weight loss

7 Secrets for Healthy Low-FODMAP Cooking (even if you hate to cook)

7 Secrets for Healthy Low-FODMAP Cooking (even if you hate to cook)

You want to eat clean healthy meals but you don't have hours to spend cooking. This is what we all struggle with, but you don't need superpowers to make low FODMAP meals that keep you satisfied and help you reach your weight loss goals. I have 7 pro-tips that will make better use of the time you have. Click through to read all the tips and become a healthy cooking superhero.

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 If you want to lose weight, you need to reduce the calories you eat each day. But here's a secret: You don't need heroic willpower to do it.

Instead, you can start cooking your own healthy meals that fill you up and keep you satisfied for hours. When you do the cooking, you can banish the hidden calorie traps like an extra splash of oil or handful of cheese.  It's also a lot easier to manage the FODMAPs when you're in charge.

If you'd rather get a cavity filled than spend extra time in the kitchen everyday, you need smart strategies. These tips are all about making better use of the time you have, while still giving you healthy, delicious food that makes your belly happy. I think that's pretty heroic!

Psst>>>Click the image below to grab your free cheat sheet!

#1 Make Friends with Seafood

Most of my clients tell me they don’t cook a lot of seafood even though they like it. Here’s why I suspect this is: No one really enjoys handling fish, and prepping it feels like a big hassle.

That’s unfortunate because fish can add so much variety to a low-FODMAP routine (there’s only one kind of chicken, but endless types of fish after all!), and it can provide just as much protein as meat for fewer calories.

Luckily, you can eat more fish without doing more work. Shop at your favorite market’s fish counter, and ask them to do the prep for you. It’s part of the job! From taking the skin off a salmon fillet, to gutting a trout, to shucking oysters, it can all be done before you get back home. 

#2 Focus on One Big Flavor

If seeing an endless ingredient list makes you reach for the takeout menus instead of cooking a healthy meal, look for short and simple recipes with one ingredient that packs a punch. Yes, this even works on the FODMAP diet when you’re avoiding certain flavor boosters like garlic. 

Here are some examples of low-FODMAP, low-calorie ingredients that can add tons of flavor to a dish all by themselves:

  • Smoked paprika

  • Tamari or soy sauce

  • Feta cheese

  • Dijon mustard

  • Kalamata olives

  • Curry powder 

#3 Get Cute with Mason Jars

Mason jars are the sneaky gateway drug to prepping your meals in batches. Use them for building salads, rice or quinoa “bowls,” or overnight oats.

Here’s your game plan:

  • For salads, you can prep 3 days worth before you run into veggie wilt. Combine low-FODMAP ingredients like carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, a single-serve pouch of tuna, canned chickpeas and any lettuce. Make a batch of vinaigrette and add it each day before you leave the house (be sure to put lettuce at the bottom of the jar).

  • For a rice or quinoa-based meal, combine your grain in the jar with roasted or fresh veggies, grilled chicken and an extra flavor booster like cheese, pesto or tomato sauce.

  • For overnight oats (quinoa flakes or chia work too), you can prep 5 days worth of mason jars at once. Each night add your lactose-free milk of choice to one of them and breakfast is ready.

#4 Don’t Prep Your Veggies  

I love to cook. I don’t even mind doing dishes. But I hate standing over the sink getting sprayed with water as I clean a pile of veggies. Instead of doing all the washing, slicing and dicing yourself, buy those greens pre-prepped. 
Some of my favorites:

  • Baby carrots

  • Spinach leaves

  • Arugula and spring mix

  • Sliced or chopped bell peppers

  • Matchstick carrots

  • French-style green beans

  • Baby kale

  • Chopped collard, mustard or turnip greens

  • Shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

  • Frozen veggies like green beans, hash brown potatoes and bell peppers


#5 Cook Chicken in Batches

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the heroes of the diet world and fit seamlessly into low-FODMAP meals too. But don’t buy that puny 1-lb pack of chicken. Most stores offer big packs, or buy as much as you want straight from the butcher. Grill, bake or broil enough to get you through a week or beyond, if you use your freezer.

But what if you have a stir fry recipe that only calls for a pound of meat? Pop the extra chicken into the oven while you cook. You can turn it into a week of lunches, or add it to a quick pasta for dinner the following night.


#6 Bake and Freeze

Don’t let those moist and tender gluten-free muffins turn into hockey pucks on your kitchen counter. Freeze items like mini frittatas, protein bites, muffins and scones as soon as they’re cool. Double wrap them individually to avoid freezer burn. It’s also super easy to grab just one on your way to work in the morning (and a clever way to practice portion control). 

#7 Use a Kitchen Scale

A scale is essential for FODMAPers, and even more so if weight loss is your goal. A kitchen scale lets you:

  • Accurately measure the serving size of fruit, veggies, nuts or any other food where monitoring portions is essential for keeping your belly happy.

  • Reduce the number of dirty dishes by eliminating measuring cups and extra bowls (this makes baking soooo much faster).

  • Weigh out your portions so you KNOW you’re sticking to your daily calorie budget. It’s a lot easier to follow a weight loss plan when you’re not just guessing.

 I hope these tips inspired you to cook healthy and delicious low-FODMAP food. Take it slow at first and you’ll be cooking up a storm in no time.

 

How to Calculate Nutrition Facts for Any Low-FODMAP Recipe (& Free Live Workshop!)

Click through to learn how to instantly calculate the nutrition information for any FODMAP recipe using a free online tool. It's so cool and easy, you'll want to do a nutrition analysis for every dish you cook! Watch the video tutorial in the blog post and start creating your own nutrition labels. Knowing how many calories and nutrients are in your meals will empower you to eat healthier and lose weight.

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Today, I'm going to show you how to use the recipe analysis feature on caloriecount.com to get the Nutrition Facts for just about any recipe.

Whether you're trying to lose weight, maintain your weight or just figure out how your meals stack up nutritionally, you will love this free tool. You'll be able create a nutrition label for any low-FODMAP recipe you find online, and this is a key piece in the weight loss puzzle.

Psst>>>Click the image below to grab your free cheat sheet!

Why Nutrition Facts are Important

If you want to lose weight, you need to know what you're eating. Specifically, how many calories.

The essential fact when it comes is weight loss is this: If you eat fewer calories than you burn over time, you will lose weight.

So counting those calories is the first step.

Thanks to the FODMAP diet, you're probably used to reading labels and ingredient lists already. But how do you figure out the nutrition stats for recipes you find on blogs and websites, or in cookbooks?

That's where this video tutorial comes in! When I first started working as a freelance writer, I specialized in developing healthy recipes for magazines. At the time, there weren't any free online tools to use. You had to purchase expensive software designed for medical pros. 

I would look up the nutrition data for each individual ingredient in my recipes, tally them up based on amounts and divide by the number of servings. This took forever! 

Now, anyone can calculate nutrition facts instantly. Watch the tutorial to see how easy it is. Here's the link the recipe analysis tool on caloriecount.com.

So How Much Should You Eat Each Day?

You've seen how easy it is get the calorie count for your meals, but that's only the first step. To determine how many calories you should eat each day to reach your individual weight loss goal, you need to factor in your physical stats (weight, age, height), daily activity level, and extra exercise sessions.

Luckily, the internet is here to help! There are plenty of daily calorie calculators to choose from. Try this one, and use your number as a starting point.