Ah, hot pot, a delicious Chinese dish that involves boiling different meats, vegetables and noodles in a rich broth. This is normally used for bringing families together over a delicious meal. After all, you are all sharing the same pot and are choosing which ingredients you want to cook. Although hot pot is a wonderful meal that can incorporate a multitude of flavours, it has a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to questioning how healthy it is. Some broths can have quite a bit of salt in them, plus the unlimited options of cooking food can make you overeat. But fear not! There are some healthy options for hot pot lovers that mean you don’t have to give it up. Here are some great ideas to use for a hot pot so that you can lose weight and maintain a healthy diet.
Choose the correct soup base
Choosing a soup base is one of the most important things you can do if you are looking for healthy options. Your soup base is what you are going to be cooking all of your ingredients in. That means it needs to be a healthy option. Think of it this way, choosing a soup base is like choosing a lover. You need to think about the sort of things you want out of your lover. What you put into a relationship is what you get OUT of it. So, you might say, “Hey lover, do you have a foot fetish?” And then you will learn whether they have one or not. Foot fetishes aside, what the basic metaphor is is that you need to consider what your broth is made of and whether you actually want specific ingredients to be in the broth.
If you have a high-sodium content in a hot pot, then you will find that you won’t have a very healthy diet. A typical hotpot actually exceeds the recommended daily salt intake. this is because popular ingredients, like fish balls, meatballs and crab sticks, are mostly processed food and so are high in sodium. Your hot pot broth may also contain saturated fats that add to the flavour, but can also add to your calorie intake.
That’s why it’s important for you to select a light soup base for your hot pot. Go with a mushroom, tofu or low-sodium chicken or vegetable soup stock. That way you can make sure to lower your salt intake without reducing the flavour of your broth. Just make sure not to drink the broth at the end of your meal and you will be able to stick to a healthy diet.
It is extremely tempting to use noodles in your broth to make a delicious bowl of ramen. Better yet, you may even want to cook some rice in the leftover broth and steamed vegetables to ensure you get the most out of your leftovers. However, these extra carbs can really add to your calorie count. Try to avoid them as much as you can!
Avoid processed foods
As mentioned previously, fish balls, meatballs, crab sticks and cuttlefish balls are high in sodium. This is because they are processed food and have most likely used chemical preservatives and saturated fats to ensure that the main remains flavourful and well coloured. If you want to avoid adding to your calorie count.
Use light dipping sauces
Instead of having a heavy soy-based sauce, go for a lighter option that can use fresh chilli, garlic, vinegar. That way you can avoid having an oil base and instead use something that tastes fresh on your palette and has a less salt that the oilier options.
Use more vegetables in your hot pot
Everyone loves being able to cook their meat in the broth, but don’t forget about your high-fibre vegetables. If you are looking for a quick way to lose weight, make sure to fill your hot pot with carrots, spinach, cabbage, mushrooms, peppers, brussel sprouts, green peas and cauliflower. It’s like basically having a warm and delicious salad for starters before you focus on your main course.
One of the biggest temptations of hot pot is to keep refilling your bowl over and over. This means that you end up eating more than you originally expected. Your brain takes around 20 minutes to register that you are full up. So make sure to eat slowly so that your brain has time to catch up to your mouth. You can do this by chewing your food thoroughly to make sure it has some time to sit in your stomach.
Use a smaller bowl
Now, this is a scientific trick, but if you switch your normal bowl to a smaller size, you may end up being able to trick your brain that it’s full. Your brain naturally processes a full bowl as a large plate. So if you switch it out to a smaller bowl, not only will you start to feel full but you probably won’t even think that you feel hungry or go back for seconds. If you want to refill your bowl, make sure to only do a small portion and don’t fill it up to the top.
Are you ready for hot pot?
Everyone loves hot pot. Whether you have it as a daily meal or you just use it for special occasions, it’s a great way of filling yourself up with the right food. It is an extremely filling meal and will leave you feeling full for hours. Just make sure to follow our advice so that you can continue to enjoy your hotpot without having to avoid it, and therefore inviting in the hot pot cravings.