Why Diet Recipes Can Ruin Your Diet

I read “The Ultimate Low Fat Baking Cookbook” recently. This is a huge, glossy-photo coffee table books, so I start flipping through and first thing I noticed the photos. They were taken close up to make it appear the cakes and slices of pie were normal sized, but if you looked closer you could see that was not the case. These were Barbie doll sized portions! Every cake recipe made the equivalent of a one-layer round cake that was to serve eight. Think about that for a minute. The last time you had cake did you eat a two-layer with icing? Did you divide the cake into 10 or 12 portions? That’s still far more than you’d get dividing a one-layer cake into eight portions. If eating teensy bits is your idea of a diet recipe, then these cookbooks are for you. Otherwise, you’re just being tricked into thinking you’re cooking lower calorie treats.

Another cookbook is called “Six Ingredients or Less,” but I laughed myself silly when I saw the recipes. For example: Strawberry Pie. Take 1 9-inch baked pie shell, 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 3 tablespoons strawberry Jello powder, and 3 cups fresh whole strawberries; serves 8. Yeah, right. Three cups of berries? Serves 8? Let’s see, each person gets, about 1/3 cup of strawberries (about four big berries), a smear of Jello and a crusty bit? No topping either. ;-(

This recipe claims a calorie count of 284 per serving, so multiply times eight and that little bit-o-pie is 2,272 calories! Obviously you’re not going to eat the whole pie, are you? It would make more sense to eat a bowlful of berries, as a whole cup of raw berries has only 46 calories, even adding some whipped cream sweetened with Splenda wouldn’t add many calories.

Here’s another: Ground Turkey Sandwich touted as “great for kids.” It calls for 3/4 pound ground lean turkey, 1 cup finely chopped onion, 1 1/2 cups of catsup (vegetable?), 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar (why sugar, the catsup has tons), and 2 teaspoons dry mustard. So not counting the spices and flavorings this recipe has 3/4 pound ground turkey, 1 cup chopped onions and 1.5 cups of catsup and it serves six! Yikes. That’s 2 ounces of meat, not quite three tablespoons of onions and a quarter cup of catsup per person, or child as the case may be. No wonder they beg for chips.

Too many times these recipes trick people into thinking their eating low calorie when they are not, simply because they didn’t notice the recipe should serve 8 and instead are splitting it with their husband.

Create Low Calorie Recipes Yourself

Simply split the recipe into another portion. If you usually eat it all between yourself and your husband, leave enough for lunch tomorrow. Instant lower calorie. Check the cookbook if it claims lower calorie recipes to be sure they don’t simply reduce the portion sizes, and you’ll have a great cookbook.