The arrival of Autumn weather does something to our internal clocks that just screws with our eating. Suddenly, instead of cooling, fresh and light meals, we want hearty, filling, warm meals. Bring on the chili and the mashed potatoes! It is something that unfortunately, we cannot completely control. Our bodies are so in tune with our environments that our natural instinct is to go into survival mode...and EAT. Eat plenty of meals that will plump us up so that we can stay warm and hibernate if need be -- with stock piles of food- in the cold winter months.
How do you avoid the natural urge to overeat the seemingly plentiful, large and heavy meals? Maybe, you just move to a warm climate? OR the more realistic way might just be that you give in -- just a little bit -- with an understanding that it is only natural (and healthy) to eat a little extra with the coming of the colder months. When spring arrives next year, we will be naturally inclined to move in the opposite direction. So not too worry, just don't go crazy!
Here are some words of wisdom (I like words of wisdom) for surviving the onslaught of the colder winter months - also known as the Eating Season.
1) Accept the fact that it is only natural to want to eat more and also that you need to eat more. Unless of course, if you are already over weight...YOU NEED TO EAT LESS. Sorry.
2) Drink lots of water (this rule never changes)
3) Take a multi-vitamin AND vitamin-D. We NEED our VITAMIN-D especially in the winter time.
4) Incorporate more root vegetables (and less meat) on your dinner plate. Hearty vegetables are pretty satisfying and filling. And they are way healthier than overdoing it on the animal protein.
5) Eat your greens - spring, summer, winter and fall - without fail. The more nutrition we get, the less we crave. It's simple math.
6) Avoid Girl Scout Cookies. I'm sorry, these cookies are terrible for you! Yes, the little girls are cute. If you have to buy them, bring them into work and put the box in the lunch room.
7) Maintain your gym routine. Yes, it is cold and dark in the winter, but if you don't work off those extra calories...you know what the consequence will be. Maybe it's time to find a gym buddy?
8) Hmmm, I'm really struggling here for another. Okay....Drink hot tea instead of coffee. I love coffee, don't get me wrong, but I try to limit myself to one cup a day. The next hot beverage you should reach for should be green tea, or any old decaf tea of your liking. It's just better for you and not addictive.
9) Nosh on carrots and other veggies w/ tasty dips at those friendly gatherings. More easily said than done, right?
10) Fill up with soup before your main meal. And NO, that does not include the dairy and cheese laden soups. A nice broth based soup will be just fine.
I'd love to know if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations of their own. Please share your thoughts!
And remember, please take these suggestions in stride. I would be a BIG hypocrite if I admitted to never eating any kind of "bad for you food." I love all food. It's about finding a good/bad balance that works for you -- with the good outweighing the bad.