As the cold weather sets in, it can be hard to stay motivated to eat healthy. Here are 9 tips to help you stay on track this winter. By following these tips, you can enjoy good food while keeping your health and fitness goals in mind.
1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables – the more color, the better
Fruit and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber which all promote good health as well as weight loss. In fact, most weight-loss diets will include some form of high fiber, low-calorie plant foods.
Most fruits and vegetables are around 80% water so they can help keep you full without adding too many extra calories to your daily intake. Additionally, the fiber in plants helps promote healthy digestion which will not only lead to weight loss but also help with energy levels, mood
2. Drink lots of water and avoid sugary drinks
It is recommended that most adults aim for at least 8 cups of water per day; however, the number varies based on body weight and activity level. If you do drink coffee or tea, I’d recommend drinking a cup of water for every caffeinated beverage to make sure you stay hydrated. Additionally, it’s often advised to drink another 8 fl oz for every 25 lbs of body weight.
Basically, the rule is to just drink until your pee looks like light lemonade- if you’re thirsty, you should be drinking water. I found that I lose interest in sugary drinks once I started drinking more water and tea; however, if you just
3. Choose lean protein sources like grilled chicken or fish over
Protein-rich foods like lean chicken and fish help keep you full while also providing your body with the energy it needs to get through the day. Additionally, I find that eating protein first thing in the morning helps me feel less hungry for a longer period of time throughout the day.
Personally, I eat grilled chicken with pretty much every meal (it’s delicious, fast, and easy to make) however beef is definitely another great source of lean protein. I’ve found that if I’m craving steak or hamburgers, limiting myself to once a week keeps me satisfied without restricting too many of my favorite foods.
4. Switch white bread for whole wheat
Whole wheat bread is a great source of fiber and it will help you stay full longer than white or other refined flours. Additionally, if you have a sandwich where you used to use white bread, try using whole wheat instead as it increases the nutrient content while only adding 7g of additional carbs per serving.
As far as I’m concerned- there’s nothing better than fresh-baked sourdough from the local bakery; however, switching your favorite foods from white to whole wheat can make them virtually carb-free! All of my bagels are made with whole wheat flour now and they taste amazing!
5. Avoid processed foods as much as possible
Processed foods are usually high in unhealthy fats, sugars, and carbs which can lead to weight gain and make it difficult for you to lose the extra pounds. Instead of looking for labels like “reduced-fat” or “low-fat,” keep an eye out for processed words like “partially hydrogenated” or anything ending in “-ose”. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, don’t eat it!
I know that avoiding processed foods completely is almost impossible which is why I try to save them for once-in-a-while treats. This gives me the freedom to enjoy my favorite foods while preventing myself from eating them on a daily basis. For example, one of my happiest moments was when I discovered fat-free French Vanilla Coffee Mate…it’s amazing!
6. Cut out sugary desserts and alcohol if possible
Sugary desserts are high in empty calories which can lead to weight gain over time. As well as mood swings and energy fluctuations throughout the day.
Alcohol has similar effects on your body so if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s best to avoid drinking altogether.
I know that this can be difficult for some people, so if you do drink, I’d recommend limiting yourself to one or two drinks per week at the most.
7. Experiment with new vegetables!
If you’re like me, chances are you’ve eaten 10 different varieties of lettuce. Aand that’s not even including all of the different types of salad dressing- so why not try something new! Vegetables have a variety of tastes, textures, colors, flavors, and nutrients so there’s no reason to eat the same
8. Get more exercise and sleep
Getting enough sleep and exercise is essential for weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I try to make sure I get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night and I always make time for a good workout 3 To 4 times a week.
When I’m short on time, I’ll do a quick 20-minute workout at home or go for a walk around my neighborhood. There are so many different types of exercises and activities to choose from, so find something you enjoy and stick with it!
9. Make sure your diet is balanced and includes all the food groups
A balanced diet is key for weight loss and overall health. In order to make sure I’m getting all the nutrients my body needs. I try to eat a variety of foods from all the food groups. This includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. I also make sure to drink plenty of water each day.
Winter can be a difficult time to stick to your health and fitness goals, but it’s not impossible. By following these nine tips, you can make healthy eating easier and more enjoyable. Let me know in the comments below which of these tips work best for you or share your own favorite winter weight loss strategy. Stay warm and eat well!