Winter can be the time of year when the pounds and kilos simply creep on. It’s cold outside and you are less likely to want to exercise and your body is craving warm, nourishing meals in an effort to provide your body with a layer of fat to protect you from the cold.
If you’re like me – you’ll be wanting to avoid that extra layer of fat at all costs. Here are 6 of the best foods to eat this winter to keep your body in tip-top condition.
Winter weight loss food #1: Herbal tea with cayenne or cinnamon
Herbal tea has zero calories and it’s best to make it with fresh herbs. Try a mix of peppermint and chamomile or even jazz it up with some Thai basil. Rosemary makes a great savoury-tasting tea and sage is another favourite of mine.
Then, simply add a dash of cayenne pepper or cinnamon to taste. This makes your fresh tea nice and spicy and jumps up your metabolism. It’s a great way to start the day or to kick-start a weight loss program. Grow your own herbs in pots in the backyard or on your windowsill to save money and time. Cayenne and cinnamon are easiest to buy from any supermarket – although you could grow and grind your own if you were hugely ambitious and lived in the right conditions.
Winter weight loss food #2: Vegetable soup
This only works if you make your winter vegetable soup yourself, as canned and packeted varieties can have lots of sodium. Make your vegetable soup with many different types of vegetables, including leafy greens like spinach, kale, bok choy and whatever else you fancy. Use a base of fresh tomatoes and fresh vegetable stock if you can, or a single bouillon cube if you are pressed for time.
Eat this twice or three times a day and make sure you always have a cup of it before your dinner – you will find that it really fills you up and stops you from overeating.
Winter weight loss food #3: Pearl barley
Pearl barley is a grain that has been processed to remove its hull and bran. It is the most common form of barley because it cooks faster and is less chewy than other, less-processed forms of barley. It is very, very good for you and absolutely delicious.
1 cup of pearl barley, cooked, has less than 200 calories and is very filling and nutritious. It’s delicious thrown into vegetable soups, or even done in a frypan with some fresh shallots, onions and stock.
Winter weight loss food #4: Salmon baked with lemon and dill
If you’re craving something oily and delicious, then this meal will give you a great feeling of satisfaction. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods website, “Dill is native to southern Russia, western Africa and the Mediterranean region. The seeds are stronger and more flavourful than the leaves and are most commonly associated with the cuisines of Scandinavia and Germany.”
All you have to do is place a modest piece of salmon under your griller, or wrapped in foil in the oven. Scatter some dill across before cooking and add a generous squeeze of lemon after you remove it. You’ll find that you won’t even need any salt and pepper – it’s good enough on its own.
Winter weight loss food #5: Garlic
According to Fitbie, “British researchers recently discovered that garlic may prevent you from getting sick.” They talk about a study done that showed that within 12 weeks, “164 healthy adults, the group of participants that received a garlic supplement reported only 24 colds, while the group that received a placebo reported 64 colds.”
Ways to have garlic in winter are crushed and sprinkled over your baked potatoes (go easy on the oil) or even pureed in a mix of fresh orange juice and cold pressed olive oil – it sounds disgusting, but it really works! It’s great on sweet potatoes as well, or generously tossed through gently boiled broccoli.
Winter weight loss food #6: Sesame seeds and spinach
Sesame seeds not only taste delicious but can be good for your bones and help those with diabetes, according to Care2.com. They’re also good for your digestion and lower cholesterol, “because they contains phytosterols that block cholesterol production. Black sesame seeds are especially high in phytosterols, “the website says. “The high fibre content of sesame seeds helps the intestines with elimination.”
One way that’s great to eat sesame seeds in winter is to sprinkle lightly toasted seeds on your boiled English spinach, then add a tiny dash of olive oil. You might even like to add a dash of lemon or apple cider vinegar to kick start some extra weight loss.