What is your game plan this winter when those seasonal cravings set in? Here are some simple and effective tips that should help you avoid the dreaded winter weight gain and stay healthy through the season.
In the summer it is easier to remember to keep up the water intake due to the heat. In the winter it is easy to forget! It is important to drink plenty of water all year round for overall good health. Remember heaters can be very dehydrating. Try to drink at least 2 liters of water or herbal tea each day. There are some great health promoting teas to choose from such as ginger (helps circulation), green (antioxidant), rosehip (rich in vitamin C), peppermint (help digestion), and chamomile (helps calm nerves).
- Choose WHITE Foods Carefully
Comforting white carb filled foods such as cookies, cakes, white pasta, breads and rice can be very tempting. These refined foods promote weight gain because they are digested quickly causing your blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. Switching to wholesome wholegrain foods will help you maintain a healthy weight and make you feel fuller longer. These wholegrain varieties are rich in fiber and will help keep your blood-sugar levels balanced. Nutritious wholegrain choices include quinoa, brown rice, whole oats, buckwheat, grainy breads and wholegrain pasta. Other “white” foods to avoid include butter, cream and cheese. These items are heavy in both calories and saturated fats. Instead go for vegetable base sauces.
One of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight is to always include a good quality, low-fat protein with each meal. These proteins help you feel satisfied longer and stabilize blood-sugar levels which will help curb sugar cravings and prevent you from snacking on all those “white” foods. A great guide to a protein serving size is your own hand. Servings should be the size and thickness of your palm. Some healthy protein choices include, seeds, nuts, eggs, lean meat, fish, legumes and low-fat dairy.
- Half of the Plate Full of Veggies and Fruits
Fill have your plate for lunch and dinner with fresh fruits, veggies and legumes. Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, iron, folate and calcium.
Starting your meal off with a bowl of low-calorie soup before the main course is a great way to manage your weight. This not only increases your calorie intake but it also helps reduce the amount of food and calories you consume in the meal. Make a healthy vegetable based soup at the beginning of the week and freeze portions. Add some immune boosting ingredients such as ginger, garlic, onion and miso. This will help during cold and flu season.
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