Cooking Foods That Reduce Belly Fat - dummies

Cooking Foods That Reduce Belly Fat

By Erin Palinski-Wade

When you have a kitchen stocked with belly-flattening food choices, you can easily whip up healthy meals that will help you lose weight. Cooking at home, instead of eating in a restaurant or ordering take-out, is one of the best things you can do for your belly and your health. When you cook your own food, you know exactly what ingredients (and how much) are going into it. And knowing what you’re eating helps to prevent any surprises on the scale.

Some cooking techniques produce foods that are healthier:

  • Baking/roasting: This technique includes cooking foods by surrounding them with dry heat in an oven. Everything from fish and meat to bread and veggies can be cooked by baking or roasting. Preheat your oven by turning it on and allowing it to warm to the desired temperature. After your dish is ready to bake, place it in an oven-safe baking dish or pan in your fully heated oven for the amount of time the recipe calls for.

  • Broiling: This technique involves cooking close to the heating element in the oven. Because broiling uses a direct, high heat, preparing beef, pork, fish, and poultry usually takes only a few minutes.

    Start by preheating the broiler for 5–7 minutes. Season your meat or fish and place it on a broiler pan or in a shallow baking pan. Place the pan in the oven about 5 inches from the heat source. Place thicker cuts a bit further from the heat (very thick cuts shouldn’t be cooked with this method). Depending on the thickness of the meat or fish, you can turn it over between the 5- and 10-minute mark. After it turns a deep, golden brown color, it’s time to flip it. Cook on the other side for about the same amount of time or until it reaches the appropriate internal temperature.

  • Sautéing: This method of cooking allows you to quickly cook food (mainly meats or vegetables) in a small amount of oil in either a sauté pan or skillet.

    To sauté, place your pan over a medium-high heat and allow it to warm. After the pan is hot, add just enough healthy oil, like olive oil, to lightly cover the bottom of the pan. Allow the oil to heat, and then add your ingredients. To prevent burning and to cook evenly, make sure you keep a close eye on the food and stir often.

  • Steaming: Steaming allows you to cook vegetables to a crisp, delicious texture while maintaining nutrients. Boiling, on the other hand, saps veggies of their belly-blasting nutrients.

    To steam, wash and cut your vegetables, ensuring they’re in equal-sized pieces (to promote even cooking). Place a large pot filled with 1–2 inches of water over a high heat and bring it to a boil. Put a steamer basket into the pot, add your vegetables, and cover the pot. Let the vegetables sit in the steam for a few minutes, or until they achieve the desired tenderness and texture. Remove the lid carefully (watch out for steam because it can burn your hands and arms if they aren’t covered), and serve immediately.