When you pick recipes, go for herbs and spices over fats and salt. If a recipe relies on fat for flavour, it won't be healthy. My own experience of american food suggests that this excludes a great deal that is viewed as 'traditional' (I'm not being nationalistic, I fully accept that this is also true of britain). If you can learn to flavour dishes with interesting vegetable flavours (such as fennel), herbs, and spices, you will find your calorie count plummets. That has been part of my diet change in the last twelve to eighteen months, and it's been very successful - I've lost about a quarter of my starting body weight. My other tip would be to use an app like MyFitnessPal for a bit to count the calories you eat religiously over, say, a month, to get a realistic idea if what you consume and whether what you are making is really truly healthy (dont forget to include the fat you cook in!). You will almost certainly be surprised at where your excess calories come from.