I find dieting
in the winter to be hard – not only is there not much motivation to lose weight when you’re covered up in bulky sweaters all day, but it’s too cold to spend a significant amount of time outdoors and not much in the way of fresh produce to enjoy. It can be done though; check out these tips for losing weight in the wintertime.
1. Find alternatives to fresh produce
Eating more fruits and vegetables is key to losing weight. They provide a lot of vitamins, minerals and fiber, all of which are important when losing weight. They also make you feel fuller, blocking your intake of the not so healthy foods. If you have a hard time finding fresh produce in the winter, check out the frozen alternatives
. Canned foods are high in salt, but frozen veggies and fruits are usually frozen at their peak of freshness making them rich in nutrients. There’s also a great variety of frozen berries, peaches and other fruits and vegetables that might not be available to you in the winter months.
2. Drink more teaBlack, green and herbal teas are great in the wintertime. They’re warm and cozy and low in calories. They also help you get more water, which can help you feel full. Try having a cup of tea as a snack or with your meals.
3. Keep a food diaryIt may be helpful to keep track of your calories for a few days or weeks to make sure that you aren’t going above your daily caloric goal. Some people even keep a food diary long term to keep themselves on track. There are many great apps that you can find on your phone to make tracking easy.
4. Eat more soupSoup is one of those classic winter foods that taste wonderful when coming in from the cold. Most are low in calorie and rich in vegetables and beans, but avoid the cream-based soups because they are very high in calories and fat. Try having a bowl of vegetable soup before lunch and dinner; it may keep you from eating as much with your meal.
5. Get more sleepI’ve said it before but it warrants repeating here. Not getting enough sleep boosts the production of certain hunger hormones. These hormones make us crave foods that are high in fat and calories as a way to get more energy. This makes it really hard to make good food choices. Get your full 7 to 8 hours of sleep to ensure that you are well rested and better able to make healthy choices.
Yes, there is a big shortage of fresh produce in a large part of the world during the winter months, but there is also an abundance of fresh winter produce. Check out the different types of squashes, oranges, clementines, bananas, grapefruits (don’t eat these if you are taking hormonal birth control), apples and hearty greens like kale. Try experimenting with these winter fruits and veggies – who knows, you might find something you really like!
7. Eat more oatmeal
Oatmeal (the steel cut, unprocessed kind) is extremely healthy – studies have shown that eating oatmeal regularly can help your blood pressure and glucose levels. It’s also very high in fiber and protein. Eaten for breakfast each morning, oatmeal can help you feel full all day and give you more energy. Just avoid the pre-packaged sugar filled kinds and instead opt for steel cut oats or plain oatmeal that you prepare yourself.
You may have seen the mason jar refrigerated oatmeals floating around Pinterest also – they’re delicious and so easy to make ahead of time. For those of you who haven’t seen them, simply add your oatmeal and liquid to a mason jar (I use ¾ cup of oatmeal and 1 ¼ cup of water mixed with milk). Stir and add flavorings – try a little maple syrup, low calorie jam, apples and cinnamon, or any dried fruits and nut combination that you like. Refrigerate and eat cold – it sounds gross, but the oatmeal softens and is really good. I’ve even prepared one in the morning and had it be ready by the time I got to work.
8. Drink more waterIt’s very easy to get dehydrated in the winter. The heated air can be extremely drying and we often forget to drink water because it’s so cold out. You still, however, need to drink 7-8 cups of water each day. Feeling thirsty can be mistaken for feelings of hunger, making us eat more when all we needed was a drink of water. In addition to water, try drinking unsweetened teas to boost your fluid intake.