healthy_foodHands up if it’s starting to feel like winter around your neck of the woods? It certainly is around ours! Darker mornings, early sunsets and the chill in the air till the sun fully comes out hints that cooler weather is on the way. Autumn and winter can be tricky times when it comes to weight loss and healthy living.
We tend to feel more inspired and enthusiastic when the sun is shining. The longer days that summer brings makes it easier to fit in exercise, while the warmer weather makes foods like salads and smoothies easier to eat as they help us to stay cool, especially on those days when even eating makes us sweat!
For centuries, we’ve used food as a way to keep warm and even with the advent of central heating, thick doonas and snuggly socks, we still turn to comforting meals like casseroles, stews and mashes when it’s dark and cold outside. While some of these food choices are nutritious and healthy, some fall firmly onto the ‘not weight loss friendly’ list. Buttery mash potato, sugary sauces and stodgy puddings are all best avoided or at least limited to special occasions when you’re trying to lose weight.
Luckily, there are a range of options that are both comforting AND healthy. Including these foods are a great way to keep warm and eat well, all at the same time.

Winter warmers

– Ginger – Adding ginger to your curries or stir-frys or sipping on ginger-infused tea are both great ways to stay toasty. Along with a variety of detoxifying properties, ginger is also a thermogenic food which means that it can actually keep you warm due to the way the the body metabolizes the calories in it to create heat.
– Cinnamon – Love the sweet taste of cinnamon on your porridge or in a hot drink? Keep on sprinkling as the temperature drops. Cinnamon, and other spices like cumin, paprika and black pepper can help boost your metabolism which generates body heat.
– Green tea – We all know how good for us green tea is, but you can now add it to your list of foods that keep you warm. The majority of green tea blends contain both caffeine and a substance called catechin. Both of these have been shown to boost thermogensis, and when consumed together, actually enhance each others effects. If you’re avoiding caffeine, a decaffeinated blend still has plenty of beneficial warming properties. Start sipping!
– Coconut oil and avocado – Bet you didn’t expect to see these guys on the list! Fats like coconut oil and avocado contain mainly medium-chain fatty acid. Eating these types of foods has been shown to increase thermogenisis AND fat burning meaning that you’ll be staying warm while your body burns calories. Try drizzling a little bit of coconut oil over veggies before baking or roasting or adding some avocado to your salads or sandwiches.
– Nuts and seeds – Adding a helping of seeds and nuts to your diet is not only a great way to get a serving of protein but will also help keep you warm. This is due to the high concentration of minerals, phytochemicals, fibre and fatty acid. Eat them on their own of add to smoothies, breakfast cereals or baked goods.
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