Call Today: (248) 430-4487Samantha Linden, RDN

Balanced Bites – Fight Off Winter Weight Gain With These Three Foods

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Balanced Bites – Fight Off Winter Weight Gain With These Three Foods

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Fight Off Winter Weight Gain With These Three Foods

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For those of us in the Midwest or on the East Coast, February has been really cruel. Even for a morning person like me, the bitter cold weather makes it really hard to bounce out of bed with a smile, ready to take on the day. When our energy is low, we also tend to crave more refined carbohydrates and are more likely to give in to these cravings instead of reaching for more nutrient dense choices (think the 3 pm nose dive for the candy bowl instead of the fruit bowl). Although it is hard to believe, in a few months, your inbox will be flooded with emails about getting your body ready for summer…but why wait? Below are three of my favorite winter foods to start feeling better and looking better NOW.

Grapefruit is not just for breakfast! It is a versatile fruit that can complement any meal, even dinner (not every diet trend that came out of the 80’s was bad). While I am not an advocate for the infamous fad grapefruit diet, I do think the winter is a great time of year to start incorporating grapefruit onto your grocery list. You probably already know grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, but did you know they are also a good source of fiber, folic acid and potassium? In addition, this citrus fruit also contains two powerful antioxidants, naringin and lycopene, which may lower LDL (bad cholesterol), help prevent atherosclerosis, and contribute to overall heart health. Unlike melons and berries, grapefruits are one of the only fruits that you can rely on in the winter to taste good when you bring them home. So throw some in your cart! And you don’t just have to eat them cold. Try a broiled grapefruit with dinner or for dessert. To make, just section half a grapefruit, sprinkle with 1 tsp brown sugar and ½ tsp cinnamon and place in your oven’s broiler for 3-5 minutes. YUM!

Dandelion is one of those famous detox foods for good reason. The high potassium content helps pull extra fluid from your body and rids you of unwanted bloat. Some people drink it as a tea but the greens are also great in a salad. And since we are on the topic of greens, it won’t surprise anyone that they are one of my favorite “go-tos” for helping you to slim down. Besides their debloating properties, they are full of satisfying fiber and are extremely nutrient dense. If you don’t like dandelion (it might be a little bitter for you), don’t worry, there’s a green for everyone. From chard to kale to watercress and arugula, eat them all for maximum results. Challenge yourself to try a new one each week!

Tea: Staying hydrated (and warm) in winter is necessary to looking and feeling your best. Many of us don’t drink enough fluids on a daily basis and on top of that, the warm, dry air in our offices and homes can be very taxing on our skin. I consider hydration to be almost another food group and for this reason, I encourage clients to drink tea in the winter. Choose a tea that is appealing to you (I would never have you drink something you don’t like!). Black tea is thought to have warming qualities and contains quercetin, a natural compound that works as an anti-inflammatory and decreases histamine production. Another personal favorite, green tea, contains far more antioxidants than even some of our beloved fruits and veggies! Studies have identified a unique flavonoid in green tea that helps protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Don’t worry-I am not saying you have to swap out your morning coffee. But maybe incorporate tea into your routine 1-2 times a day and see how you look and feel!

March is here and although it always seems to be a long, tedious month, making some small positive changes to your diet will help keep your energy up and the last of that winter weight off. Think of March as the month to “pre-spring clean” your diet. I admit it’s not as much fun as “pre-partying” but how many times does that end well?

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