Start your day with a low fat breakfast. People that eat breakfast tend to be slimmer than those who don’t. Also, by eating breakfast you are less likely to overeat later on in the day. Enjoy a cereal with low fat milk that has been warmed up for a warmer start to your day.
Be mindful of serving sizes and the number of servings you have. Serve yourself foods from smaller containers/packages. Studies show that we eat 22% more volume when we serve from larger containers of food. Use smaller plates and bowls at home and practice mindful eating (e.g. don’t watch TV and eat).
Try to decrease your overall fat intake. There is a fair amount of hidden fat in the types of foods that are usually eaten in winter but this does not have to be the case. Read food labels and know how much fat is in the product you are choosing. Products with less than 3 g of total fat per 100 g are considered to be low in fat. When cooking, you could use yoghurt instead of cream to give the creamy effect in soups. Use herbs and spices to flavour your food instead of margarine and salt. Be aware that snacks like cookies, biscuits and rusks can be high in fat so try to limit your intake of these foods.
Find creative new ways to increase the vegetable content of your meals. Not only will you benefit from the nutrients vegetables offer, but you will replace some of the energy yielding foods you would rather avoid in excess over winter. Grate carrots into your mince dishes, use tomato based sauces for your pasta dishes and eat plenty of vegetable stews, soups and casseroles.
Beveragesoften contain more fat and energy than you may expect. Choose fresh tea or coffee over reconstituted powder alternatives, which tend to be higher in sugar and fat. For example, Chai tea bags offer the same delicious fragrant flavour as instant Chai tea, and can be sweetened to your taste preference. Typically fresh tea and coffee yield very little energy, and what you add in the form of sugar, milk, cream or flavouring affects how much energy you get from one cup. Use low fat or skim milk, cut down on excessive use of sugar, choose a milk froth topping over cream, and if you do use syrup flavouring, let this be your beverage sweetener without the addition of extra sugar.
Exerciseis less appealing in the colder months – but there is no better way to warm up than to get your body moving. Try social dance or yoga classes at your local gym for a warmer workout. Exercising in a group will also encourage you to come back for the next class. Use a pedometer and try to increase your total number of steps each week. Aim to reach at least 10 000 steps/day or to accumulate a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise 5x/week.