If you grew up playing basketball, you know this game better than anyone.
Reminisce for a moment back to your childhood.
I bet you remember that one friend, who consistently made ridiculous trick shots. Shots that you had to attempt next in HORSE. Beating your Harlem Globetrotter wannabe friend felt impossible. With each miss, you were one letter closer to losing. And you hated losing.
In today’s world, the only thing you don’t mind losing is excess body fat. As much you and I wish, there aren’t miracle cures for fat loss. Dieting can be pretty damn tough at times—trick shot tough. One of the toughest challenges you’ll found yourself facing is how to prepare delicious meals without adding extra butter or oil.
I grew up in the South where my grandmother added a stick of butter to mashed potatoes and fatback to green beans. Her breakfasts and dinners, still, rival any prestigious restaurant I could ever find myself in. Simply put, the only miracle cures I’ve found for most ailments in life is grandma’s food.
But when it comes to losing excess body fat, you have to be a little more calculated with how you cook your meals. It’s far too easy to add an extra 400 or 500 calories to a meal by overusing butter and oils. When it comes to dieting, most people think they have to sacrifice tasty food on the altar of weight loss.
“Oh, I’m dieting, that means I can’t use butter.”
“Guess I’ll have to eat boiled chicken and baked fish on this diet.”
“I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to eat bland food.”
Here’s the great thing, though. Your battle with fat loss doesn’t have to be full of bland boiled chicken or steamed veggies. In your kitchen, right now, you have a few miracle cures that when added to your food, will make them taste amazeballs even while you lose weight.
Miracle Cures That’ll Make (Your) Food Great Again
When Constantinople finally fell in 1453, it disrupted trade routes via the Silk Road. This made traversing Asia by foot far more dangerous. Thus, European Royalty began funding explorations to find a faster way to Asia. Fast forward a few years: Columbus discovers the Americas, Europe lays claims to these new lands, a few wars start, these lands declare freedom, and then I was born and the world became more awesome.
It’s far easier today to get spices for your meals as opposed to the last few thousands of years.For millennia, humans have used spices and herbs to make the food they consume taste better.You may not be European Royalty but you eat food every day that’s had spices, herbs, and seasonings added to them.
Spices are the seeds, bark, berry, bud, root, or fruit of a plant. Whereas herbs, are the leafy green part of the plant.
Fennel, mustard, nutmeg, black pepper, cinnamon, saffron, ginger, and turmeric have been highly regarded by many cultures for their medicinal purposes as well.
Basil, thyme, rosemary, coriander aka cilantro, and parsley are some of the most used herbs in the world.
Combining herbs with spices will make any meal taste great without adding extra calories. Sure, butter and oil will add a little more flavor to your meal, but the 120 calories in 14 grams of butter or 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil, won’t help you stay any more satiated or add more volume to your stomach.
Herbs and spices are also packed full of antioxidants and some, like capsaicin, cinnamon, and turmeric, may aid in increasing your metabolic rate. They’re like fat loss power-ups.
Lemons, limes, and other citruses are extremely acidic. The acid from these fruits helps kickstart your saliva production. Which is why great cooks know that if you want to hit taste buds hard, you need to add a bit of acidity to your recipes.
Acids also provide the illusion that they “cut” through fat. That’s why adding a little Balsamic Vinegar to your olive oil is a good idea.
Are you cooking chicken breast for dinner? Squeezing a little lemon juice on top of your chicken. Then dashing it with your favorite herbs and spices, will help bring out more of the meat’s natural flavors. You don’t want to drown anything in lemon. Squeezing out half of a lemon or adding a couple tablespoons of lemon juice to your chicken breast will pop the flavors of the meat.
Or you can add a little zest from your citrus by grating the skin of the fruit over your dish. This also aids in reducing the acidity and adds a nice punch of flavor to your meal. Experiment with more than lemons – Try grapefruit with your fish, oranges with your chicken, or lime with you pork.
Onions, Mushrooms, Peppers
In almost any vegetable stir-fry you’ll find these three ingredients. But, they’re true power is far beyond stir-frys. Onions and mushrooms absorb the flavors they’re cooked in. Which is why so many dishes include them. Peppers add a little color to your plate. But they also add their own unique flavors to your dish.
Trying to retain as much flavor as possible? Add a few mushrooms and onions to liven up your meal.
Hot Sauce (I put that shit on everything)
Dieting or bulking, hot sauce is my best friend. Not only is hot sauce a fat loss power-up you can use to burn more calories while dieting, but it can add a kick to your chicken breast or tilapia.
Take 2-3 pounds of chicken breast, toss it in your crock pot, drown those chicken titties in hot sauce, turn the heat to medium, and walk away. A few hours later, you have enough chicken for the week and you did next to no cooking for it. (Take Back [Your] Sunday)
Snake oil salesmen have been promoting miracle cures against common ailments for ages. For colds, my dad swore by whiskey. Take a shot, mummify yourself in a blanket, and sweat it out overnight.
Bourbon glazed doughnuts, beer battered shrimp, wine flavored ice cream, rum infused cupcakes, I’ve seen tons of them everywhere. Every time I see these concoctions, I think back to what my grandma told me as a kid. She said that when you cooked with alcohol, the heat from the cooking process eliminated all the booze from the food.
It’s 2016, and for some reason, I’d never thought to Google that claim; I decided it was time to test grandma’s theory.
According to a study by the USDA in 1992, anywhere from 15-95% of the alcohol used while making your rum infused cupcakes evaporates. Which means that not ALL of the booze dies and goes to heaven.
According to the USDA study, how you cook the booze-infused food dictates how much alcohol remains behind.
Mixing alcohol into liquid and stirring, think Irish Coffee = 85% alcohol remains
Stirred and simmered or baked for 30 minutes, think cupcakes or risotto = 35% remains.
Stirred and simmered or baked for 2 hours, think spaghetti sauce = 10% remains.
Stirred and simmered or baked for 2.5 hours plus, think beef stew = 5% remains.
Why does this matter? One gram of alcohol consists of 7 calories.
So, if the wine used in your cupcake had 13 grams of alcohol in it. That means you’d be adding 91 calories (not including any carbs in the wine) to the cupcake. Once somewhere in the woods of 35% of the alcohol cooked off, you’d wind up with around 35 extra calories in your cupcake.
Those numbers aren’t that shocking and, yes, the additional calories added by booze is less than the calories you’d consume if you ate an apple. But, the apple is going to provide, not only macronutrients like carbs and protein, it’s also adding important micronutrients that alcohol doesn’t have.
During a fat loss regimen, you’ll lose more fat if you keep a closer eye on how many liquid calories you consume. Better yet, if you can drop liquid calories all together and replace them with water, you’ll notice far better benefits.
Food: Should Always Taste Great, Even During Fat Loss
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice taste when it comes to cooking. Food is an important part of your life and to our existence as humans. It’s been at the forefront of bringing families and societies together for thousands of years.
For fuck sake, George R.R. Martin writes more about food in his books than anything else. You know, when he actually writes books.
Yes, there are sacrifices you’ll have to make while you lose fat. But eating bland, tasteless meals? Yea, that’s not one of the sacrifices you need to make.
Stop eating bland tasteless food while you lose weight. Add these ingredients into your next meal and slap some taste back in your mouth.
By Fitmo Coach, Robbie Farlow
I am a gamer and for years, I gave up my pursuit of health and fitness. My body became like the unplayed games on my shelf, forgotten and unused. I had zero confidence, my stomach was beginning to ooze over the top of my pants, and I felt like a stranger was looking back at me in the mirror. Then I realized that I could accomplish these goals if I turned the process into a game and made it an adventure that played out like games that I spent hours pouring into. I’m now an online personal trainer and I see my role as your sidekick. A companion who assists and helps make your quest easier to complete.
Learn more about Robbie, and working with him via the Fitmo app here.