Winter is well upon us and this is the season when we get tempted to indulge in warm, comfort food such as carb-filled dishes, puddings and other decadent delights.
More time spent indoors, less sunshine and cooler temperatures all have an effect on our eating patterns and food cravings. Eating too much comfort food leads to weight gain and the awful possibility of not fitting into any of your clothes come summer.
Pharmacist and diet pioneer Gert Coetzee says it’s important to be aware of what to eat and what not to eat in winter so that we can have less guilt and frustration about our weight.
In fact, he says that winter is the best time to tackle weight issues. “Our bodies burn more calories in order to fight the cold when the temperature drops, and we can use this to our advantage,” says Coetzee.
Below he lists some hints and tips on how to control our weight during winter.
Power up with protein
Get more protein into your diet. Consuming foods such as fish, eggs, beans, skinless chicken and nut butters eg. cashew butter or almond butter will provide longer lasting appetite control.
Tuna and salmon are both good sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D also helps with the strengthening of bones and reduces the risks of heart disease.
Say goodbye to sugar
Replace sugary comfort foods with soups and sweet root vegetables. Winter can make us crave comfort food that is packed with sugar and carbs that can be bad for our bodies.
The good news is that there are soups that are packed with vegetables or roasted root vegetables which are sweet to the taste yet nutritious.
Soup is an excellent meal during winter months when our bodies need to stay warm and cosy.
Choose soup recipes that call for vegetable broth, water or chicken broth as the base. Make sure that you include lots of vegetables.
Munch without guilt
Stock up on nutritional snacks as this is the season when we just want to keep nibbling on something. Choose biltong, unsalted almonds or wholegrain crackers.
You should also stock up on seasonal fruits and vegetables. Kale is great as it is filled with antioxidants that can help detox your body. Citrus fruits are also good as they are good sources of vitamin C which can help boost your immune system.
This chocolate flavoured Shake-n-Shape is a delicious yet healthy drink to enjoy on a cold winter night.
As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, you might easily want to pack away your exercise gear and just stay curled up in your bed with a warm blanket. However, you need to stay active during winter to keep your energy levels up and to beat the seasonal blues.
Exercising in winter will get your blood flowing. Moderate exercise helps strengthen the immune system which reduces your risk of getting flu.
We get tempted to eat more during the cold months, so exercising will help you manage your weight.