Dietary fibers absorb water and keep you feeling full for longer. A study shows that a single dietary change of introducing more fiber in your diet can help you lose weight even if you don’t take other weight loss measures (like exercising). That’s how important diet is in your noble fat-trimming quest.
It is but human nature to choose to huddle in a swamp of blankets with the least hope for movement over stomping around in the bone-chilling breeze outside. Winter and hibernation are synonymous even for Homo sapiens. In our attempt to keep warm, our bodies naturally avoid physical activity and any possibility of having to brave the wrath of winter. Where does that leave weight loss strivers?
As you make a conscious effort to skip gym, make an even more conscious effort to include healthy winter foods in your diet. To your pleasant surprise, diet plays a bigger role in weight loss than exercise. So, there is still hope for those scales to dip.
Look at foods that are warming and comforting (a necessity in winter) yet help you feel full for longer while boosting your immunity, supporting your liver detox function, and creating a calorie deficit. Too tall an order? Not. Here are 10 winter foods that you can consume to your advantage.
Low in calories, pears serve as healthy snacks during the holiday season. It’s weight loss secret lies in its fiber-rich skin, so eat it with the peel on. Pectin, a soluble fiber, creates a feeling of fullness and supports the growth of good bacteria in the large intestines.
Explore different varieties of winter pears including Comice, Anjou, Bosc, Seckle, Nelis, and Forelle. You may also try cactus pears that shield your liver from damage caused by high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).
2. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with monounsaturated fats. Being liquid at body temperature, these fats easily pass through the liver membrane, allowing the liver to filter out harmful LDL (low-density lipoprotein). Lesser cholesterol is good news for your growing waistline. What’s more, such fats have just what you’d expect from a slice of red velvet cake—they taste good and fill you up.
Beetroot contains phytonutrients called betalains that support the liver’s detox process. Anything that supports the body’s detox is weight friendly.
Being 90% water and rich in fiber, broccoli makes an effective diet food. Don’t be thrifty with this nutritious leafy green.
5. Pomegranate Seeds
Pomegranate seeds are more useful than its juice because the seeds contain fiber that is not present in the juice. Low in calories and pumped with high amounts of vitamin C, pomegranate seeds can help fight off the flu while burning stubborn fat.
6. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than regular white potatoes. A lower glycemic index means they don’t cause erratic spikes in your blood sugar levels. This may also mean fewer carb cravings and, hence, weight loss.
Opt for fingerling varieties. Eat them with the skin on as it is rich in fiber and slows down the release of starch (a major cause for weight gain).
7. Winter Squash
Another source of fiber, winter squash is a powerhouse of vitamins (A, C, B6, and K), potassium and folate.
A cup of a meek 8o calories can strengthen your immunity so you’re fit enough to be up and moving. There will be no excuses for not exercising. Tease your taste buds with some delicata, acorn, or buttercorn.
8. Chicken Broth
The very mention of chicken broth is heart-warming. Low in calories and fat, it fills you up and hastens your recovery from a cold. Use it as a butter substitute with mashed potatoes, an oil substitute to sauté veggies, or simply turn it into a delish soup.
9. Citrus fruits
Sniff before you take a bite. Yes, citrus fruits are packed with fibers and vitamin C, but their signature smell helps reduce stress. This translates to lesser stress eating over the holidays.
Limonene helps the liver eliminate metabolism-slowing toxins by up to 30%. Limonene is found in lemon zest and Meyer lemons (lemon-orange hybrid), so you know what to include in your brunches and post-exercise snacks. Oranges, grapefruits, and clementines are other viable options.
This list would be incomplete without the most predictable weight loss food—oatmeal. Full of fiber, oatmeal energizes you, stabilizes blood sugar, and lowers cholesterol. A study showed that people who have oats for breakfast have one-third less calories for lunch. That’s a right step toward dropping some pounds. This comfort food also provides scope for nutritious toppings, so experiment.
Eat your way to weight loss the right way!