Winter season is in full swing, and with it comes the urge to binge on all things hot, sugary, fried and delicious. We can't help resist that extra serving of Gajar ka Halwa, or a fresh batch of piping hot Methi Pakoras; which is why, weight loss becomes quite a task in the winter season. In a recent interaction with celebrity nutritionist Pooja Makhija, she gave us some tips to lose weight in winters and how the task is not as difficult as it seems. With a few simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, weight loss in winters can become an achievable reality.
Here Are 5 Tips For Winter Weight Loss By Celebrity Nutritionist Pooja Makhija:
1. Start by Busting Myths
One of the biggest myths about weight loss in winters is that it is difficult to lose weight because of the cold winter season. But Pooja Makhija clarifies that this is completely untrue. "It's not difficult to lose weight. It's actually a smart time to lose weight as the metabolic rate steps up to maintain body temperature," she said.
Further, there is another commonly-heard myth that winter increases hunger, so weight loss is not possible. Makhija clarified, winter does not increase hunger. We often tend to get dehydrated in the winter season - a feeling we often mistakenly identify as hunger.
(Also Read: Do You Still Need 8-10 Glasses of Water Every Day During Winter?)
Winter weight loss can be achieved by drinking more water throughout the day.
2. Hydration Is Key
This brings us to our second point - the important of hydration in the winter season. Winter does reduce the feeling of thirst, so we automatically lower our water intake, and feel that we are predominantly more hungry. Thus, it is even more important to hydrate in the cold weather in order to curb the feeling of hunger.
Drinking water is also important for a healthy, glowing winter skin. "We tend to cut out water in winters, and automatically our skin becomes drier. Water is the most important ingredient for glowing skin. Drink water and 80% of your job is done," Makhija explained.
3. Healthy Winter Snacking
In the winter season, our efforts for weight loss are often derailed by the urge to binge on piping hot snacks which are often deep-fried or loaded with calories. However, celebrity nutritionist Pooja Makhija advises switching to hot soups and broths instead. "They are excellent in-between fillers for winters. They are considered 'food plus water' so they give you nutrition and hydration," she said.
(Also Read: 5 Delicious Winter Snacks For Diabetes Management)
Winter weight loss: Steamed snacks can be opted for instead of fried ones.
If you really want something substantial and filling while on a diet, try steamed snacks instead of deep fried ones. "Steamed dhokla is a healthier alternative to fried pakoras. Else, make yourself a sprouted moong chaat with spicy chutneys, green chillies, chaat masala. You can also have steamed kala chana chaat which is high in protein and low in fats. Even hot corn on the cob, or masala corn bhel can be a great winter snack," says Makhija.
4. Winter Superfoods And Seasonal Foods
How can we use seasonal foods and winter superfoods in our journey to weight loss? The expert advice is to eat to your heart's content - the only caveat being to avoid loading up these foods with too much fat and sugar. Talking about the winter-special Saag, Pooja Makhija said, "It's a great way to include nutrition, they are great for your iron content which helps us build more haemoglobin. The only thing is not to overdo it with fats such as butter and ghee."
She further added, "All these seasonal secrets that our ancestors relished and enjoyed, they are great, just don't ruin their nutrition to improve their taste on your palate. Same with Gajar ka halwa. Carrots can be a great snack as well! They are so sweet, boil it with a little milk and nuts and enjoy, they are delicious."
(Also Read: 7 Foods And Drinks To Avoid In Winters For A Healthy, Infection-Free Body)
Winter weight loss: Go slow on fried and sugary foods.
5. Eat Sugar With Caution
There is no doubt that sugar needs to be eliminated from our diet. "It fuels hair loss, acne, diabetes, dental caries, arthritis, indigestion, heart attacks, lung disorders and inflammation which leads to further metabolic disorders in our body. If you can find ways to eliminate sugar from your diet, it automatically becomes a sustainable, healthier and happier lifestyle," reveals Makhija.
And what about sugar substitutes? According to Pooja Makhija, "Sugar substitutes are still sugar. Coconut sugar, jaggery, agave syrup, maple syrup - all of these are not better than refined sugar in any way. Natural plant-based sweeteners such as Stevia or meethi tulsi can still be used."
Start by including these easy and effective weight loss tips in your winter diet plan, and we promise, you'll surely see the difference.
Here Is The Full Video Interaction With Celebrity Nutritionist Pooja Makhija: