Five ways to keep your health and weight on track this winter

As the temperature starts to drop, sometimes the healthier habits we have developed over the warmer months also start to drop away. With colder weather, and shorter days, it can be more difficult to sustain an outdoor exercise routine, and we become less active. Eating is one way that we raise our body’s temperature, and reaching for those warm comfort foods, combined with becoming more inactive, can contribute to weight gain or make it more difficult to manage diabetes.

Follow these five handy tips to keep your health on track this winter.

Focus on warm home cooked food

Anything we eat at home is likely to be healthier than takeaway or eating out, and generally contains less fat, salt and sugar. It’s natural during the cold weather to want to eat warm, hearty meals and, with a little pre-planning, you can make some simple, healthy winters warmers at home. Look to simple meals in the slow cooker that you can prepare the night before, or in the morning, and enjoy coming home to that evening. Base slow cooked meals on lean proteins, tomato based sauces, legumes and vegetables for a hearty, yet nourishing, meal.

Keep carbs under control

Healthy wholegrains and high fibre carbohydrates are an important energy and nutrient source, but as the weather cools down our portions of comforting pastas, rices and mashed potato can start to creep up. Keep your carbs to quarter of your plate and balance with lean proteins and lots of winter vegetables.

Stay hydrated with warm liquids

Drinking enough water is something we can easily forget as cold water becomes less appealing over winter. Switch out some of your cold drinks for warming herbal teas such as peppermint, chamomile or rooibos to stay cosy and hydrated.

Look for healthier alternatives

Staying healthy doesn’t have to mean giving up all your favourite comfort foods, but look for healthier alternatives that satisfy a comfort craving without derailing your goals. For example make a creamy pasta with a light cooking milk and pad it out with veggies. Or satisfy that dessert craving by baking pears or apples for a warm, healthier dish.

Stay active indoors

Have a wet or cold weather backup plan for your exercise routine. If we let all our mindful movement come to a standstill over the winter months, it can be much harder to get back into the habit of staying active once springtime arrives.

 

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