Walking the fine line between wintery comfort foods and your waistline can be difficult but if you do it right, you can have both!
As soon as the days get shorter and the temperature drops, if you’re anything like me, you find yourself craving slow-cooked ragu, beef stroganoff, creamy curries and definitely not a fresh, crisp healthy salad!
Most of us tend to turn towards higher-carbohydrate and higher-fat meals during winter. The theory goes that we crave carbs because they contain tryptophan which triggers the release of serotonin, a ‘happy hormone’, which is also triggered by sunlight. When the days get shorter and there is less sunlight, our bodies start to look for other ways to raise serotonin levels, hence the carb-cravings that hit during the winter months.
However, giving in to cravings doesn’t have to mean adding lots of saturated fats, sugar and salt to your diet – or inches to your waistline. Healthy comfort food really is possible and by making some basic healthier choices, you won’t even notice the difference. Here are my top tips:
Mix up your exercise. If you normally exercise outside but it’s raining, don’t give up entirely – try an indoor workout instead. Buy a few pilates or yoga DVDs and do one of these when you can’t get your usual walk in. Or go to the local shopping centre and do a few laps before you hit the supermarket. In fact, any movement is good movement when it comes to keeping kilos at bay. Start your spring clean a few months early – vacuuming, sorting, washing, ironing and scrubbing all burn energy and you’ll have the extra satisfaction of a productive day!
Do you struggle with weight gain over winter? What exercise do you do during winter? Tell us in the comments below…