Avoid weight gain and stay healthy all season long with these simple and effective diet tips.
SWITCH TO ANTIOXIDANT-RICH AND WHOLEGRAIN FOOD ITEMS
It is tempting to reach for comforting “white” carbohydrate foods in winter such as cakes, cookies, white pasta, rice and breads. These refined foods promote weight gain as they are digested quickly and cause your blood-sugar and insulin levels to spike. Making the switch to wholesome wholegrain varieties will help you maintain a healthy weight and keep you full for longer, as they are rich in fiber and help keep your blood-sugar levels balanced. Nutritious wholegrain choices include whole oats, quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, wholegrain pasta and grainy breads.
Other “white” foods to avoid include cream, butter and cheese – they are heavy on calories and rich in saturated fats. Instead, go for dishes made with antioxidant-rich tomato or vegetable-based sauces.
KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED
We often forget to keep our water intake up during winter, yet it is important to drink plenty of water all year round for good health. Air conditioning and heaters can be very dehydrating, so make sure to keep your water intake high.
Try to drink at least two liters a day. Herbal teas count too. There are many wonderful health-promoting teas to choose from such as ginger (great for improving circulation), green (a powerful antioxidant and can help promote weight loss), rosehip (rich in vitamin C), peppermint (good for digestion) and chamomile (helps calm your nerves).
EAT PROTEIN-RICH MEALS
One of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight is to eat good-quality, low-fat protein at each meal. Protein foods have a low GI and help to stabilize blood-sugar levels, which in turn will help curb sugar cravings and prevent from snacking on sugary carbohydrate foods. A good guide is to keep protein servings to the size and thickness of your palm. Some healthy protein choices include nuts, seeds, legumes (and legume-based foods such as hummus), eggs, fish, lean meat, chicken, low-fat dairy and soy products. Protein foods also help to create a feeling of fullness, preventing you from overeating.
EAT MORE OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
At least half of your diet should be made up of fresh fruit and vegetables (including legumes). Fruit and vegetables are an excellent source of important vitamins and minerals including vitamins A and C, foliate, iron and calcium.
Purple, red and orange varieties are particularly high in potent health-promoting antioxidants. However, if you are watching your waistline, don’t overdo higher-GI vegetables like potato, sweet potato and pumpkin. Aim to have about three pieces of fruit a day. Try adding fruit to your porridge, and make stewed fruit to have with muesli or natural yoghurt in the morning.
CONSUME LOW-CALORIE SOUP
Have a small bowl of low-calorie soup before your main meal to help manage your weight. Doing this is not only a great way to increase your vegetable intake, but also help reduce the amount of food and calories you consume in a meal, according to a study by Pennsylvania State University in the US. Don’t forget to add immune-boosting ingredients such as garlic, ginger and onion to protect yourself from colds and flu.
Eat wise. Stay healthy!
Gaurav is an entrepreneur whose first Start-up was focused on providing services to patients suffering from Chronic Diseases. While researching about the causes of lifestyle diseases and the ways to reduce their incidence, he chanced upon the idea of growing healthy and nutritious food using advanced farming techniques.
He founded CityGreens with a mission to enable City Dwellers to access Safe, Healthy and Fresh food.