Worried about winter weight gain?
Are your traditional comfort foods calling? Here are some tips to help you relax, stay warm and not gain weight over the winter months.
- Shop after eating
The combination of comfort food high in calories fat and sugar is hard to resist at any time especially if you are cold and hungry. Always shop after eating, you are more likely to resist.
- Steaming cups of tea
The combo of caffeine and catechins in green tea can help increase heat production and fat burning. While the effect is small, green tea has other healthful properties, such as helping to regulate blood pressure.
- Vegetable soups
A hearty bowl of soup fills you up, warms your insides and keeps you satisfied. The fibre and vegetables feed the friendly bacteria of your gut microbiome, so they grow and thrive. A US study found that starting your meal with soup can help you consume 20 percent less at your main meal.
- Non-starchy vegetables
Aim to fill half your plate with colourful vegies. Low-kilojoule vegetables, such as broccoli, capsicum and spinach, are key to helping you feel full for longer, thanks to their satisfying fibre.
- Chickpeas, lentils and other legumes
Replacing half of the meat in recipes with legumes is an easy way to cut kilojoules, while boosting your fibre and protein intake. And it won’t cause any great flavour change.
Start small by adding half a cup of cooked or canned kidney beans to a curry; chickpeas into a risotto; or lentils in bolognese. Or try some ancient grains such as Freekah and Barley to give a nutty chewy texture to your favourite dishes
- A spoonful of chilli
There’s good evidence that the warmth generated by a tablespoon of chilli can turn up your metabolic rate and fat oxidation, thanks to its active agent capsaicin, so your body burns fat faster. Even if the claim is exaggerated, chilli certainly peps up a plain meal and reduces the need to add salt.
The bottom line
Ultimately, relax and don’t forget to eat slowly and mindfully. Still enjoy your meals with a glass of water. Listen to the signals from your stomach telling you when you’re full and it’s time to stop eating.
Ref: Australian healthy food guide: May 2017