When it’s time to get lean, we are always looking for ways to cut extra calories. While I often enjoy using natural oils to cook with such as coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil because they are heart healthy and have a ton of benefits, truthfully, they can still add major calories if not used in moderation.
In order to help me keep calories low, my go-to cooking oil when I’m cutting (leaning out) is a non-stick cooking spray. The ones pictured above from Trader Joe’s are awesome, but there are plenty of other brands to choose from, such as PAM, which also makes these flavors and a few more.
Unlike the bottled (or jarred) versions of these oils, the sprays have 0 calories and 0 grams of fat.
Why does this matter? Well, if you’re looking to keep calories and fat low with a diet of lean meats, veggies and moderate carbs, you’ll want to pay attention to how you PREPARE those foods. Just ONE TABLESPOON of the average extra virgin olive oil about 119 calories and 14 grams of fat. The macros for coconut oil are about the same. Add that up over a couple of meals and it can really eat into your macros for the day.
Yes, the bottled versions of pure olive or coconut oil are more natural, so it’s still a good idea to incorporate these into your diet in moderation. However, strictly talking in terms of dieting and getting lean (i.e. tracking intake of calories, macros, etc.), these cooking sprays win over oils for less fat and calories by a long shot. Check out the ingredients and calories in these Trader Joe’s sprays:
Note that the Trader Joe’s brand does NOT include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are known to be damaging to the ozone.
I’m not discouraging anyone from using the all natural versions of heart-healthy cooking oils when preparing your meals, but I do believe that these are a great alternative to keep in mind when you need to cut calories and fat from your macros. Bonus: They clean up easily too!
What is your favorite brand/type of cooking spray? Let me know in the comments below!