3 ways to lose weight without being hungry or cranky - Part 6

Common ways to lose weight include: eating less, counting calories, skipping meals, eating replacements meals and cutting whole categories of foods.

There are better ways to lose weight. And they start with making wiser choices, upgrading your options and improving your kitchen gadgets.

As we saw in the beginning of this series, most of your hunger and cravings stem from your body being under-nourished.

If you are able to keep as many nutrients in your food as possible over time you’ll start to feel at peace throughout the day without the desperation of cravings and mental hunger.

And the best way to keep all those nutrients in your food is by cooking at home

Wooden cutting board with produce.A few ingredients can make a great meal, cooking at home is the best way to lose weight.

This doesn’t mean being stuck in the kitchen for hours preparing complex recipes with long lists of ingredients. Who has time for that?

I certainly don’t and you’re as busy as any of us.

Cooking is a great way to lose weight, and it’s easy if you have time-saving cookware to help you out

In your cupboard right now, you might have the usual suspects:

  • Aluminum pans, probably with some stains, dents and scratches from scrubbing them clean so hard!
  • Maybe you also have several Teflon coated pots and pans, that can sometimes be quite expensive, although the Teflon starts to come off at some point after much scrubbing and the cheaper versions overheat emitting toxic chemicals into our food.
  • Enameled steel pans, in bright colors, probably with some chips on the surface enamel, but food sticks to them easily and they take time to heat up.
Woman next to a stove cooking.

And of course, most of us own a microwave. We already covered over here the possible health hazards of its radiation

They are undeniably convenient, but they are known to degrade food’s quality, taste and nutritional value. They may also cause foods to become tough while the texture and color become unappealing and using incorrect plastic containers may leak chemicals into your food!

According to Tufts University experts, one of the most popular problems of using a microwave is heating foods too much. This not only degrades the nutritional value of foods but there have also been reports about injuries from “superheated” liquids that erupt once taken out.

It’s also imperative to use only microwave-safe containers.

One of the best ways to lose weight is to use your kitchen and try simple things to cook

Person cooking a pizza at home.Make cooking fun for the whole family, when kids can participate in the making of food they will be more likely to try new things.

Believe me, I do not like cooking at all (ask any of my friends, seriously) and have learnt how to make simple, nutritious and fast meals for myself.

As you start cooking and eating healthy food you’ll begin to:

  • Remember how it feels to be hungry! Hungry is so different from having a craving or wanting to eat – only if you eat clean will you be reminded what hunger really feels like not the “I always want to eat” feeling from a junk-food diet.
  • Get acquainted with feeling satisfied! Yes, that’s another weird thing. We are used to feeling full (and maybe then we’ll stop eating, but “there’s always space for dessert” as I used to say…) but feeling satisfied is a great my-tummy-is-not-exploding type of contentment.
  • Realize how full of salt or sugar junk food is and even restaurant food. When we habitually eat these foods our tongues become de-sensitized and we deem the flavor ‘normal’, but when you have been eating clean for some weeks and then head to Applebee’s with friends and realize that the medium-rare 7oz beef you ordered is so over-the-top salty that you need to gorge water to make it go down (as it happened to me), will you realize just how awful they make food taste.

Cooking at home is the best way to boost your weight loss and if you can make the whole process fast and easy then you will probably stick to it more easily

There are ways to lose weight by using cookware that will speed up cooking time, reduce cleaning time and make healthy, grease-free foods.

Avoid non-stick cookware that contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) – used in the making of Teflon- which may start emitting toxic fumes and the coating may also break down and get into your food(!). Over time these foreign substances can build up in your body.

However, according to the American Cancer Society, research has not definitely suggested evidence of carcinogenicity but it also states that the studies are not sufficient to assess human carcinogenic potential, further research is suggested.

These non-stick pots and pans are readily available in every specialty cooking store, supermarket and even your local dollar store. They are convenient and allow for quick, hassle-free cooking.

Colorful vegetables.Roasting vegetables in the oven is another great way to cook hassle-free.

However, there are other options that are also non-stick without the dangers of PFOA

Cast iron skillets, slow cookers and stainless-steel pots are some of the most reliable, time-tested and best cookware for you to use.

Here is the truth about these 3 cooking methods and the ways they will help you lose weight:

  1. Cast iron skillets – made of molten iron-carbon alloy, with a solid build, it is a time-tested material for cooking (albeit heavy). It does need some time to heat up evenly but once it does, it stays hot – always handle it with a potholder! Cast iron is not coated with Teflon so do use oil spray to avoid foods sticking to it (even if your skillet is well “seasoned”) and when you wash it don’t leave it soaking in the sink, wash it (don’t over-scrub)and quickly dry it; then lightly coat it with oil (ideally flaxseed oil) using a paper towel.
  2. Slow cookers – come in a variety of sizes and settings. A fantastic addition to your kitchen, slow cookers allow you to put in an array of ingredients with little to no prep and have a succulent dish come out some hours later. Throw in some veggies and lean meats, season with fresh and dried herbs and spices, add moisture with broth or tomato sauce, close the lid, and leave it for 4-6 hours. With little effort you’ll have several meals cooked. Food is slowly cooked in a vacuum sealed chamber locking moisture throughout the cooking time. Thanks to the low temperatures, the nutrients in the ingredients are kept intact and the flavors are greatly increased.
  3. Stainless-steel with aluminum core pans – the aluminum core increases the conductivity of stainless steel. Try to get pots with a thick layer of stainless steel, the best you can afford, they will be durable, dishwasher-safe and will not have any chemical reaction with food. They should be heated up slowly to make sure they heat up evenly. If you can get your hands on a set with temperature controls, even better! Cooking will be a breeze and so fast! Like the slow cooker, you can place your ingredients in the pot, close it and come back, this time, after some minutes (depending on what you are doing).
Meal on a skillet at the table.Cast iron skillets, a staple in traditional kitchens, a great addition to your cookware.

The best way to lose weight is to take control of the food you eat. And keep it as natural and wholesome as possible

This means not only making better choices but getting into the habit of preparing most of the food you’ll eat on a daily basis.

We discussed earlier that an easy strategy is to make your week days your “healthy days”.

During the week you can stick to drinking your greens, you can cook batch of meals and have them for lunch at work, get your dose of whole fruits and veggies and drink enough purified water at the office (game plan discussed here).

Sticking with healthy habits for 5 days a week is better than nothing.

It’s an easy way to lose weight without the burden of “perfectionism” and the “all or nothing” mentality that sets us up for failure.

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Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Health & Nutrition Letter, www.nutritionletter.tufts.edu 
Chemours, www.chemours.com
America’s Test Kitchen, Cook it in cast iron, www.americastestkitchen.com
American Cancer Society, Teflon and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), www.cancer.org

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