During the summer months we all tend to do more exercise, and eat more healthily. Those long summer days and light evenings encourage us to go out for country walks, play ball on the beach or go swimming. Salads and lighter meals are more appealing in the warmer weather, so we often eat a lighter and more healthy diet.
But when the winter comes, this can all go out of the window. Cold, rainy weather and dark evenings make us want to hibernate on the sofa, and eat stodgy comfort food. So we often gain extra weight in the winter months.
However it doesn't have to be like that. With a few simple rules you can 'eat yourself slim' and feel healthier, and happier.
Although we sometimes don't feel like eating fruit and vegetables in the winter, but would rather tuck into muffins and stodgy puddings, it is important to have a varied diet so that we are getting all the vitamins we need; especially vital over the winter when coughs and colds are so prevalent. Also a healthy varied diet is more likely to keep those pounds off us, as we will be less likely to snack on high calorie, high fat food.
Try and make fruit and vegetables more palatable and appealing. For example slice fruit to make a colourful fruit salad. Include orange segments, pinapple chunks, berries and melon slices, as well as apples.This will be a pleasure to eat and will make you feel full of energy afterwards.
Stop salads being boring by choosing iceberg lettuce instead of ordinary, and don't just use lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. Try some more unusual ingredients, like grated red cabbage, red grapes, or olives. Add a vinaigrette dressing, as these tend to be lower in calories than an oil or cream based dressing.
Baked potatoes may seem naughty but are fine as long as you don't go overboard on high calorie fillings. Try cottage cheese, tuna, baked beans, prawns or shredded chicken breast, for a lower fat but tasty filling. By avoiding mayonnaise or creamy fillings you will make the meal much lower in calories, but it will still be filling and nutritious.
Pizza is normally on the banned list if you are trying to stay slim, but if you make your own then you can get away with it. Make your own base with flour and water, or buy ready make bases in the supermarket, then add your own tomato puree, grated cheese (this way you can control the quantity), tomato slices, tuna, prawns, pineapple, or whatever else takes your fancy. Your own homemade pizza is likely to be healthier and less calorific if you choose simple low fat ingredients.
Wine and beer can help you to relax during those winter evening,s but limit the quantities or your waistline will suffer the consequences. Try a smaller glass, as you feel like you are having more than you really are and can trick your mind this way. Try and only have alcohol on Friday or Saturday evening, and see it as a treat and a way to celebrate the weekend, rather than a daily ritual.
Try not to go overboard on chocolate or chips as these tend to pile on the calories and don't have many real health benefits.
If you need a chocolate fix then how about a hot chocolate drink? Delicious low calorie versions are available where you just add hot water, and this can be a very comforting but low calorie drink if you have just come in from the cold, or want a treat at bedtime. Alternatively a low fat chocolate mousse can assuage a chocolate craving. If you have got to have real chocolate, then have some, but limit yourself to just one small bar a day, at a special time which you look forward to.
Banning foods completely can make them more desirable, so remember, it is all right to have a little bit of what you fancy, as long as it is only a little bit! Keep your diet varied to include as many vitamins as possible, and eat as much fruit and vegetables as you can.
Finally, going for a walk several times a week not only helps to keep your weight down, but is very beneficial to enhance your mood and counter stress. Take a companion or use an MP3 player to make it more fun! Follow these few simple rules and you can 'eat yourself slim'.
About the Author:
Lynne Mashhadi is not a trained dietician or nutritionist, but has developed a simple, healthy and varied eating pattern to satisfy the needs of herself and her family. A happy and healthy family is a testament to the success of Lynne's meals.
Note: Before making any changes to your diet consult your doctor.
Rate Me!! Leave a Comment
<< Back to Headlines