If activity habits change in winter, change eating habits too

If activity habits change in winter, change eating habits too

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - If most of us practiced healthy habits all year long, there would be no weight gain during those cold winter months.

If eating habits remain the same, but without exercise, the pounds pile on.

Dr. Amber Whitfield is a family practice physician who says what you do during those cold winter weeks, depends on you.

"If your goal is to not gain a lot of weight during the winter when you're not going to be as active, you should probably try to cut down on calories more so than you would in the summer," she advised.

She says an easy way to do this is to count calories. "Sugar is a big problem," she said. "Mainly less sugar, less fat, more fresh fruits and vegetables -lots of fresh fruits and vegetables- but much less calorie-dense."

Many of us turn to "comfort food" on those cold winter days.

"Vegetable soup is wonderful... all the nutrients and vitamins and minerals that come with that and the fiber that you get from the vegetables, and the broth is not heavy, so it's a comfort food but not calorie-packed," said Dr. Whitfield.

She says try to stay away from processed foods and empty calories. But do look for "good fats."

"Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish," she said as an example. "The good fats that are found in things like avocados, almonds, other nuts."

She says reading food labels is very important. "Also one thing that will help is getting plenty of water. Because that helps you to feel full as well."

The bottom line? If you're not as active during the winter as you are during the rest of the year, you really want to pay closer attention to what you put on your plate.

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