Enjoy healthy cooking in the comfort of your own home. Memorial Day is here and so is the warm weather. Get out into the backyard and cook nutritious and delicious food that fits you Nutrisystem plan.
With the right recipes and meal ideas, you can stay on track with your weight loss goals this holiday season. We’ve put together these 10 tips to make cooking at home a healthy affair.
Here are 10 easy tips for a healthy backyard barbecue.
1. Don’t starve yourself before cooking.
We’ve all done it, skipping meals before a big event to “save” calories for the feast. But when you’re trying to lose weight, it can backfire. You may be so hungry that you eat even more than your planned “splurge.”
Avoid going that far and looking hungry by keeping your blood sugar stable. Eat yours Nutrisystem meals and snacks Before the feast and save any SmartCarbs or PowerFuels for your cooking. The fiber, protein, and healthy fats in your regular meals will keep you from feeling overly hungry, so you can measure out portions of your favorite meals and stay on track.
2. Start by filling half of your plate with vegetables.
Less than 10 percent of Americans get their recommended daily servings of vegetables, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They explain that eating two to three cups a day can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and, yes, obesity.
By eating lots of vegetables, you get plenty of water with your food. Eating foods rich in water means you can pack more volume for fewer calories. This can ultimately help you lose weight. According to Science Daily, a Penn State study found that “women who added water-rich foods to their diet lost more weight during the first six months of the study than those who only reduced fat in their diet.”
So start with vegetables and use the grill to make them even tastier. Get Leaf-approved tips for grilling tomatoes, mushrooms and greens for more flavor. by clicking here! >:
3. Find delicious, low-calorie side dish recipes on the Leaf.
Cooking “healthy” doesn’t mean the food is boring, it should be quite the opposite. The Leaf Weight Loss Blog is your source for delicious diet tips to keep fit. Spice up your coleslaw game with sweet options like these Broccoli Salad with Cranberries and Lime or a fiery, crispy bowl of it Spicy Peanut Salad. Or go crazy with cucumbers. Get this five star rating Cucumber Dill Dip or a glass of this Delicious cucumber and dill salad.
Find more recipes like these healthy side dishes right here. >:
4. Address your cravings separately.
Now that you have vegetables on your plate, get down to business. Identify the ready-to-eat foods you crave most and prepare a healthy, measured portion. That’s straight from the advice of our Nutrisystem registered dietitians. If you really want food, you should eat it. Giving up a small slice of your favorite pie or a slice of cheese on your burger won’t stop the craving. it will more than likely lead you to graze the other way, unsatisfied. It’s best to have a portion that you can measure out and enjoy so you can satisfy your cravings and stay on track.
Click here for more amazing weight loss tips from our health experts. >:
5. Keep calories on your plate, not in your cup.
Sugary drinks are thought to be a big part of America’s obesity epidemic. From 1977 to 2001, Americans increased their daily consumption of sugary drinks from 50 to 144 calories per day. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Over the course of a year, this can add up to 50,000 extra calories.
Save your calories and kick up the flavor with something summery and fun that includes fruit. Try one of these refreshing summer mocktails. >: If you’re a beer drinker, choose one with fewer calories, such as one of these 10 Low-Calorie Beers That Actually Taste Good >:
6. No grill? No problem! Sear your meat for a barbecue-worthy crispy crust.
If your going to the grill usually involves going to the local park, you may not have a grill in your backyard. However, you can get the same flavors you love on the inside by searing your meat to perfection.
Grease a cast iron pan with oil and turn up the burner. Be sure to turn on the exhaust fan to prevent your smoke alarm from going off. Brush a small amount of olive oil on each side of the steak and season generously with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, cook the steak for 90 seconds to two minutes on each side. Then transfer the steak, in the pan, to the oven to bake at 325 degrees for five to seven minutes until medium rare.
7. Marinate meat to fight cancer.
When you grill meat, compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are produced. Journal of Natural Medicine. HCAs are considered carcinogenic and are said to increase the risk of cancer. However, marinating your meats with herb-infused blends, especially ones that include rosemary, can reduce the formation of HCAs on your grill by up to 70 percent.
Try this simple rosemary marinade for beef. Mix half a cup of red wine vinegar, two tablespoons of olive oil, a quarter cup of chopped rosemary, two crushed cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Marinate the meat for at least an hour, then drain and cook.
8. Grill some fruit to make a sweet, amazing dessert.
Roasted watermelon, pineapple, peaches and plums are fragrant. These delicious and refreshing fruits are loaded with fiber and immunity-boosting vitamins. Plus, they’re much lower in calories than the sad, melty fare you’d typically find on a chef’s dessert table.
Get grilling tips for a variety of fruits right here at The Leaf. Check out this guide for 10 fruits that taste better grilled. >:
9. Don’t just focus on the food.
Sure, it’s “cooking” and the burgers and dogs are delicious. However, that is not why everyone is together. We were finally able to get together. So have a plate and make sure it satisfies. Sit back, take your time, and focus on the flavors and textures of these delicious culinary treats. In a recent study published in International Journal of Obesity, researchers studied the eating habits of 60,000 people. They found that eating slowly can reduce the risk of obesity.
Once you’ve finished your healthy barbecue meal, turn your attention to your surroundings. We’ve all been apart for so long that it might be easier than ever. But remember one point. this event is about food, yes, but it’s really about being together. So be present and be together.
10. Have a plan for meals and leftovers.
If you’re cooking a smorgasbord, make a plan for it. Before guests arrive, figure out how many servings of each type of dish you can plan to add to your diet over the next few days. If there’s a favorite dessert, salad, or appetizer you make, think about when it might fit into your plan. Keep the right amount of pre-measured portions for you and your family when guests leave. Then prepare containers for others to take home with them. You’ll have pre-measured treats that fit your lifestyle, and less temptation to deviate from your plan in the days after cooking.