Winter season is around the corner and that means less time spent outside. The cold weather and gray skies may be doing more to sabotage your weight than you think. The colder temperatures seem to bring on cravings for foods containing carbohydrates, fats and sugars. People are tempted to eat heavy meals, like pastas with heavy sauces, mashed potatoes, creamy soups and bread. Make small adjustments to your winter routines to combat winter pounds. Small steps will make simple changes lifelong habits.

Drink two glasses of vegetable juice every day. A higher intake of vegetables can promote weight loss, but it isn‘t always convenient to prepare and eat fresh foods. Vegetable juice is a convenient, enjoyable way to help you get your recommended daily servings. Drinking vegetable juice, according research conducted at the Baylor College helped overweight individuals with metabolic syndrome lose more weight than non-juice drinkers.

Everyone seems to want to avoid winter weight gain. Here's how to do just that: -

1. Eat more plant based foods. Diets low in plant based foods can affect both health and weight, and may in part be responsible for annual weight gain. (See "How to Prevent Obesity and Disease with Plant Based Foods".)

2. Be watchful of what you eat. The holidays, being inside more, less activity and boredom, all play a part in our eating (or overeating) patterns in the winter. Our tendencies during the colder season is to eat heavier foods (typically termed "comfort" foods), such as macaroni and cheese, cream based soups, and others.

3. Exercise every day. Thirty minutes a day is a good starting point, provided you are healthy enough for that level of physical activity. In poor weather, move your workout indoors. A small trampoline for jogging and exercise is a small investment that can improve your health and fitness level.

4. Add Vitamin D to Your Diet winter means shorter days and less sun, which results in your body absorbing less vitamin D. Research, has shown that people who do not get enough Vitamin D in their diet or through direct sunlight are at a higher risk of obesity.

5. Drink two glasses of vegetable juice every day. A higher intake of vegetables can promote weight loss, but it isn‘t always convenient to prepare and eat fresh foods.

Winter Foods: -

1. Butternut, pumpkins and squash are great sources of beta-carotene, one of the most powerful antioxidants in our winter arsenal.

2. Mushrooms enhance immune response by boosting the production of white blood cells. It brings vitality to the cells by increasing cellular metabolism, removing toxins and preventing free radical damage.

3. Chicken is a good source of selenium and vitamin E, the antioxidants that can boost immunity. Hot chicken soup blocks the migration of inflammatory white cells because cold symptoms are a response to the cells' accumulation in the bronchial tubes.

4. Fish is a rich source of zinc and the omega-3 fatty acids, both of which boost health in winter. Zinc increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection and helps your body to fight diseases more aggressively.

5. Tea has many health benefits ranging from possible cancer prevention to lowering the risk for overweight. Now, research also shows that tea might boost immunity. Tea is rich in polyphones as well as a number of other chemicals that can help protect the body against cold or flu.

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