It’s not uncommon for us to want to seek warmth and comfort from food when the temperature drops and usually a salad doesn’t quite cut it. Unfortunately these hearty foods can often be high in calories and can lead to unwanted weight gain. With winter fast approaching, here are some tips to consider:
- Embrace soup. Having a vegetable based soup with one main meal daily not only ensures you are on your way to meeting your daily serves of veg, but studies have shown that we are likely to eat fewer calories at a meal when soup is enjoyed as a starter.
- Add lentils or legumes such as chickpeas and kidney beans to your soups, casseroles or mince dishes. These are high in protein, high in dietary fibre and low GI so will keep you fuller for longer. Not only can they aid with satiety but they are also packed full of nutrients and won’t bust your budget
- Pasta is a common comfort food that can be easy to over eat. Try cutting down your pasta portions and throw in plenty of vegetables such as carrot, mushroom, tomato, spinach and pumpkin. Vegetables are easy to hide in a pasta sauce so why not take the opportunity to get as many in as possible. You might even consider swapping your spaghetti for spiralized zucchini, which is low in calories and full of nutrients.
- Avoid regular indulgence in high fat, high calorie foods such as pizza, pies, pastries and puddings. It’s okay to treat yourself every now and then but it doesn’t make sense for these foods to be consumed more often simply because it’s cold outside. Try making your own healthier versions such as baked mushrooms with fresh pizza-like toppings or shepherd’s pie made with plenty of vegetables and a sweet potato mash.