It's not really a secret, not if you've read Eat to Live or Engine 2. But it might be new to you.
This is something I want to share with you because I've heard of so many friends making resolutions to lose weight and get healthier, and it's something that has been a really simple change for me and a change that I think played a huge part in my weight loss last year.
What is it?
Use less olive oil. Or any kind of oil, really.
I've never been the type to eat much fried food, but I do eat sauteed food, like almost every night. When I'm cooking now, I sautee my veggies in low sodium veggie broth instead of olive oil. And when I make salad dressings, I'm more inclined to puree an apple and some vinegar and spices in my blender rather than throwing together olive oil and vinegar.
I still use some olive oil or coconut oil or grapeseed oil, depending on what I'm making, but where I used to sautee in two tablespoons of oil and then add another two as my veggies started to dry out (I never cook in nonstick pans so moisture is a must), now I might use one tablespoon or less, and then I add veggie broth a little at a time until I'm ready for the next step of my recipe.
When I started subbing low sodium veggie broth, I did some mental math to figure out how many calories I was saving by leaving out the oil. The numbers were too big, really, when you consider there are 119 calories in one tablespoon of olive oil (as opposed to 15 calories per CUP of veggie broth), and I was using at least four in each meal I made, not to mention the salad dressing. Over the course of a week, those really add up and they are, essentially, empty calories. Yes, you need some fat in your diet but, according to Dr. Fuhrman of Eat to Live fame, you're better off getting your fat from nuts that you incorporate into your meals (not snacks by the handful) rather than added oil in salads, main courses, and sides.
Veggie broth is not expensive and it comes in really easy to use cartons. I buy my organic low-sodium broth from Whole Foods, where the regular price is $2 per carton. Our Costco just started carrying organic veggie broth too, but it's not low-sodium, six cartons for about $9, I think.
I used to kind of laugh at baking recipes that gave you the option to replace oil with apple sauce. It seemed silly -- let dessert be dessert, right? And that is still my attitude, mostly because we don't eat much dessert-y food here. But cutting out oil in food I eat every day? To me that makes sense, and I wish I'd known sooner about the veggie broth option. Here's hoping a few of you can save some calories, too!