weight-loss-during-winter

How to Lose Weight Fast: 5 Winter Foods That Will Help Cut the Extra Flab

Gaining weight during winter, especially during holidays, seems inevitable. The cold weather and shorter days make it harder for us to go out for a run in the park and we would rather stay on the couch and watch TV. Holidays make things even harder to resist overeating. At some point, it was believed that the average American gains around 10 pounds between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day. Luckily a study conducted by National Institute of Health in the past years proved this is just a myth and the average gain weight during holidays is just one pound.

How to keep weight under control during holidays

It doesn’t make much difference if you gain one pound or more because losing weight during the cold winter season is not impossible. Medical studies revealed that there are two important factors which play a role in weight management. Regular physical exercises and controlled eating have a great influence on the weight of a person. There are some tricks one can do in order to bust that myth of winter weight gain:

  • Eat less, move more – instead of going to cocktail parties and eating cookies go skating or caroling with friends so you can earn that cup of hot chocolate.
  • Eat every meal during the day – Starving during holidays is the worst thing one can do because when you are hungry every food looks delicious and moderation will be the last thought on your mind once you sit down at the table. Eat normally so you can gain control over your cravings and choose what and how much you eat.
  • Eat carbs responsible – carbohydrates are not the enemy as long as you eat them at the right moment during the day and you are careful with their quality and quantity. After working out you can have some bread, rice or pasta because the body needs them. On the rest of the day consume vegetable carbs which satiate like beans and dairy, which have fibers.
  • Eat proteins – they make you feel fuller for longer periods of time and maintain steady the blood sugar levels. Make sure that everything you eat has proteins, even the snacks.
  • Reduce the working out sessions – if you feel too lazy to go to the gym or you would rather go to a party, you shouldn’t completely skip the working out session, but replace it with some exercises easy to do at home in 20 minutes. Use this opportunity to try some of the trendiest indoor activities like yoga, martial arts, fitness or climbing rock walls.
  • Use the activity tracker – it is time to put back on that activity tracker bracelet. If you don’t work out enough, try to achieve the 10.000 steps a day goal.
  • Hydrate yourself constantly – Often the sensation of thirst is mistaken as hunger. Statistics show that almost 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated and they don’t know.

5 winter wonder foods for weight control

Once the New Year’s Eve party is over most people start planning diets and buy gym memberships in order to get rid of the extra pounds gained after so many delicious meals. There is a scientific explanation for why during the cold season we feel the need to eat more. It’s not just the thought of all delicious foods prepared for the holidays, it’ also because we need the fats from the adipose tissue in order to produce more energy to keep us warm during the winter. We should pay more attention to what we eat instead of stressing about how much. Food is not the enemy it helps the body generate energy to keep us warm. Include the next five foods into the holiday menu and you will come out of this season with the same weight you entered:

  1. Green leafy vegetables

Green veggies like cabbage, spinach, kale, cauliflower or broccoli are rich in vitamin A, fibers, and antioxidants which are very effective for losing weight. Fibers are very helpful for cleaning and improving the digestive system, while antioxidants increase the energy level in the body. The isothiocyanates found in the leaves of these veggies can power up the detox ability of the body. By including them into the holiday meals the entire family will be able to eat without worrying about calories. For example, you could mix broccoli with pasta so you will eat fewer calories because the vegetables add volume to the meal which can make you feel fuller. Broccoli can be consumed fried in a few drops of olive oil until it becomes crispy on the outside and tender in the middle. It is a great side for a steak. Also, broccoli is delicious consumed with hummus. Just mix a cup of broccoli (which has only 2.4 grams of fibers and 31 calories) with two tablespoons of hummus( which brings just 2 grams of fiber and 50 calories) and you will have a great low calories snack.

Kale is another source of nutrients whether it is fresh or pre-washed and bagged. It can be used for a delicious salad. Children and guests will be curious to taste the kale chips you offer as a snack. The leaves can be baked and they will successfully replace the unhealthy potato chips and fix the cravings for salty snacks with just 110 calories.

Cabbage can be turned into a delicious side for pork or chicken meals. A cup of this vegetable has only 17 calories so it counts as “free food”. Put into the food processor cabbage, carrots and broccoli, dress the mix with a few drops of olive oil, add rice vinegar and season all with salt and pepper. This might seem a simple side, but it will turn the meal around. Cabbage is a great topping for tacos or adds texture to a salad.

  1. Vegetables with high content of fibers

Potatoes, carrots, onions and squash count among superfoods. Carrots are a great choice for those who try to keep weight under control because they are rich in nutrients and with low calories. This vegetable is a great source of fibers which ensure the proper function of digestive system and support bowel movement. Carrots also have high quantities of water and help to control the false hunger sensation.

Onion might have a specific smell which makes you think twice before using it but it has great properties for the fight with weight. This vegetable contains high levels of quercetin, which is a type of flavonoid antioxidant with the role of boosting the process of breaking down fats and activate the enzymes.

Potatoes are the victim of the misconception that they are a source of fat. In fact, they are fat-free and low-calories. Also, potatoes are a rich source of essential nutrients and fibers which keep bad cholesterol within normal limits. It is believed that eating potatoes with the peel on will help losing weight faster. It is important to prepare dishes with baked or grilled potatoes and avoid deep fry as much as possible. Mashed potatoes, baked potatoes with just a touch of butter or a potato salad with carrots and onion will make delicious options for sides to the festive meals.

Squash is another vegetable rich in vitamins and fibers but with low content of calories. One cup of squash has only 80 calories but ensures the recommended daily dose of vitamin A and one-third of the recommended dose of vitamin C. Baked squash is a great replacement for sweet potatoes which have 180 calories. It can also be added to the soup and make it more creamy for only a few extra calories and no extra fat.

  1. Fruits

Fruits are a natural source of fibers and vitamins and help to maintain the weight and reduce the cravings for sugar.  Apples, in particular, are very effective in the fight with pounds. They contain high levels of pectin, an enzyme which binds with water and influences the amount of fat absorbed by the cells. Because they are rich in fibers they can reduce the hunger and make you feel fuller for longer periods of time. Medical studies revealed that by eating an apple with 30 minutes to an hour prior to a meal it can reduce the number of the intaken calories. This theory is completed by other studies which extend the list of the benefits of eating apples by adding prevention of metabolic syndrome, reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. An apple is a great snack to have within reach because it has only 95 calories and 4 grams of fiber. Recent studies noticed that constant consumption of dried apples can reduce cholesterol and weight as well. Scientists credit these benefits to the antioxidants and pectin, which is some kind of fiber, and fresh apples are more effective.

The perfect dessert for Christmas would be baked apples with cinnamon or some apple pie with cinnamon. Not only they are delicious, but the cinnamon can also help burn fat faster without adding any more calories. Recent studies conducted for diabetes revealed that cinnamon has the ability to break down sugar. Including in the daily diet ¼ to 2 tablespoons of cinnamon can reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels with up to 20 percent. Adding cinnamon to smoothies, desserts, coffee or cereals is helping reduce weight and stay healthy.

  1. Whole grains

Oats are wrongly considered by some people a source of carbs, actually, like all the whole grains, they are a rich source of fibers. Not only they can cut down the levels of blood fat and cholesterol, they can also help losing weight by expanding in the stomach and maintaining the feeling of satiety for a long time. Oats are digested slowly by the body so they don’t spike the blood sugar levels keeping you full until lunch. If most whole grains are also a source of energy, oats have the opposite effect, they can improve the sleep quality. The instant oatmeal bring only 3 or 4 grams of fiber per serving, while the steel-cut and rolled oats version have 5 grams of fiber for each portion.

Pine nuts are another option for bringing healthy fatty acids to the plate. They contain pinolenic acid, which can increase the level of ghrelin, known also as “satiety hormone” so the brain receives the signals that the stomach is full. If the level of ghrelin is high it is easier to resist cravings because you don’t feel hungry anymore. Studies conducted in Korea showed that pine nuts can stop belly fat from forming new layers.

Flax seeds are famous for their incredibly high levels of fiber. It can be consumed in multiple forms as a whole, as seeds, or in the form of oil. These seeds are nutritious because, in addition to the fiber content, they also have high quantities of lignin and omega-3.

  1. Eggs

Eggs are no longer on the list of forbidden foods. Nutritionists would like to erase all the warning issued before regarding the danger of consuming them because they represent a natural source of animal protein without extra fat. In fact, they are a powerful source of energy and many studies proved that eating an egg in the morning, with or without cereals or toast, can double the amount of lost weight

Conclusions

Food must not be considered the enemy for our weight. Instead of fearing it, you could learn not only how much, but also exactly what you should eat in order to keep the weight within normal limits. During the cold season, the body requires more food because it needs to produce more energy in order to keep us warm. Eating healthy is not boring or tasteless. There is a wide variety of foods to choose from and with a little bit of imagination, they can be transformed into delicious meals for your entire family.

The possibility to practice physical effort is lower during winter due to cold weather and shorter days, but we should try to do some exercises at home and not just spent time in front of TV. Gaining weight is easier during holidays because of all the delicious food prepared in a very short time. Before sitting down at the table with the family, try to find some time and energy to do some fun activity in order to earn the apple pie. Going out to sing carols with friends or ice-skate or even fight with the snow like children are fun activities and they burn more calories than you expect. In order to control cravings and keep the weight steady, there are certain foods that could be used more often to prepare the festive meals.  Vegetables, fruits, and grains are the main secrets of going through this time of the year without feeling too guilty. It is never a good idea to starve yourself during the holidays. First it is bad for the health and second, it is inevitable to end up with food in front of you at some point. If you are excessively hungry you won’t be able to control the amount of food you eat and you won’t care much about selecting low calories. Eating normal can keep you in control of your choices because in the end is more about what you eat and less about how much when you eat the right things.

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