Expert advice for avoiding piling on the pounds this winter
It’s cold outside, the days are shorter – no wonder we all find it so tempting to reach for the comfort food. Unfortunately, winter brings with it an inclination to stay indoors and reach for the biscuit tin, but all our comfort foods and a sedentary lifestyle mean we’re likely to pile on the pounds in the winter.
We asked nutritional therapist Louisa Popplewell, from Nuffield Health, for some insider tips.
Start the day right…
It’s important not to skip breakfast. In the colder weather, a filling hearty yet nutritional breakfast is essential. “Poached eggs on wholegrain toast or a bowlful of homemade porridge are a good source of protein and will give you a constant stream of energy throughout the day,” says Louisa. Another tip is to add some cinnamon to your porridge for sweetness, or some chopped fruit for a dose of healthy antioxidants.
…and keep it going
Resisting the lure of being a couch potato and staying active is key – a brisk walk in the fresh air is great for your circulation, but if you really can’t face going out into the cold, find a suitable alternative. Either join your local gym and start a fitness class or dig out that old exercise DVD and get moving!
Stick to a healthy diet
“Eat plenty of lean protein, vegetables and avoid too much bread, pasta and refined carbohydrate,” advises Louisa. And you don’t have to live on salads to be healthy… “A homemade heart-warming beef or chicken casserole with a small serving of wholegrain rice will fill you up and make cravings much less likely,” she adds.
Cook up some nutritious comfort food
Make your own winter vegetable soups – it’s cheap and very easy. “They’re lovely and warming and suitable for freezing,” says Louisa. “So useful to keep in the freezer as a healthy fail-safe when you have nothing else in the cupboard.”
Spice it up
Give your food an extra kick, without resorting to sugar-laden sauces or fattening mayonnaise, by adding spices to your cooking. “Use chilli and spices in your cooking to help the circulation and give yourself an immune boost,” says Louisa.