Winter Fixes

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When winter hits, many of us change the way we eat. Instead of salads and light dishes, we want warm, comforting food, such as soups, hearty casseroles and creamy mash. And then we add our winter kilos. Sound familiar? The good news is that there are tricks to have our comfort food and stay lean and fit. – BY CHRISTINE PETERS, REGISTERED DIETICIAN

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When it’s cold outside and you just want to fill up on something that warms you up, and also cheers up your blue mood, you may feel a twinge of guilt or remorse about your choice, but the good news is that you don't have to substitute the foods you love when the cold season rolls around.

1. Pack in the Protein

·         Eggs are satisfying at any time of the day, whether they're poached at breakfast, scrambled at lunch or an omelette for dinner.

·         Canned fish is an easy way to include a satisfying protein fix at lunch – and boost your omega-3 at the same time.

·         Low-fat milk or low-fat yoghurt with your cereal or smoothie at breakfast will keep you going.

2. Find your Fibre

High-fibre meals don't necessarily affect how much we eat straight away, but do reduce how much we eat at the next meal, because we're not as hungry.

·         Add a high-fibre cereal to your breakfast regime.

·         Use whole grain breads, rice and pasta.

·         Add chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, cannellini beans or other legumes to salads and stews.

·         Use hummus on bread or crackers.

3. Get your Veg On

Bulk up meals and snacks with low-energy vegetables, because they help us stop eating thanks to the weight of food influencing how much we eat and how full we feel. The water and fibre in these vegetables add weight, so we fill up with fewer kilojoules.

·         Snack on baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and other small or sliced vegetables.

·         Other low-energy veggies include broccoli, beans, beetroot, rhubarb and turnips.

4. Grab the Good Fat

Unsaturated fats stimulate a hormone which helps us feel fuller for longer. You don't need to go overboard though – it's the same hormone (cholecystokinin) that fibre stimulates.

·         Add small amounts of seeds and nuts to snacks.

·         Drizzle a little canola, olive or rice bran oil over salads or vegetables.

And enjoy! There is room to eat healthily even when the temperatures drop, without watching your weight go up. Plus, you don't have to minimise taste!

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