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Winter Diet Tips from Sean L'estrange at New Image Personal Training

Posted Jun 14 2010 9:50pm
A few small diet changes to kick winter weight gain to the kerb!

Last fortnight we looked at ways to keep your exercise routine on track when the mercury drops - an important piece of the winter weight loss puzzle. Just as important is to keep your food habits in check, something many of us struggle with as we hide behind more layers and stay inside more.

Winter is a time which we notoriously associate with “comfort” eating and packing on a few pounds. However, you can make a commitment not to stack it on this winter with a few diet tips!

Control boredom with something other than food
Many of us cut back on the activities we enjoy when it’s cold outside, and fill this hole with fattening snack foods. Add to this more time in front of the TV being bombarded with lucrative advertising for moreish, naughty snack foods and many of our winter bottoms are quickly much larger than the ones we had in summer!

Instead, use any extra time you might have in the colder months to read, organise and spend time with the family. And of course, training in the gym!

If you really must gnaw on something, try to stick to fruit or vegetable pieces, which may just have enough crunch and sweetness to tide over your cravings. If you are longing for something in particular and you just can’t help yourself, enjoy a small portion of whatever is your poison (and I mean really enjoy) and trade it off with some extra intense cardio the next day.

Now is the time to get serious about your food diary

The team and I are always banging on about your food diaries, and for good reason - they are an incredibly powerful tool! If you are a “boredom snacker” and find yourself on repeat trips to the pantry and fridge for reasons other than hunger, keeping a food diary can really help.

Just by writing down everything you eat, you will realise just how many extra calories you are consuming that you quickly forget about. Having to be accountable, even just to your diary, is very powerful, often “shaming” us into eating well for not wanting to admit to the diary just how much of a blowout we might have had!

By recording the time you ate, and how you felt when you ate, we can also identify triggers which have you reaching for sugary, fatty foods.

Indulge in healthy winter warmers
There is nothing better on a cold day than indulging in some serious comfort favourites like stews, casseroles, stir fries and soups. All of these can be made healthily! Vege soups, lean chicken casseroles and roasted vegetables are all healthy, filling and satisfying options.

Stock up on meals on the weekend
Plan you weekly meals, and spend some time on the weekend making soups that you can freeze and reheat during the week you don’t have the time or inclination to cook.

Keep a protein rich snack handy
A Go Natural Nut Delight bar, cheese and crackers or a protein bar are all fantastic options at any time of the year to have in your bag for when you are starving to avoid splurging on unhealthy options.

Always eat breakfast
Make sure that you don’t sacrifice breakfast for a few extra minutes under the doona or a hot shower. Oats with skim milk, berries and almonds, or boiled eggs with multrigrain soldiers, are great breakfasts, packed with protein, slow-release carbs and fibre, and are particularly satisfying and warming during winter.

Watch your beverages
Less social outings in winter make a convenient reason to cut back on your alcohol consumption. Also, try to avoid clutching to a big milk, sugary coffee all morning in an effort to warm you up. A skim milk latte or cappuccino usually contains around 100 calories or 420 kilojoules and counts as a snack!
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