By William Kang
When people say, “90% of results start in the kitchen," they don't mean the kitchen at your favorite fast food restaurant. Cooking at home is actually one of the most effective tools when it comes to losing weight and seeing great results!
But if your kitchen feels like a foreign land to you (other than Mt. Microwave), you might be struggling to find a place to start. Don't worry — you're not alone.
No matter what your experience is, we'll help you learn your way around a recipe or two. From beginner tips to basic cooking skills, here are the essential resources that you need to start crafting your own culinary creations!
How to Get Started
Essential cooking tools
What's a craftsman without their tools? Get familiar with these 11 kitchen essentials that'll help you whip up something delicious.
How to clean fruits and veggies
These tips aren't just for germaphobes — you'll want to keep these food-washing best practices in mind to avoid any chance of getting sick due to foodborne illnesses.
Guide to knife cuts
One of the most important parts of preparing ingredients is knifework. Learn how to handle a knife properly and safely, and you'll be slicing and dicing your way through basic cuts in no time.
How to Cook Proteins
This lean protein source is a staple in most healthy meal plans because of its high protein-to-calories ratio. It's also extremely versatile! Make it tender, juicy, and flavorful with this simple guide.
Prefer a quick seafood meal that's light in calories and high in protein? Learn how to cook the juiciest shrimp five different ways!
Even a small slab of salmon can have big benefits. Not only is this fish packed with protein, it also provides omega-3s and vitamin D.
If you're not a meat-eater, or if you want an easy way to add more protein and fiber to your meals, tofu should be your best friend. Enjoy its many textures and flavor profiles with these tips.
Although red meat should be consumed moderately, we deserve to treat ourselves every once in a while. When you want to indulge or celebrate with a nice cut of meat, here's how to make the best-tasting steak.
How to Cook Grains and Legumes
Just throw some rice and water in a pot and let it boil, right? No! Here's exactly how much water to put in your rice, and how to cook it in a pot, microwave, and pressure/rice cooker.
Once you learn how to pronounce this ancient grain (keen·waa), it's time to learn how to cook it! Luckily, it's pretty similar to cooking rice, making it an easy swap when you're looking for some variety. Fun facts: it's rich in lysine and a great source of fiber.
Lentils are a quick and easy source of fiber and protein. If you like to cook with color, there are several different shades of lentils, each with their own textures and flavor profiles.
Beans are very versatile and nutrient-dense — you can throw them in salads, main dishes, muffins, and even in smoothies to boost the protein content. Here's the full bean breakdown!
How to Cook Vegetables
Don't like Brussels sprouts? You've probably been cooking them wrong! Learn the best ways to cook this veggie and how it can amp up your meals.
Cooking broccoli is one of the simplest ways to add more greens to your plate. You can enjoy it steamed, boiled, baked, or roasted, so you're bound to find at least one variation you like!
They might not look like the most edible vegetable, but artichokes are actually fairly easy to prepare. They're also high in protein compared to other vegetables, rich in antioxidants, and contain some fiber, too.
If you avoid kale because of its bitterness, there are a few easy ways to make enjoyable. Just by taking some time to prepare and cook it properly, you can mask its taste and enjoy it in salads, as a side, or on its own!
More than the pretty purple color it provides to a dish, eggplant also provides fiber and potassium. Learn how to spot the best ones in the market and how to cook them to perfection.
Your kitchen might not always be stocked up on beets, but they're a serious powerhouse of nutrients! Elevate your soups and salads and boost their nutritional value with this root vegetable.
Embrace fall flavors with this guide on how to chop up and cook butternut squash. They serve as lower-calorie alternatives to potatoes that have a deep, rich flavor.
You can still have your oodles of noodles without oodles of extra carbs by cooking spaghetti squash. It's gluten-free, packed with nutrients, and super simple to make!
Sweet or savory? Get you a root vegetable that can do both! Sweet potatoes can be dressed with brown sugar, honey, and molasses, or you can enjoy them with some sour cream, grilled veggies, and Parmesan.
Cooking for Weight Loss
Beginner meal prep tips
Although it might seem like a big undertaking, meal prepping helps you save time and stick to a meal plan. We've gathered some of the most important things to know for meal prep newbies.
How meal prepping can help you lose weight
Cooking at home lets you control the ingredients and portions of your meals. That means less mindless eating and more healthy food choices throughout the week so you can stay on top of your nutrition.
Diet plan for weight loss
The best diet plan is the one you'll stick with. But in case you need some inspiration, here are some tips to help get you started!
If you do plan to go on any “diet," make it this one. The Mediterranean diet focuses primarily on whole foods in the form of fish, grains, and vegetables.