

Healthy recipes for weight loss don’t have to be boring or all salad, not that there’s anything wrong with salad of course (but hold the mayo). There is much more about healthy eating and weight loss in the Eat Lean not Mean ebook, as well as a selection of healthy recipes. Enjoy your food, and love the new you!

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