It’s January and that means it’s time for many of us to work on losing the few extra pounds we gained over the holidays. But, how can we do that? There are many ways of course, including diet and exercise, but this one simple cooking technique can help you lose 6 pounds this year and requires almost no effort!
Simply sauté in water or broth or dry fry instead of sautéing in oil or butter. Why? Let’s look at the math:
2 tablespoons of oil = 240 calories
240 calories divided by 4 (most recipes are for 4 people) = 60 (in each recipe, you are consuming at least 60 calories worth of oil or butter – this is a very conservative estimate and doesn’t count the fat in the rest of the ingredients)
60 calories x 365 days in the year = 21,900 calories! (this is the number of calories you will have consumed in oil throughout the year). This is just the fat in those first 2 tablespoons of oil that you put in the bottom of the pan that you don’t even notice!
21,900 calories/3,500 = 6.26 pounds! (It takes 3,500 calories to gain a pound. It also takes 3,500 calories of energy expenditure to lose a pound).
Fat, including oil, margarine and butter are 120 calories per tablespoons and are the most calorie dense and nutrient poor “foods” we can consume. Fat is 9 calories per gram, while carbohydrates and protein are 4 calories per gram, which is why oily, buttery, fatty foods make us fat.
Many recipes call for you to add 2 tablespoons (or more!) of olive oil or butter to the pan before adding onion, garlic or other ingredients. This is rarely necessary. There are two options you can use to avoid oil.
Using a good non-stick pan, like my favorite Scanpan, makes cooking without oil easy. Many vegetables like onions, mushrooms and spinach contain so much water that they can be dry fried, meaning you can add them to a hot pan without any liquid at all. Some vegetables might need a bit of moisture. If necessary, just add a couple tablespoons of water, vegetable broth or white wine, adding another 2 tablespoons at a time as the liquid evaporates.
This technique works for almost everything but the stickiest foods. In the case of very sticky foods like frying tofu, pancakes or French toast, simply spray a light mist of oil or use only ½ teaspoon of oil when frying these special items in a non-stick pan to minimize the use of oil.
Cutting down and ideally, eliminating oil is an effortless way to help eliminate empty fat calories and easily begin to trim excess fat from your diet, helping you to have the slim, healthy body you’ve always dreamed of.
Note: Coconut oil is often touted as a health food, but it is also 100% pure fat and is actually almost 100% saturated fat (the kind that raises our cholesterol!). So, skip the coconut oil. Get plenty of fat in your diet from whole plant food sources including nuts, seeds and avocados.
Taking the Next Step: Where else do you usually use oil, margarine or butter (pure fat) and what healthy fat-free or low-fat, whole plant-food substitute can you use instead?
Please let me know how you cut out oil and butter and what you use instead in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!