There are simple ways to avoid weight gain this winter.
There are simple ways to prevent gaining weight during winter. Bondi Beauty spoke to Dr Joanna McMillan, nutritional scientist and dietician who has five tips for how to maintain a healthy diet and to avoid gaining weight during the cold winter months.
Why do we tend to put more weight on in winter?
“When the weather is colder we naturally want to eat different foods. It’s less tempting to have a light salad and much more appealing to have richer casseroles, curries and comfort foods.
We also tend to stay indoors more and so exercise levels may drop. Being indoors can also lead to more eating occasions. It’s not a foregone conclusion, however; with the right choices we can, of course, make healthier winter dishes and avoid winter weight gain.”
Joanna has five simple tips on how to get through winter without gaining weight.
1.Make the Switch
Choose wholesome, wholegrain varieties instead of white processed versions of your favourite foods.
For example, switch white bread to whole grain options, white rice to brown rice or quinoa and low fibre to high fibre, whole grain breakfast cereals. This will boost gut health, with the knock-on effect on better immune health to fight off winter coughs and colds, and control your weight by helping you feel more satisfied with meals.
2. Healthify your guilty pleasures
Every Australian loves a hot chip or two, but these sorts of foods really should be considered a treat food. My two boys absolutely love chips so making them as healthy as possible I use my Philips Airfryer to air fry potatoes, sweet potato and even carrots – they barely notice the difference as the process of air frying still produces a crispy texture without deep-frying – the dream! Plus it means I can control the quality of the oil and use my antioxidant rich extra virgin olive oil.
3. Snack Smart
Your daily carb and sugar intake can add up quickly when your consuming snacks such as chips, crackers, chocolate and sugary drinks out of the vending machine or the café down the road. Instead try snacking on toasted nuts, whole fruit, a boiled egg or two or even whip up some savoury whole grain muffins filled with veggies to keep you going past the 3pm slump.
4. Rethink pasta
Pasta isn’t a bad option for a lunch or dinner meal, however, it’s important to choose options that will keep you full for longer, i.e. a wholemeal pasta option. Making fresh pasta can actually be a lot easier than you think – there’s a whole range of appliances out there now that cut the hard work right out.
You can make fresh penne, lasagna, fettuccine and many more kinds using a whole range of flours such as whole-wheat or even quinoa flour. You can also jam-pack your pasta with a range of veggies by mixing in juices from beetroot or my favourite, spinach.
5. Go Slow
We should eat differently in winter and colder days do lend themselves to stews, casseroles and curries. But they needn’t be unhealthy. Slow cooking is a superbly healthy way to cook meat and it really doesn’t take any more preparation time, just a little pre-thought.
I slow cook my meat this way with root veggies and tomato. Then add my fresh veggies, such as spinach and broccoli, in the last few minutes of cooking for a perfectly balanced delicious winter family meal.