It’s easy to find yourself in a winter slump, especially when load up on carb-heavy comfort foods, such as such as mashed potato and pasta, and skip exercise because it’s dark and cold outside. But if you’re trying to watch your weight this winter, it doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on delicious warming foods such as soups and casseroles – you just need to be more mindful of which ingredients you use.
Here are a few simple ideas to help you maintain your weight – instead of putting it on – during winter.
- Pack your winter meals chock full of lean protein, legumes and smartly chosen vegetables, such as sweet potato, pumpkin, cauliflower, broccoli, celery and carrots.
- Instead of skipping exercise because of dismal weather, try indoor swimming, indoor sports (such as soccer, netball and basketball), yoga or hitting the gym.
- Swap the hot chips for oven-baked pumpkin or kale chips; make your own pizza crust from cauliflower, egg and grated cheese (or used wholemeal pita bread for a healthy ready-made option); use wholemeal or spelt pasta, or make zucchini ‘spaghetti’ spirals instead of using traditional pasta (or eat a higher fresh sauce to pasta ratio); enjoy cauliflower rice rather than fried rice; and for fried rice or stir fries, add more veggies than noodles or rice.
- Keep handy tasty carb-controlled snacks, such nuts and natural yoghurt, rather than giving in to cakes, biscuits and chocolate. Better yet, don’t keep any unhealthy snacks in the house.
- Plan your meals – on the weekend cook up extra food, such as delicious soups and stews, to keep in the fridge and freezer, so you don’t succumb to greasy takeaway or eating junk food, which is quite a common thing to do in winter.
- Drink plenty of water – sometimes thirst can disguise itself as hunger. So drink up before reaching for that snack.
- Get enough sleep – sleep deprivation has been associated with weight gain. Aim for about seven to eight hours of shuteye a night and try to stick to a reliable sleep schedule. Your bedroom environment is also important for a good night’s sleep – so clear the clutter, remove the digital devices and ensure it’s completely dark.
What are your tips for maintaining your weight throughout winter?