How To Balance Your Diet While Staying Warm This Winter

When we think of winter, we don’t necessarily associate it with smoothies, fruit salads or acai bowls. While these foods may be deemed healthier options, they don’t quite cut it in terms of warming us up on those cool winter days. It’s often a seasonal change that gives us an excuse to either ramp up our health regime or slow it down, which in the case of winter, is common. However, those jeans still have to find a way on to our waists, unless you have a summer and winter pair, which is just genius!

image via pinterest

So, what are some health tips to keep us satisfied and healthy over winter? We speak with Sumo Salad Dietitian Georgina Moore who shares her tips to prevent winter from adding a few notches to our belt.

80% Full

The longest living individuals in the world are the Okinawa people of the Ryukyu Islands in Japan. They live by two rules, one being they eat mainly plant-based foods and the second being, they only eat until they are 80% full.

The science behind eating until you’re 80% full is because there’s a delay between our stomach and our brain, whereby it takes our stomach approximately 20 minutes to tell our brain that it is full. If you’re someone who inhales their food, this way of eating may be a game-changer.

If you do overeat, you may also run the risk of stretching your stomach so that over time it will require more food to get the same feeling of fullness.

By eating until you are no longer hungry i.e. satisfied is a great way to keep tabs on your stomach size.

Eat A Big Lunch

There’s nothing better than a big bowl of pasta, curry or roast for dinner, but going to bed on a full stomach may lead to heart burn or discomfort. Try eating these types of winter warmers around lunch time or opt for an early dinner so that your body has enough time to metabolise or utilise the energy from these energy-dense foods. Instead, opt for lighter meals such as soups or broths for dinner which are still likely to warm you up and won’t contribute to a full belly upon waking up in the morning.

Opt for Lighter Swaps

One of the most important rules to eating well is moderation, which includes 80/20, whereby you eat-well 80% of the time and indulge 20% of the time. However, you can transform those “indulgent” foods into your 80% foods with some ingredient swaps.

For example, a carbonara can be healthified by adding the cream first as it helps cut back on the total energy, fat and saturated fat all in one swoop. Adding greens such as spinach and kale, which can bulk up the fibre content, meaning you use less pasta.

Another option would be to substitute any rice dishes for cauliflower or broccoli rice so you have an added vegetable and fibre component.

Drink Up

This tip isn’t referring to a couple of mugs of mulled wine each night, but rather reminding you to keep the fluids up. Water isn’t the most exciting beverage in winter, which is why tea is a great way to add to your hydration levels as well as contribute to your vitality.

For example, opting for a digestive tea filled with fennel, peppermint, ginger and caraway if you have over indulged, or perhaps a bedtime tea made up of valerian, hops, lavender, chamomile and oats instead of another helping of dinner.


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