Be good to yourself this winter by paying closer attention to what you eat. When you put some thought into your menu choices during the cold months, you feel better and you're less likely to put on excess weight. Follow the tips here, and you may even lose a pound or two this season.
Practice Nutritional Mindfulness
Weigh yourself right now so you have a baseline from which to work. Some experts recommend weighing yourself daily during the winter temptation period, but a weekly weigh-in suffices. You objective isn't to obsess over your weight but to work with your body to maintain a healthy size.
Keep a food diary on your device or in a small notebook to track your meals, beverages and snacks. If you've made a vow to limit yourself to one takeout meal per week, your diary can help you keep track. Include a place to note your weight at each weigh-in.
Having proof of your actual diet and your weekly weight fluctuations — versus forgetting all of the food you've eaten and avoiding the scale altogether — helps you see which menu choices put on the most pounds. Your record keeping also helps you see how much food you can eat while maintaining a healthy size.
Shop when you've just eaten so you won't be manipulated by smells and hunger to make poor grocery choices. Keep a bowl full of fruit on the dining table or kitchen counter for impromptu snacks. Have plenty of soothing tea available for late-night comfort, and stay away from the ice cream and alcohol.
Create a Season of Substitution
There's good food in every season, but the winter holiday weeks are full of parties and gatherings where food is abundant. Holiday foods are made with rich, fatty ingredients that pack on the pounds.
Cookies made with butter, rich sauces loaded with cream, and rum-spiked egg-nog are some of the foods you might eat in one sitting. But there are flavorful, festive dishes and desserts that aren't packed with calories.
Instead of serving a stroganoff made with sour cream, serve a curry made with yogurt. Skip potatoes or pasta and serve Basmati rice or cauliflower mash. Choose cookie recipes made with honey instead of sugar. Instead of frosting the entire sugar cookie, dust with powdered sugar or decorate with small frosting highlights.
Make healthier holiday treats including flavored whole pecans. You can coat pecans and other nuts with sweet or savory flavors. Biscotti, dark chocolate and meringues are lighter treat choices that make excellent desserts. Use frozen yogurt instead of ice cream for freezer cakes and parfaits.
Substitute meat with nuts or whey protein for at least one meal a day. Skip sodas and drink lots of water. Use lettuce instead of tortillas for wraps. By cutting down on everyday foods, you give yourself some leeway to indulge in a few party foods you love.
Eat a Good Breakfast
Researchers from Loma Linda University recently found a correlation between eating a healthy breakfast and weight gain. Of the 50,660 adults surveyed, those who ate their biggest meal at breakfast saw the greatest weight losses. People who skipped dinner altogether also saw lower BMI levels.
According to the study, people who eat more than two meals during the day are more likely to gain weight than people who eat only two meals. Snacking between meals also leads to higher BMI levels.
In the cold climate of Michigan, start your day with a hot bowl of steel cut oats and fruit. Add an egg or a few nuts for some extra protein. Let yourself get nice and full at breakfast all winter, and you're more likely to shed any extra holiday pounds you do manage to collect.
Contact Macomb Medical Clinic, P.C. today to schedule an office visit for weight loss or any other medical concerns you have.