It’s winter and you are hungry: check out why it is easier for you to lose weight in winter, and how.
Just follow my tips and trick your body
As a Brazilian I know what it is to feel cold! There’s nothing similar to the cold of Lebanon or Europe in Brazil, and I must admit that it was very difficult for me to bear with the winter in Lebanon when I came as a 13 year old child to live in Lebanon with my family! And tt’s a fact that in winter laziness and appetite increase incredibly! We feel like staying home, sitting on the couch, under the blanket and…eating and eventually gaining weight! Do you know why we feel like eating more in winter? And do you know why we can actually take advantage of winter to lose weight and not gain?
Our body keeps its temperature at 37˚C all year long, but since in winter it’s cold our body needs to make a big effort to keep its inner temperature within the normal level and this increases your body’s metabolism because in winter your body is doing an extra effort, and this is why if you are smart you can take advantage of cold days to lose some weight or at least maintain! Isn’t it great? Doesn’t it sound like a cool plan?
Hunger increases during winter because our body is asking for more energy to get heated and this energy we get through the food we eat! But it doesn’t mean we should abuse from food for this reason!
So if we are not careful, your scale will show a very ugly number and this is no good because we know how bad it is for us to be overweight, and worse are the consequences of it: diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, triglycerides, heart disease, respiratory diseases, knee and back pain, some sorts of cancer and many others…
Now check how interesting this is: Our brain has a part that is responsible for satiety and a part responsible for hunger. Some scientific research showed that the part responsible for the feeling of being hungry can be inhibited by the heat (or a hot weather), on the other hand, the part of the brain responsible for satiety is inhibited by the sensation of being cold!!
This explains it all !!! Think about it: when you run for a long time or exercise, you feel warm and your body temperature is raised which inhibits the feeling of hunger, and the first thing you want to do is drink and not eat! Another common example is when a baby cries because he’s hungry and the mother breastfeeds him, after a while the baby starts sweating, and this heat makes the baby feel he doesn’t want to “eat” anymore, he is satisfied and sleeps.
In winter, let’s search for foods or drinks that have the capacity to increase faster the heat in our body!
1- Eat HOT meals. Meals that are heated will give you the sensation of satiety, and you will eat less. An example is a fish filet with a hot potato puree on the side! Great combination of protein which keeps you full for longer and a hot puree that we all love, just keep it light and do it with low fat milk and no butter!
2- Eat foods that are done with spices like hot peppers, onion, garlic, ginger, curry, paprika etc… as they give you the sensation of heat, and are super low in calories! An example is a yummy dish of cooked shrimps with curry and a few spoons of whole wheat rice (it’s rich in fiber it gives you sensation of satiety)!
3- Eat lots of heated soups!!! Examples are pumpkin soup, broccoli soup with 1 table spoon of parmesan cheese, onion soup, minestrone, lentil soup or even the regular mixed vegetable soup with low fat meat and a variety of herbs that will give a delicious taste! Invest in a variety of soups this winter!
4- Drink lots of herbal hot teas without sugar, drink hot skimmed milk with 1 teaspoon of cacao, or a hot chocolate light version to keep you body heated and block your hunger!
5- Many of you drink alcohol to keep your body warm, but bad news for drinkers of whisky, vodka, gin or rum, the good choices are a glass of red wine while eating or a small one of cognac!
And never forget to exercise!!
Spend this winter the smart way! Trick your body and lose weight And you know that I am always here to help you out!
Samia Khoury Dietitian
I am waiting for you to help you lose weight or consult you on health issues at my clinic in Lebanon or over the web wherever you live! Just contact me at 00 961 3 48 31 86 or via email to take an appointment live or online.
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