You Don’t Need to Cry Over Mashed Potatoes! Three Tips for a Healthy Winter Lifestyle

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Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other winter holidays are approaching faster than you think. Interestingly, a study cited on CNN.com shows that most of us gain only about .8 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. The holidays themselves do not always contribute significantly to weight gain. Overall winter habits, however, often do, when people choose to stay inactive during the months of cold. Here are three steps for a healthier lifestyle this winter so that you will make it through fitter than ever!

1. Keep Strong with the Fresh Food

Did you know that many farmers markets continue on into the winter? A winter farmers market accomplishes two goals. Not only does it keep you in touch with affordable produce, but it’s also a good way to get yourself up and moving in the morning. If you love local food, you’ll find that kale and sweet potatoes are in season during the winter. Many winter farmers markets still operate outside, despite the often chilly temperatures. Buy hot chocolate and make it an event!

2. Keep Active Despite the Snow

You wouldn’t be alone in finding the cold a powerful disincentive for exercise. Our solution, however, is to approach winter as a unique time. Reserve certain sports or activities for this season so that you have something to look forward to. Obvious examples include skating, skiing, snowshoeing and tobogganing. Some of us would rather stay away from sleds going down steep hills at fast speeds, and for this reason we recommend trying out geocaching. It’s a fun adventure of teamwork, problem solving, and discovery for any family. Active video games such as Dance Dance Revolution can also help boost fitness.

3. Comfort Food that Lacks the High Calories

With the music of the holidays never far off, it’s hard to fight off the urge to constantly indulge in comfort food. Rather than crying every time you look at mashed potatoes, instead, substitute in yummy, filling comfort foods that are better for your diet. One food magazine online quotes expert nutritionist Lindsay Christen, who says that black beans, red lentils, and chickpeas can make great substitutes for meat and alternate carbs alike in soups or casseroles. At the same time, switching over will increase your daily intake of minerals, fiber, and vitamins, without cutting back on your protein. Everything you need, basically, to keep the seasonal flu away!

What health tips for winter have you learned from food magazines? Let us know in the comments!

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