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Celebrate Foods of the Season

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Celebrate Foods of the Season

Celebrate Foods of the Season


Warm weather, skimpier clothing, and the prospect of wearing a bathing suit are often motivation enough to help get you into shape for the summer. But what happens when frolicking at the beach is only a memory? You can maintain your summer-svelte figure all winter long if you know what it takes to stay the course of weight maintenance.


Food is fuel and must be eaten for you and your body to run efficiently. During this time of year, it's so easy to fall back into bad habits – you eat a lot more, exercise a little less, and before you know it, the weight creeps on. By the time you notice those extra pounds you’re three holiday parties into the season and then you decide to wait until after Jan. 1 to try to lose weight. Sound familiar?

If you're tired of the annual weight-gain cycle, let this be the year you maintain your summer figure all year long, by eating properly throughout the holiday season.


Examine Your Habits

Successful maintainers don't make arbitrary distinctions between seasons or times of year. It is not about the time of year, but instead it’s the way we think and the way we live that keeps the weight off year-round.  Cooler weather tends to bring about thoughts of comfort foods and being warm and toasty. Plenty of carbs, alcohol and sweets are consumed at this time of year. In order to maintain that healthy summer body year-round look at the behaviors or habits that helped you lose weight. What were you able to do in the summer that helped you lose the weight? Be very specific about the helpful behaviors and write them down in a journal to help you clearly define how you'll keep up the good work.

If, for example, you ate cherries instead of high-calorie desserts and started swimming when the weather turned warm find winter fruits that satisfy and seek out an indoor pool to continue the activity you enjoyed. There are plenty of healthy foods that can replace those high calorie, sugar, and fat items you consume in the winter, which leads me to the next section…


Plan Your Plate

Another secret to keeping weight off, experts say, is never to forget why you lost it in the first place. Successful weight loss is not about starving yourself it’s about fueling your body with the healthy low-calorie food it needs to help you lose weight.

Yes, winter, and all its dreary snow-filled, sunlight-less days, may not seem like a very fresh produce-friendly season, but that’s actually not the case. There are a handful of strapping fruits and vegetables that manage to bloom, despite the inclement weather. All are totally nutrient-packed and easy to incorporate into the low-calorie, high-protein wintertime comfort food you’re probably craving (think, soups, and stews). One common attribute: Most winter produce is high in fiber, which helps slow digestion to keep you fuller, longer — a boon if you’re on a weight-loss plan. Plus, starchy veg makes a great alternative to less nutrient-dense simple carbs. Here are eight healthy winter foods to assist with weight loss or maintenance.

  1. Citrus – oranges, lemons and grapefruit are in season from November to February. Oranges and tangerines are the perfect grab and go snack.


  1. Kale - thrives in cooler temperatures and is loaded with nutrients like vitamin C and A. It’s also a good source of potassium and vitamin B6, two heart-healthy nutrients. Try it in salads, smoothies, soups and more.


  1. Pomegranates - This fruit is only in season through mid-January, so get it while it’s still hot. Though they’re famously hard to clean and shell, they’re a great source of fiber. They’re also low in calories (just 72 per one half cup) and high in the electrolyte potassium, which makes it an excellent pre- or post-workout snack option for a serious sweat session. Eating them plain is totally acceptable, but if you prefer to mix it up, try adding them to oatmeal or overnight oats.


  1. Brussel Sprouts - Another sturdy cruciferous veggie, Brussels sprouts are at their best from September to March. They’re high in fiber, vitamin C and folate. They’re also super low in calories: 1 cup has just 38 calories. Shred them up and add them to salads or roast them with olive oil and parmesan cheese.


  1. Winter Squash -Though squash is harvested during the fall months, it’s so resilient that it lasts all the way through March. Once you’ve learned to properly clean and prepare squash, you can start cooking with it in exciting and creative ways. Turn spaghetti squash into a low-carb pasta alternative, serve dinner inside a baked acorn squash or simply roast up a butternut and eat it plain.


  1. Passion Fruit - Here’s something you don’t see at the supermarket every day. Although passion fruit isn’t often associated with winter, it’s in season in January and February.


  1. Fennel - If you’re a fan of black licorice, fennel is the winter veg for you. Texturally, it’s similar to celery, and it can be shaved and served over salads. If you’re not a licorice lover, all good: It loses that anise-like bite when you roast it. As for its nutritional benefits, it’s high in fiber and low in calories (just 27 calories in one cup). Bonus: Fennel seeds are a known reliever of stomach pain.

8. Turnip & Rutabaga -here’s a reason you see these veggies in a lot of wintertime roasts: They’re in season from October to March. They’re both good sources of fiber and vitamin C, and rutabagas are surprisingly high in protein, with each medium rutabaga containing about 4 grams. Turnips are also extremely low in carbs — there’s just 8 grams in each medium turnip. You can boil and mash them and serve them as a low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes.

  1. Balance Protein, Fats, and Carbs.

Another school of thought from the research camp suggests a more defined pattern of nutrients. Having a little more protein and less fat can keep you feeling satisfied and thus help with weight control, some experts say. Research has shown that the folks that control their weights best follow a pattern of 24% fat, 56% carbohydrates, and 20% protein.

  1. Portion control.

Focus on portion control. It may be more important to evaluate how much you're eating than what you're eating. When you start gaining weight, go back and look at your portion sizes. Just reducing portion sizes alone can be all you need to do to get back on track." I recommend eating breakfast every day and three meals a day. As I always say eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper, this will help manage calories and hunger throughout the day.


Eternal Vigilance

It's important to expect slip-ups, and not to be too hard on yourself when they happen. If you have a bad day, just get back on track as soon as you can and do your best to learn from your mistakes.


You must always be mindful of what you put into your mouth and stay vigilant in your commitment to healthy behaviors, so when you slip, you can rely on all these tools to help get you back on track.  No Mess

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