How to Eat Skinny This Winter
Posted on December 19 2016
Winter is officially here. It means time spent curled up on the couch in front of the fire, playing in the snow, holiday festivals, and enjoying some really good winter food. But there is a downside to all of this. It is very likely in your attempts to enjoy the cool weather - you will pack on extra pounds. It is hard to resist the temptation of the delicious spread that seems to be everywhere you go.
Don’t you worry, it is not just you. In fact, there is science behind these winter cravings. The fat in your body keeps you warm in the cold season, and you have an increased tendency to eat fatty foods to replenish the supply. Additionally, since you tend to stay in and sit still more during the winter, you actually end up munching a lot more than you should.
However, knowing the scientific reason does not quite help you shed the pounds, so here are a few ideas to help you keep skinny this winter.
Healthy Foods to Eat in the Winter
If you want to stay fit and toned during winter, it is better to stick to a few healthy food options and make smart additions and substitutions to your usual comfort food. These recommendations of healthy foods can help you keep weight gain at bay during winter and protect your curves.
Eat more leafy, green veggies
“Eat your vegetables” – your parents did have a point. Veggies such as broccoli, spinach, cabbage, etc. are rich in fiber and antioxidants. Eating such foods in the winter not only keeps your digestive system healthy, but also builds more energy, thus helping you to keep your weight in check.
Add more of these veggies to your plate instead of empty carb starches. You can add your own spices or experiment with cooking to make green veggies taste yummy. Winter greens combined with root vegetables will give you plenty of variety in your diet while also helping you consume different vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to stay fit.
A diet rich in protein can be quite helpful when you are trying to maintain your toned shape even in the winter. According to a study done by the University of Washington, increasing your daily protein intake to 30 percent of total calories can reduce your calorie consumption by 440. When you eat a high-protein diet, your brain is tricked into thinking that you have eaten more than you actually have. With this feeling of fullness, you are less likely to reach out for unhealthy sugary or fried snacks. However, remember to choose the lean proteins rather than high-fat proteins.
Try flax seeds
Eating flax seeds is good for health - this stands true at any time, and is particularly helpful when you are trying to avoid gaining extra pounds. High in fiber and nutrition because of their omega-3 and lignin content, flax seeds help you stay slim and even reduce your chances of developing certain diseases.
Mix in some potatoes
Potatoes have got a bad rep because of the myth that consuming these vegetables adds a lot of fat to the body. However, potatoes can keep bad cholesterol away and help you consume essential nutrients. Instead of going for greasy, fried potatoes, choose cooking methods that are healthier, such as grilling or baking. Eat your potatoes with the skin on for even better results.
Rich in nutrients and low in calories, carrots are a delicious and healthy food for those trying to watch their weight. Carrots contain high levels of water and fiber, which keeps hunger at bay and aids in proper digestion. When you feel like munching on something as you get cozy under the blanket with a book, choose a few slices of carrot with a low-fat dip instead of a bag of chips.
Tips to Avoid Weight Gain This Winter
Adding these winter foods to your plate as a substitute to some of your more unhealthy choices makes keeping your weight under control. To help you stick to a more healthy diet it is important to try easy prep meals and various other seasonings to keep your palate entertained. Here are some additional handy tips that can help you enjoy the winter without having to deal with a lot of extra pounds once the season is over.
Eat to stay warm
Yes, you can eat to keep warm. Making the right food choices can go a long way in satiating your hunger and staying warm without consuming a lot of calories. Soups are an excellent choice, and true comfort food as well. Prepare soups and broths with different seasonal vegetables and lean meats with some warm spices. Enjoy a bowl of soup when you get hungry and you will not feel like munching on unhealthy snacks. The best part about making soups is that you can prepare a good quantity and store it in the freezer for later.
Do some planning
Planning always helps, and it is particularly true for the winter months when you do not feel like getting up to cook and would rather snuggle in bed. Get organized in the kitchen and schedule in advance so that you can cook in bulk on a day when you are feeling active enough to get things done.
When you are trying to keep those extra pounds at bay, aim to eat home-cooked meals as much as you can. Find recipes that are easy to prepare and healthy, and freeze meals so that you can simply defrost, reheat, and sprinkle some garnish on top when you are home from the cold outside.
Stock up - literally
Winter is the time when you are most likely to indulge in unhealthy snacking, so be smart and keep the right kind of snacks within reach. Load your kitchen shelves as well as car with protein-rich snacks like beef jerky, unsalted almonds, fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, and similar items. Kale is a wonderful option as the antioxidants in it help detox your body naturally. Also, eat plenty of oranges and apples to keep your immune system strong.
Contrary to popular opinion, you can actually get more dehydrated in winter. But reaching for sodas and caffeinated beverages does not do much good to your body. Instead, ensure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Go for hot teas and warm soups to increase your fluid intake the healthy way.
Make the right choices at parties
Winter is synonymous with holiday parties; but remember you are there to socialize and have a good time so food and alcohol is just a part of it. If you go to a party hungry and plan to drink just because it is the holiday season, staying skinny might be a difficult goal to achieve. So avoid calorie-loaded alcohol and make food choices that are healthier. Eating something healthy before heading to a party will curb your need to gorge on the yummy-looking but high-in-calories spread when you are having a good laugh with your friends.
Sleep well and go out in the sun
In cold weather, the human body goes back to its natural state of needing more sleep and slows down its metabolism. Aim to go to bed early instead of staying under the covers when the sun is shining bright and warm outside. Sleeping early means you will be well-rested and fresh to get some sun in the morning.
Sleeping well and soaking in the sunlight has been proven to have a positive effect on your mood and serves to keep winter blues away, which suppresses unhealthy midnight food cravings and the tendency to overeat. So head out and take a long walk in the sun or have a good outdoor game with the family.
Remember to exercise
The importance of exercising, particularly in the winter, cannot be stressed enough. Yes, we agree that it is not easy to slip out from under the cozy covers and head out to exercise, but you can make it easier on yourself by choosing moderate indoor activities like yoga. The key to keeping trim in winter is to keep moving. Because the lazier and more inactive you are, the more you end up staying indoors.
And you know that this leads to boredom and feasting on unhealthy goodies. Physical activity also lifts your mood, which keeps you from fighting the winter blues with unnecessary snacking.
Staying skinny through the winter does not mean that you have to give up eating anything that looks delicious. Rather, work smart so that you can make the best of both worlds. Follow these tips this winter and you will notice that you did not gain as much as previous seasons.
We know that fighting winter cravings is not easy or for the faint of heart. Perhaps the best way to stay healthy and keep your moods sweet is to work on a goal such as getting a bigger butt or eating to get sexy long tresses. Whatever inspires you to keep your day to day eating in check is always a good compass and starting point.
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