At this time of the year if you are living somewhere where it is getting colder and Thanksgiving and Christmas are looming then you may be tempted to overeat, eat richer and more stodgy foods and eat in a rush or when feeling stressed by it all.
If you don’t want to ruin the effects of your detox, here are some ideas to help you avoid the party season weight gain.
Some of the desire to eat more starchy and comfort foods may be due to an inbuilt mechanism left over from the days before central heating. Our ancestors needed to eat more calories to increase their fat layers to keep themselves warm during the cold weather.
Nowadays, if you live and work in centrally heated buildings, it’s not necessary to do that. Having said that it makes sense to make use of the seasonal produce and eat more warming foods for the times that we have to spend outside in the cold. but this does not have to mean an increase in calories.
Many people get a craving for sweet and starchy foods during the winter due to the lack of daylight hours and exposure to sunlight. Eating more lean protein can help.
Eat slowly to prevent weight gain
Several studies have shown that eating your food quickly prevents the release of the hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied so you carry on eating more than you actually need. So, if you eat on the run or bolt your lunch at your desk because you don’t have time to take a proper break you are at danger of putting on weight and increasing your chances of many health problems.
12 top tips to avoid putting on weight this winter
- Avoid the high sugar breakfast cereals and have warming oatmeal porridge instead. Make it with water and add a spoonful of live yogurt and sweeten with raisins, a little rice syrup or Stevia.
- Make your winter casseroles and stews with beans and lentils and satisfying root vegetables instead of fatty meat and pastry. Serve with a whole grain dish.You really have to plan ahead with this type of dish so you have your soaked and cooked beans ready. You can always cook up a batch and store some in the freezer. Canned beans & lentils are useful if you have not had time to soak and cook them. Unlike canned vegetables there seems to be little difference in the nutritional value of canned beans and the dried ones you cook yourself.
- Use more whole grains like brown rice, millet or quinoa in place of fries and butter laden baked potatoes.
- Avoid sugary snacks and look for some naturally sweetened snack bars. Not all cereal, or other snack bars are healthy. Read the labels and avoid those sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
- Swap some of your usual snacks and drinks for healthier options.
Instead of a bag of crisps (potato chips) try a handful of almonds and a few dates or raisins.Eat fruit instead of cookies when you feel like something sweet.Make your own sandwiches and add salad instead of mayonnaise.Drink a large green tea instead of a large latte.
- Eat more tomatoes. Researchers think that tomatoes may regulate the appetite regulating hormones and make you feel fuller.
- Have more soup. A bowl of healthy vegetable soup before a meal can make you feel fuller so you won’t eat as much for the main course. Researchers think that it makes your stomach empty more slowly.
- Have a green smoothie if you feel hungry between meals. If you start to gain weight try having a break from meals and live on Green Smoothies.
- Never go out when you are hungry. You might be tempted to buy an unhealthy snack. Always take a healthy snack with you. Have a green smoothie, a small salad or a plate of vegetables before you go out to a party or meal to take the edge off your appetite.
- Offer to take a healthy dish when you are invited to a party so you know there will be at least one healthy option. Fill your plate with protein and vegetables or vegetable salads. Avoid the ones that contain creamy dressings or sauces.
- Make sure you drink 6 – 8 glasses of pure water a day to stay well hydrated. Beware of alcohol at parties. Not only is it high in calories but it can stimulate your appetite. Try a tomato juice instead.
- Try to stay active in spite of cold weather. Wrap up warm and go for a brisk walk regularly. If you suffer the effects of the shorter days make a point of getting out into the daylight every day. Spending all day in artificial light is the worst thing your can do.
Gaining a few pounds during the winter months is not bad because it should easily comes off in spring and summer. But if you are one of those unlucky people who gains a few pounds each winter which never comes off again then planning ahead with these simple tips can keep off the weight.