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February 21, 2014

Are You Gaining Weight Because of Your Eating and Cooking Habits?

cooking habitsAre Your Cooking Habits Killing You?

When we talk about nutrition we tend to focus and what to eat or what not to eat. We overlook, however, how the food we eat is prepared and our cooking habits. To improve your health and increase your odds of losing weight avoid the following eating and cooking habits.

Avoid these Eating and Cooking Habits

  • Do not miss eating breakfast.
  • Avoid oversized portions.
  • Don’t wait unit you are hungry to eat.
  • Don’t eat too many processed foods.
  • Don’t snack while you cook.
  • Don’t be afraid to improve the recipe with healthier ingredient options.
  • Avoid second servings.

Missing breakfast actually leads to weight gain as people who miss breakfast tend to overeat at subsequent meals. In addition, missing breakfast regularly ends up slowing metabolism facilitating weight gain.

Oversized portions can be tough to avoid when eating out. When tend to eat all that we see – so only fill your plate with a reasonable serving and “hide” from yourself whatever remains from the amount that was prepared. Also, eat foods that tend to be filling that do not contain many calories – most fruits and vegetables fall into this category. Also do not eat until you are stuffed. This is easier to do if you eat more slowly. Don’t eat directly from a bag or box – you will overeat. Take out a reasonable serving and put the box or bag away. But, if it’s in a bag or box there’s a good chance whatever you are eating is not the healthiest.

Don’t wait until you are hungry to eat. Most people are better able to lose weight by eating smaller snacks between their three main meals. This keeps blood sugar and insulin levels stable. Try to eat something every three to four hours (while awake).

Don’t eat too many processed foods which tend to be filled with various sugars, devoid of fiber, and excess calories.

Don’t snack while you cook.  A little food tasting is sometimes necessary when cooking, but don’t over do it. Those extra calories can add up. This is why I don’t cook. Not really – I’m just too lazy to spend all the time to cook something that only takes a few minutes to eat. The time cost – benefit ratio just isn’t there for me. But, I’m glad there are others that enjoy cooking.

Don’t be afraid to improve the recipe by substituting healthier ingredient options than the recipe calls for. The recipe is a guideline only – be creative. Substitute olive oil for other vegetable oils. Substitute Greek yogurt for cream.

Avoid second servings. Put away any leftovers as soon as possible. It’s hard to be tempted to eat them if you don’t see them.

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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