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The latest trend of Extreme Home Cooking  has said to be due to the continued pressure of the economy. More men and women have chosen to eat at home to save money. Just like extreme couponers, these cooks are looking to make the most for the least amount of money.

While this popular trend for home- cooking can save you money, if done wrong, it can surprisingly have fattening consequences.

Skipping out on dinning out and choosing to cook at home has been a familiar case for people who are dieting. A Mintel study found that 51% of people who cook at home are motivated by a desire for a healthier diet, while 48% said cooking is a way to show affection for friends and family. Cooking your own meals and eating healthy is one way nutritionists and diet plans advise people to lose weight. Except, when it come to doing your own cooking at home, people are not cooking balanced food items and possessing a nutritious diet regime.

As I have stated in a previous post- portion control is “in”and when it comes down to it, we are the ones who have to do it right to be successful. Studies have determined that dieters are inadvertently sabotaging their efforts to slim with home-cooked meals, by failing to measure ingredients, serving themselves oversized portions and clearing their plates even if they are full.

A YoGov Survey done for Weight Watchers calculated one in seven of us  are effectively controlling portion sizes in terms of how much we are eating and over half of us believe we are doing it right. Here are the common eating mistakes that were given in the report:

95% of us admit to finishing our plate of food even when we are full
86% of us are not controlling our portion sizes effectively – although 57% of us actually think we do!
33% serve up the same sized portions for both men and women
58% either guess the weight of ingredients they should be using or don’t even bother trying to control the measurements at all
Only 8% of those who prepare home cooked meals use measuring spoons daily, and only 10% use weighing scales daily

Home-cooking can have many benefits- If done right. According to USA Today, people consume 50% more fat, sodium and calories when they eat out in restaurants. As we all know, eating at home gives you the opportunity to control your portion size and know the ingredients you use. However, as we saw, not everyone is an experienced chef or knows a lot about food- and may be doing it wrong. Here is some advice:

Choosing your Oils and Fats: One technique  to balance your cooking is using components which are less fattening. Such as, grilling meat or saute greens, use a cooking oil that has monounsaturated body fat in it, like olive oil. According to scientific studies, this is certainly healthier compared to oils containing saturated body fat.

Ease on the Salt: Get a hold of that salt shaker! Most of the foods we buy are already filled with sodium- so adding extra salt can only have a negative effect. Try to use fresh, raw ingredients when possible, so you are aware of how much salt you can add.

Bake or Grill vs. Frying: The way a meal is cooked can also yield equally unhealthy results. Frying, shallow or deep, is an unhealthy method of cooking that adds fat and calories in addition to boosting bad cholesterol levels.

Layoff the condiments: Mayonnaise, ranch dressing, sauces and spreads can easily transform a completely healthy meal, sandwich or snack into a fat laden caloric and fat disaster. Adding just two tablespoons of mayonnaise to a turkey sandwich or a chicken salad can boost it’s fat content by as much as 15 grams. Also adding unnecessary cheeses and cream can be unhealthy. Creamy sauces and cheese-based casseroles are one of the fastest ways to boost caloric and fat content in a meal. Opt for mustard or salsa for condiments and try low-fat cheese in moderation.

It is clear that healthful consuming and balanced cooking need to go with each other in order to retain our bodies shape. So whether you choose to home-cook for family time, to save money or for health reasons make sure you are aware of the calories recipes yield. Always double-check your measurements.. and if your full stop eating.