There’s a lot of information out there on which foods will help you lose weight, but did you know that some ways of cooking and preparing food actually add extra calories? Here are 9 cooking tricks that will help you lose weight, and it’s all about being savvy during food prep.

1. Cut Veggies into Larger Chunks

Finely diced onions, potatoes and peppers look great, but they really soak up the oil. Larger, chunkier pieces of vegetables don’t pick up as much cooking oil, so you’ll save yourself a few calories there. For maximum calorie cutting, use a mister to lightly coat the ingredients with oil before cooking.

2. Don’t Overcook Your Pasta

drain-pasta

Bizarre as it sounds, overcooked, mushy pasta can put the brakes on your weight loss. As pasta cooks, the starch molecules in it begin to break down, and this removes the fiber content of the pasta and turns it into a refined carb that will break down to sugar very quickly once eaten.

Cook your pasta until it’s nearly al dente, so you can preserve as much of the fiber as possible. This means that they’ll be more filling, so you should, in theory, eat less.

3. Use Herbs and Spices for Flavor

Use herbs and spices to add extra flavor to your food without adding extra calories or salt. Even the simplest herbs such as a sprig of fresh rosemary or basil can make an ordinary dish amazing. Some spices such as turmeric, black pepper and cardamom are known to possess health benefits.

4. Leave the Skins On

Don’t peel foods like potatoes and apples, as the peels hold a lot of fiber and nutrients.

5. Poach Fish Instead of Frying

fish

It’s easy to overcook fish, and this leads to some people avoiding it due to uncertainty in how to cook it properly.

Try poaching fish in water or fish stock instead of frying it, as this doesn’t add oil. The soft heat of the poaching liquid also helps to keep the fish moist and tasty.

6. Pressure Cook Meats

Modern pressure cookers are much safer than the old ones, and they cook food in a much shorter period of time than conventional methods.

Pressure cookers also add a depth of flavor that would take a lot of time and effort otherwise.

7. Steam Veggies in the Microwave

Microwave steaming your veggies is a good way to cook without adding extra fat, and it also helps keep the nutrients in the vegetables being cooked. Microwaving them in a small amount of liquid cooks them quickly, and prevents the nutrients from leaching out into the water.

8. Roast Meat on a Rack

Using a rack to roast large cuts of meat means that it doesn’t sit in and absorb the melted fat. Baste with low-fat liquid such as wine, lemon juice or broth to keep it moist and flavorful.

9. Use a Stick Blender for Sauces and Soups

You don’t need to add cream to make a great soup or sauce. Stick (immersion) blenders are inexpensive, easy to clean, and let you turn veggies into smooth sauces or soups in very little time.