Food Preparation

By:  Susan K Wilkerson, RD, LD

The way you cook food can save you extra hours at the gym.  For example, by baking fish for a sandwich instead of frying you will save hundreds of calories.  Here are more healthy tips to help you on your weight loss journey.

  • Plan meals ahead of time.
  • Try cooking methods that cut calories:
    • Cook without adding fat (bake, broil, roast, boil).
    • Use nonstick cooking sprays instead of butter or oil. You can also use wine, broth, or fruit juice instead of oil when cooking.
    • Use low-calorie foods instead of high-calorie ones when possible.
  • Cook only what you need for one meal (don’t make leftovers).
  • If you do make extra portions, put them away as soon as they are ready so you can save them for other meals.
  • Cook when you are not hungry.  For example, cook and refrigerate tomorrow’s dinner after you have finished eating tonight.
  • Make fruits, vegetables, and other low-calorie foods part of each meal.
  • Drink water while you cook.

Adopted from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Weight Lose Tips handout.

Blackened Salmon Sandwich


  • 1 pound wild salmon fillet, and cut into 4 portions
  • 2 teaspoons blackening or Cajun seasoning
  • 1 small avocado, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 4 crusty whole-wheat rolls, split and toasted
  • 1 cup arugula or other greens of your choice
  • 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion


  1. Oil grill rack preheat grill to high.
  2. Rub salmon on both sides with blackening (or Cajun) seasoning. Grill until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  3. Mash avocado and mayonnaise in a small bowl.
  4. To assemble sandwiches, spread some of the avocado mixture on each roll and top with salmon, arugula, tomato and onion.
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