As the days get shorter and nights get cooler, the pull to spend more time in hibernation
means we are tempted to indulge in unhealthy comfort foods. Emma Stirling, Weight Watchers Nutrition Advisor says, “with summer salads on their way out the door and hot, hearty meals replacing them, winter is the most challenging time of the year for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
That is why, to help people prepare this winter, Emma, has offered her expert advice on how to indulge in steaming hot comfort foods in a healthier way.
Sip soothing soups
Regularly including soup as a starter before a main meal is a smart strategy in
winter. Emma says, “Research has shown that soup is a great inclusion for those on
a weight loss eating plan, as it helps lower the total kilojoule intake of that meal.
Due to their high water and fibre content, vegetable broth based soups have a low
energy density and high appetite satisfaction scores.”
Slow it down
Emma states that slow cookers are great for winter, “Slow cookers allow you to
prepare a comforting casserole or bolstering stew all day, without you having to be
there. They are great for those who are conscious of their health and nutrients as
they trap all the goodness into the one meal.”
Added bonus: slow cookers save time and money (you can use cheaper cuts of
meat that will become delicious and tender when cooked through), and can be
eaten for the whole week.
Winter fruit wonderland
It is well known that we eat more fruit based desserts in winter – pies, crumbles and
stewed apple. Although fruit is great for nutrition, Emma warns that when fruit is
processed, or peeled, the filling dietary fibre is left behind, along with essential
nutrients and antioxidants. Crumble toppings and pastry can also be loaded in
butter, sugar and kilojoules. Emma says, “Favour recipes that use whole fruit or have
a lighter twist, like poaching apples in spiced, cranberry juice.”