Are you constantly on a diet, but still not losing weight? This has happened to way too many of us at some point, and yet we fail to figure out the real reason behind it. While we often fuss about the big picture, what really matters are the small things. For instance, our cooking habits play a vital role in determining how healthy our food really is.

We’ve been practicing the same cooking methods for so long that we cease to notice the wrong in it. Sometimes it takes an article like this point out the flaws. So scan through our list and find out if you’re committing any of these cooking faux pas.

1. Oil Overload
Cooking with oil can be tricky. Every spoon that you add to your food increases the calorie count and fat content in it, too. That’s why we suggest you don’t get too generous with your oils. Unless the recipe calls for a certain amount of oil, try to use as little as possible.

For a better alternative, switch to non-stick pans where you won’t even need that meager amount of oil to grease it. You can also consider using calorie-controlled sprays that serve the same purpose as glazing the pan with oil. Another healthy way to cook without oil is to substitute it with veggie broth. Use about ¼ cups of this broth to sauté or cook/heat veggies, grains or beans.

2. Frying Food
By referring to “frying food” as a cooking faux pas, we’re not implying that you must give up on your favorite fried chicken or fries. There are several ways to enjoy these foods without slathering them with oil in a pan. Chicken can be made by grilling, roasting and baking it too, and fries can be  equally crispy and healthy by  switching from frying to baking. Your morning eggs need not be fried, either. Get your protein by healthier ways such as hard boiling or leaving the eggs in the grill for a few minutes. Frying can by quite messy too, so avoid all this by looking for alternative methods of cooking.

3. Not Measuring Ingredients
Sure you’ve made that lasagna or spaghetti sauce a dozen times already and you know what a pound of meat and a cup of cheese looks like, but that doesn’t mean you can put all your ingredients together without measuring them. Every extra bit of ingredient you use increases the calorie count in your food. Invest in a good set of measuring tools to help you cook better.

4. Ignoring Portion Size
So you’ve decided to make a healthy salad or stew, but you haven’t paid attention to the portion you’re cooking. Not measuring ingredients can usually lead to cooking up extra food. And when you cook extra, you may end up eating more or storing it for your next meal, thus letting the food go stale. To avoid this menace, make sure you determine your serving size before you begin cooking and enjoy only fresh meals.

5. Using Too Much Salt
Salt is one of the most basic condiments to add to your food—it has the ability to instantly flavor your food without really adding any calories. Many times we go overboard with salt while cooking and sometimes even end up adding more table salt to the already salted food. While salt in appropriate quantities is healthy, too much of it can affect the way your body digests food. It can also retain fluids in your body, thus causing bloating. To ensure you use salt wisely, make it a point to add it only at the end of the cooking process. Use natural herbs to boost the flavor of your meal. Watch out for foods that already are high in salts and consider using low-salt alternatives. Most importantly, keep the table salt away from your dinner table.

6. Opting For Readymade/Canned Food
Using readymade or canned sauces and soups may be an easy alternative while cooking. However, these products are usually loaded with salt, fat and other additives for preservation. When you use them, you unknowingly add a whole bunch of calories to your food. It would be healthier to make your own soups and sauces from scratch.

Healthy eating is not just about consuming all the right nutrients; it also includes cooking them the right way so that you can make the most of it. If you’re keen on cooking healthy, also check out a few other ways to can retain more nutrients in the food you eat.

PS: Head to our Food section for healthy recipes and the latest food trends.
Also, find quick and easy Nutrition tips here.

Read More:
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Surprise, Surprise: Watching Cooking Shows Is Making You Fat

After pursuing her Masters in Journalism, Vanessa got her first big job as a health writer and since then, she has never switched paths. She has always been intrigued by the wonders of a holistic lifestyle, and believes it was destiny that led her to writing for the wellness industry. In her natural state, you can find her tucked under a blanket watching an Indie film, or reading obsessively. At Z Living, she writes about food trends and other daily life expeditions.