Between the uninviting weather outside, cravings for comfort food, and a desire to lounge around and hibernate for the foreseeable future, it’s clear to see how winter weight gain can happen. However, if you make a few simple switches to your routine now, you’ll sail through the season looking and feeling great. We’ve scoured the shelves to find the 10 best food swaps that your waistline will love this winter.
Switch 1: Swap potato for sweet potato.
When it comes to selecting a spud, sweet potatos are more desirable that white potatos because they're higher in fiber and vitamins A and C. Sweet potatoes contain fewer calories and carbs overall, making them a healthy and nutritious option for french fries, roasted potatoes, shepherd’s pie, soup, and baked potatos.
Switch 2: Pick peppermint tea over hot chocolate.
If you’re looking for a warming winter drink, make it a peppermint tea instead of an (admittedly delicious) hot chocolate. Herbal teas, such as peppermint, are far friendlier to the waistline, containing just one to two calories per serving, as opposed to hot chocolate’s 77 calories.
Switch 3: Stick with salads, just make them warm.
Summer salads needn’t be packed away with your swimsuits. Just make them fit for winter. An easy one that works as a hot lunch or side dish for dinner is a roasted vegetable salad. Bake some squash, sweet potatoes, red onions, Brussels sprouts, kale, and beetroot. Then, mix them together and drizzle with olive oil.
Switch 4: Snack on popcorn, not chips.
Winter sees the return of our favorite Hallmark Christmas movies, which calls for snacks. Instead of working your way through a bag of chips (and 956 calories) per episode, pick at some plain, air-popped popcorn (that clocks in at just 31 calories) while you watch.
Switch 5: Pass over pasta for zucchini noodles.
Pasta meals are quick and easy after a long day. But, one small change you can make is to switch the pasta base for zucchini noodles. You’ll save yourself around 114 calories per serving. Plus, zoodles are easy to make using a cheese grater if you don’t have a fancy spiralizer. Spaghetti with a twist coming right up!
Switch 6: Go for poached pears instead of chocolate.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with poached pears. They’re rich in fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid, making them a nutritious treat, particularly for pregnant women. Yes, fruit contains natural sugar, but it also has a higher nutritional value than chocolate. Disclaimer: We still eat chocolate, just not every day!
Switch 7: Choose chili over a pot pie.
Looking for a winter dinner that’s hot, hearty, and low in calories? Go for chili con carne. The classic, low-fat dish has about half the calories of a traditional pot pie. The meal is also high in vitamin A, iron, and vitamin B12; plus, if you serve it with brown rice, you’ll get extra brownie points.
Switch 8: Pick oatmeal over cereal.
Did you know that breakfast cereal is a secret calorie hoarder? An average bowl contains a huge 379 calories. Oatmeal, on the other hand, has roughly half that. Plus, experts say oatmeal's the key to a healthy heart. There's nothing more welcoming than a delicious and piping-hot bowl of oatmeal on a dark, gray, wintery morning.
Switch 9: Opt for kiwis, not oranges.
Cold and flu season has us all desperately stocking up on citrus in a bid to ward off the sniffles. But you might be surprised to learn that one kiwi gives you more than twice your recommended daily value of vitamin C, making it a more powerful protector than oranges.
Switch 10: Trade in instant mashed potatoes for cauliflower mash.
Instant mash has its time-saving place, but at 97 calories per serving, it’s not exactly waist-friendly. Cauliflower mash by comparison is just as delicious and far more healthy and nutritious. Steam or boil it as you usually would, then mash and serve, keeping butter, milk, and cream to a minimum.
This article was originally written by Now to Love editors. For more, check out our sister site, Now to Love.