So, in the last post, we talked of the best foods for staying healthy in autumn. Unless you are involved in an active winter sport like skiing or ice-skating, isn’t it tempting to curl up with a hot cuppa and a nice snack? It’s true that you tend to exercise less as the weather gets colder, so your metabolism becomes sluggish and you gain the ‘fat-creep’!
It doesn’t have to be this way, though. You can keep the seasonal weight gain at bay by making exercise a part of your day and including a healthy mix of slow carbs and thermogenic – that’s fat-burning – foods that generate heat to burn up the calories and boost your metabolism.
Here are some you should try.
As a winter food, sweet potatoes are great. They are rich in resistant starch, full of fibre, magnesium and B-vitamins which boost metabolism. Fibre-rich foods keep you sated and less hungry for a longer time. And did you know that your body burns 30% more calories from processing fibre than any other nutrient you consume? That’s because sweet potatoes have plenty of roughage which your body takes longer to break up and that’s great for your metabolism. Plus, they taste so good, so go ahead and enjoy!
This is the perfect food for the cold months when it’s dreary outside and you want a pick me up. Not only does dark chocolate contain monounsaturated fats that will kick your metabolism up to a higher gear, it is brain food that can actually make you lose weight. Also, it contains catechin, which is an antioxidant, so it keep you looking youthful! Studies show that dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa in it slows digestion, so you feel full longer and very likely that to feel up to 15% less hungry at your next meal. But, please, limit it to a small piece!
Add spice to your diet this winter with fragrant cinnamon! This wonder spice helps your body metabolise sugars and carbohydrates better. It has a sweet and warm taste and mixes well with a variety of foods. Sprinkle it on your toast or muffin, add it into your coffee or tea, or mix half a spoon of cinnamon powder with a spoon of honey; it’s yum, finger-licking treat!
Talking of spices, almost all of them, especially peppers, are thermogenic and literally burn away the calories. Of course, you have the new Slim range of products that includes some really yummy and spicy meal options for all you weight watchers and people on a diet!
Scramble up some egg whites with your favourite veggies. Egg whites are rich in proteins and vitamin D, as well as branched-chain amino acids that stoke your metabolism.
Fresh fruits are a delicious way to rev your metabolism. They make a great snack and are loaded with fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. And they are not just low cal, they filling too. Grab an apple or pear or a handful of berries when you feel hungry between meals. Cut up a bowl of different fruits to chow. Or even make yourself a yummylicious smoothie with your favourite ones!
Whole grains and beans contain resistant starches that burn twice as many calories as processed food. So eat a lot of these this winter to keep your metabolic rate in top form. These are ‘slow carbs’ that take time to break down so you feel fuller for longer. Stay away from processed food and fill up on oatmeal, barley, brown rice or whole-grain breads and pasta, with a serving of beans and veggies and/or meat. These are iron-rich foods, full of roughage and antioxidants that will only do you good!
Iron deficiency can slow your metabolism, so choose food that’s rich in this nutrient. Fish, especially salmon, and lean meat like chicken or turkey breast are full of protein and nutrition that’s good for you in every way. Combined with exercise, they build muscle mass, which in turn helps burn away the calories.
So there you go! There are many foods that can chase away the winter blues while shifting your metabolic rate to a higher level. Just remember to stay hydrated, limit portion size and eat a colourful palette of food.
Happy eating this winter!