Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN
There’s lots of things that work against weight loss in the winter. At least, that’s how it seems.
- Cold weather makes you hunker down.
- Less fresh produce available.
- Exercising outdoors isn’t doable.
- Holiday party after holiday party…
- Leftovers from holiday parties.
- Winter blues and less daylight.
- Fatigue and seasonal illness.
These things can definitely stress out even the most disciplined dieter! But you can lose weight, enjoy your diet and stop winter weight gain!
What to Eat in the Winter for Weight Loss
Now, it’s important to exercise in the winter, (link to winter exercise blog) and holiday eating for weight loss is a whole topic of its own!
In this post, let’s talk about what to eat so that you come out closer to your weight loss goals in the spring.
1 – Cold or hot water… just have water!
Couple the dry indoor air with cold weather, and you may be at risk for chronic, mild dehydration. Dehydration can present as hunger pangs, so you may reach for food when you actually need more fluid.
Always keep water close by. Love icy water? Only drink hot water in the winter?
Choose whichever you’ll drink more of!
2 – No fresh produce? Go frozen.
Fruits and vegetables are so important for weight loss because they’re full of nutrients, fiber, water and low in calories. It’s recommended to make ½ your plate fruits and vegetables.
But, what if fresh produce is scarce?
Stock up on plain, frozen fruits and vegetables. They last for months in the freezer, and the best part: Frozen fruits and vegetables retain most, if not all, the same nutrition as fresh! They’re cost-effective too.
3 – A little caffeine doesn’t hurt.
Research shows that having a little boost of caffeine, say from coffee or tea, can help you burn more calories during exercise.
Now, don’t go overboard. Just a small cup of coffee 30-60 minutes before your workout is all you need for a kick (but don’t forget to hydrate).
4 – Soup for the soul.
Many of us look for warm comfort foods in the winter, but most are laden with calories, fats and creams. Make broth soup a staple in your winter weight loss plan.
The best things about soups for weight loss:
- Can be low in calories.
- You can add tons of vegetables and lean protein.
- The fluid fills up your stomach so you feel satisfied.
- Warms you up on a cold day.
Something to keep in mind: Luckily you can find convenient canned soup or make your own. However, always look at the sodium content of your soup and/or broth. Look for low sodium or no-sodium soups. Eating too much sodium can affect blood pressure.
5 – Colorful plates in whiteout conditions!
Keep your plate colorful (with fruits and vegetables), even in dreary winter weather. Great winter produce:
- Brussels sprouts
- Collard greens
- Sweet Potatoes
- Swiss chard
6 – New year, new cuisine.
Make a New Year’s resolution to expand your diet horizons. Try new spices and global cuisines. This is perfect for dieters who are sick of the same old meals.
Traditional Asian, Mediterranean and Indian dishes emphasize fruits, vegetables and plant-based proteins! You may find that vegetarian meals are both delicious and lower in calories.
Change up your diet to stay engaged and accountable to your goals.