Fighting the inevitable winter bulge

2015-09-23 06:00
PHOTO: supplied

Healthy fats will keep you fuller for longer - add some olive oil over your salad with avocado.

PHOTO: supplied Healthy fats will keep you fuller for longer - add some olive oil over your salad with avocado.

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FOR many people, the cold winter months invariably mean a small, but often accumulating weight-gain year-on-year. A small weight-gain of only one kilogram per year, in five years can mean a total weight gain of five kilogrammes, and the need for a larger dress size (not to mention the health implications). It is important to be aware of small fluctuations in your weight and be proactive in preventing a slow spreading of your middle. The following are simple yet effective tips that you can try to fight the winter bulge this year:

Avoid the temptation to drop your regular water drinking habit for coffee and tea. Particularly if you indulge in cappuccino and lattes with sugar. Buy fruit or herbal teas that can be just as good as water in hydrating, but also serve to provide warmth.

Don’t let your exercise habits slip in winter More than ever, this is the time to keep up regular exercise. Done first thing in the morning, any exercise will heat you from the core for most of the day and maintain your metabolic rate.

Beware of the craving for carb-dense (often also high fat) foods and definitely be cautious about trying to cut all carbs during this time (this may exacerbate any cravings that you have if trying to cut back too much). Rather be very selective of your carb-foods using low GI as your guide, and choose wholegrain over refined options. Good choices include rolled oats, heavy dense low GI bread, rye bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and sweet potato.

Plan your meals and snacks to include protein, this will sustain you for longer helping to control any cravings that you may battle with. For example, at breakfast including dairy (yoghurt, milk, or cheese), or egg, at snack times a small handful of nuts, or yoghurt, and at both lunch and dinner small portions of lean protein (chicken, tuna, sardines, cheese, ham, mince).

Don’t cut back too much on fat. Healthy fats will also keep you fuller for longer, plus add more flavour to your meals. Seeds in your oats, peanut butter on your Provita, pesto with your pasta salad or olive oil over your salad with avocado.

Indulge in a hot milky drink after dinner. When most people crave something sweet, a steaming mug of Milo or hot chocolate, made with only milk is a wonderfully rich and satisfying alternative to chocolate.

Allow one treat a week, but make it a controlled and conscious decision whether it is a chocolate croissant with your usual mid-morning coffee on a Sunday, or a meal out on Friday night, or simply a small bar of chocolate with the Saturday night movie. This should not off-set your efforts and dedication during the rest of the week, plus it gives you something to look forward to. - Supplied

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