Studies have shown that during the months of December and January, many people gain at least one pound … every year. Why? One main reason is that besides being less active during the winter months, we also turn to comfort foods to get us through those dark, dreary winter days.
According to WebMD there are many culprits for winter weight gain including less outdoor exercise, endless weeks of holiday celebrations, ultra fattening comfort foods, and more layers of clothing to hide our expanding waistlines.
It’s ok to splurge on occasional small portions of decadent foods and holiday delights but if you want to prevent packing on those unwanted pounds you may want to steer clear of the following foods or eat them in moderation:
Macaroni and cheese- An all-time favorite comfort food for children and adults alike, a healthier modification to this classic fat bomb is to use low-fat cheese, low-fat milk and add additional veggies.
Cream based soups and bisques- Anything loaded with cream is also loaded with calories, so instead you may want to choose warm winter soups that are broth based like vegetable or minestrone.
• Cream and cheese based casseroles- One serving of a traditional hash brown casserole topped with cheese, bacon, or fried onions has nearly 600 calories, 40 grams of fat and 21 grams of saturated fat. To shave calories off of this seasonal favorite by substituting low-calorie mix-ins such as fat-free sour cream, low-fat cheese or reduced-fat soups or try over-roasted veggies for a healthy side dish.
Cheesecake- Try to stick to small amounts of cheesecake or try satisfying your sweet tooth with a 150 calorie sugar free ice cream dessert or suck on a peppermint stick.
Chili and stews loaded with ground beef, sausage and cheese- If making this dish yourself stick to small portions of lean meat, lots of vegetables and beans, sprinkle with low-fat cheese and skip the crumbled crackers on top.
Cookies- Nothing says the holidays like Christmas cookies and enjoying one small cookie isn’t a problem. At around 200-250 calories make sure you only eat one or split one half and eat the other half later.
Creamy pot pies (with pastry top and bottom)-When you have pastry on the top and bottom, you get a double dose of high-fat crust plus the fatty filling. Forget the creamy pie and enjoy a roasted chicken breast and a whole-wheat roll for a fraction of the calories.
A few bites of even the most fattening foods can fit into your diet, but it’s important to consume these types of food in moderation. Keep in mind that most adults need fewer than 2,000 calories, 65 grams of total fat and 20 grams of saturated fat each day.
Just by making some slight alterations and by avoiding these fattening foods you will see that you will not only feel better but you can prevent packing on those unwanted pounds, too.