It's common to see a few pounds add on during the winter months. Not only does the cold weather cut down your outdoor exercise, but you also tend to feel hungrier and crave more comfort foods. The problem with gradual weight gain over the winter season is that many folks will not lose this extra padding for the next summer. Instead, the extra pound or more often becomes a permanent fixture, year after year. So here are five fast tips to help keep your healthy weight on track this season.
1. Slurp on soup.
Research shows that incorporating a low energy-density soup — like a vegetable-based minestrone with no added cream or fats — regularly into your diet can give your weight loss an edge. Vegetable soups are perfect for cold weather and will help fill you up without filling you out.
2. Make healthy swaps.
You don't have to give up the idea of comfort food altogether. Just make some smart switches so that you can still have your dessert and eat it, too. For example, use a low-fat vanilla yogurt instead of double cream on top of poached apples and cinnamon.
3. Enjoy some magic beans.
Legumes and pulses are great for winter. They are high in dietary fiber, low in fat, and packed with beneficial nutrients and antioxidants. Try substituting 1/3 of the meat in a casserole with legumes and you'll be right on track to lowering the calorie content of the meal. Chickpeas go great with Moroccan lamb, and kidney beans are an excellent match for spaghetti bolognese.
4. Sip on chocolate.
There are some great low-calorie hot chocolate drinks around, and you can make your own with skim milk and cocoa. Enjoying a healthier hot chocolate drink in the afternoon is one way to blast those chocolate cravings away and keep yourself warm at the same time.
5. Keep it moving indoors.
Don't forget that physical activity is another important part of a weight-loss success story. If you know you're not going to face a power walk on a cold morning, you need a smart alternative strategy at the beginning of the season. Sign up for a short-term gym membership and move inside. You can also check out your local pool for aqua aerobics or swimming classes.
This article was originally written by Now to Love Editors. For more, check out our sister site, Now to Love.