Cooking healthy diet meals involves more than just choosing the right ingredients. Healthy cooking techniques such as grilling or broiling don’t use added fats that translate into added calories. A variety of cooking methods not only cut fat and calories, but also add flavor and give you more options when cooking diet meals. A diet meal is essentially one that is healthy and will help you lose or maintain weight. You don’t have to sacrifice flavor when you are trying to eat healthy.
Reduce amounts of added sugar, salt and fat. Experiment with recipes to find out how much of these ingredients you can cut out and still enjoy the taste and texture of the food.
Substitute healthy ingredients in place of unhealthy ones. You can use fruit purees in place of butter in place of traditional sugar. In many recipes you can cut salt in half or leave it out altogether. Trade up to whole-wheat pastas, fat-free milk and reduced-calorie cheese. You can also use white meat chicken in place of thighs or drumsticks.
Leave out an ingredient that adds too many calories or too much fat, such as condiments on sandwiches or burgers and nuts in baked goods. You can still enjoy the food while reducing the damage it can cause your diet. Using herbs is good low-calorie, no fat way to add flavor to your diet meals.
Use an alternative cooking method. Grilling and steaming are two ways you can cook a flavorful diet meal without adding extra fat and calories from breading, oil or butter. Using non-stick cookware also helps you reduce the amount of fat in a meal.
Watch portion sizes. Many recipes are designed for four people, so if you are cooking for fewer than that you should scale the recipe ingredients down so you aren’t in danger of eating more than one serving without realizing it.