CATHER­INE SAXELBY’S HEALTHY HABITS

The five best foods to beat win­ter weight gain

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

It’s easy to gain weight over the win­ter months, es­pe­cially if you spend more time on the couch with a blan­ket and a bowl of com­fort food. Here are five foods you can hap­pily in­dulge in.

Steam­ing cups of tea

The combo of caf­feine and cat­e­chins in green tea can help in­crease heat pro­duc­tion and fat burn­ing. While the ef­fect is small, green tea has other health­ful prop­er­ties, such as help­ing to reg­u­late blood pres­sure.

Veg­etable soups

A hearty bowl of soup fills you up, warms your in­sides and keeps you sat­is­fied. The fi­bre and veg­eta­bles feed the friendly bac­te­ria of your gut mi­cro­biome, so they grow and thrive.

A US study found that start­ing your meal with soup can help you con­sume 20 per cent less at your main meal.

Non-starchy veg­eta­bles

Aim to fill half your plate with colour­ful ve­g­ies. Low-kilo­joule veg­eta­bles, such as broc­coli, cap­sicum and spinach, are key to help­ing you feel full for longer, thanks to their sat­is­fy­ing fi­bre.

A spoon­ful of chilli

There’s good ev­i­dence that the warmth gen­er­ated by a ta­ble­spoon of chilli can turn up your meta­bolic rate and fat ox­i­da­tion, thanks to its ac­tive agent cap­saicin, so your body burns fat faster. Even if the claim is ex­ag­ger­ated, chilli cer­tainly peps up a plain meal and re­duces the need to add salt.

Chick­peas, broad beans & other legumes

Re­plac­ing half of the meat in recipes with legumes is an easy way to cut kilo­joules, while boost­ing your fi­bre and protein in­take. And it won’t cause any great flavour change.

Start small by adding half a cup of cooked or canned kid­ney beans to a curry; chick­peas into a risotto; or lentils in bolog­nese.

The bot­tom line

Ul­ti­mately, don’t for­get to eat slowly and mind­fully, and lis­ten to the sig­nals from your stom­ach telling you when you’re full and it’s time to stop eat­ing.

Vegie soups warm you up & keep you sat­is­fied

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