Saturday, May 26, 2007

My low fat recipes are no diet

I felt the need to make a general explanation for the fact I publish low fat recipes.
My recipes are not made for losing weight. If you want to and need to lose weight, you will have to find a dietician to help you design a diet that fits your physical make up and that will help you lose weight in a responsible way. Or if you do not want to go that road, you might want to try diets that are laid out in various dietary programs or books (for what they are worth; I am convinced there are a lot of scams and plain ineffective methods out there) or even enter a support group of the likes of Weight Watchers or OA. Whatever the road to take, and what ever the outcome, to reach the right weight is one thing, stay there is another.
My low fat recipes are our way of staying at the right weight. When I look back at the recipes I followed when I learned cooking, there was no intention of keeping the calories down. The amounts of calorie rich ingredients were not kept at a reasonable rate (sugars, fats, carbo-hydrates) and maybe made for very delicious meals, but not very healthy ones. The current quest is to make (or remake) recipes and crank down the calories. I try not to use sugars, but if I have to, use no more than one tea spoon per four servings and preferably replace with more natural sweeteners such as honey (which by the way can be obtained in a light, low calorie version) or raisins and other fruit. I keep oil, butter or cream at a rate of one table spoon per four servings. Carbo-hydrates (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes etc) are fine with me, I'll just eat no more than one serving.
All of this is fine, but must go with two other rules for eating, otherwise it won't work. The first rule is to never go hungry. When you are starving you are inclined to indulge in eating or attack some high calorie food. When having eaten in time it is much easier to stay away from the bad foods.
The second rule is just as important and easier to abide by if you stay true to the first one: never over-eat. It amazes me now when I look back and understand how I had made myself used, over the years, to stuff myself up. I had to unlearn this and gradually get used to eating smaller portions. It is very important to understand that this needs getting used to, otherwise eating binges are on the lure again. But one should eat just enough to not go hungry until the next meal.
And thus, with a normal three meals a day, eating as much as I want (without stuffing), I can stay away from the calories and remain at a normal weight.