It’s that time of year when the weather is getting decidedly more chilly and the light is fading earlier. All of a sudden it’s time to switch from the summery salads to winter stews. The kettle is on more and the biscuit tin beckons. But how do you eat healthily yet still enjoy those winter foods?
Porridge is a great start to the day. Try adding different fruit, a sprinkle of seeds or some chopped nuts for variety. Alternatively try scrambled eggs and grilled tomatoes with toast.
Include something warming and satisfying at lunch, try a vegetable based soup, baked beans on toast or an omelette.
Although tea and coffee can warm you up it should be limited to 4 cups a day. Try hot squash, herbal or fruit tea or even hot water with a slice of lemon instead.
Winter stews and casseroles are delicious. Try using a slow cooker, pop it on in the morning and dinner will be ready by tea time. Include plenty of vegetables and add a couple of handfuls of lentils or beans/pulses to reduce the amount of meat you use. Bean and pulses are low in fat, have a low glycaemic index and contain plenty of fibre, so are a great weight loss aid.
Keep Active. Getting up and moving around more will get the blood pumping around the body and so warm you up. Plan some activity into your day and keep moving whenever you can.
Carbohydrates are often seen as the baddies of the nutrition world. There are so many low carb diets out there and lots of claims about carbohydrates being the reason people can’t lose weight.
Carbohydrates are actually the bodies favoured energy source. Given a choice of protein, fat and carbohydrate the body will always choose to use the carbohydrate first. Why? Because carbohydrate foods easily break down to simple sugars that are the fuel the body needs. Proteins and fats needs to be converted to sugars in order to be used, a time consuming process that uses energy up. However you will put on weight if you OVEREAT carbohydrates or eat too much of the wrong kinds.
So where do these anti-carbohydrate claims come from?
After we eat carbohydrates, blood sugar levels increase and insulin is released. Insulin moves the sugar in the blood into the bodies cells and it will be used as fuel or stored as glycogen to be used later on. Eating too much carbohydrate in one go or more white, processed carbohydrates cause a larger, rapid peak in blood sugar levels. In response lots of insulin is released, which can cause a problem. After the insulin has done it’s job it takes a while to drop back down to normal levels, so you have insulin in the blood stream asking the body for more sugar. It’s this lag phase that can lead to you craving sugary food or wanting to eat a short while after a meal. If you eat like this you are likely to put on weight. Those hunger cravings will get the better of you and you’ll eat more than you need.
What happens if you avoid Carbs:
If carbs are the bodies preferred energy source then it makes sense that avoiding them can lead to you feeling tired, grumpy, lethargic, perhaps dizzy and shaky. Ever had that energy slump after skipping a meal?
How to eat Carbohydrates without gaining weight:
This post was written for Slimsticks and can be seen on their website here.