Fall is long gone, and winter is almost done, but the cold seasons have already left their mark on many of us through unintended weight gain. There is something about crisp fall days and chilly winter nights that makes us indulge in comfort foods and adopt sedentary behaviors. For most of us, this is a recipe for trouble. Surveys have shown that the average weight gain for adults over the winter months is five to seven pounds. That’s equivalent to an excess caloric intake of 17,500 calories!
To fight off the winter blues as spring comes near and flowers start to bloom, adding a little pop of color to your diet can help you shed those extra pounds. By diet I mean “way of eating,” not the unrealistic, demotivating, soul-sucking deprivation we usually associate with the word diet. Although it may seem counterintuitive to add to your diet when you are trying to lose weight, the addition of healthy, bright, vibrant, and flavorful foods will give you a much-needed nutrition boost that will help you eat less while giving you the energy to move more.
Foods with a pop of color are often low in calories and high in fiber and nutritional value. High-fiber foods fill you up without filling you out and help keep your blood-sugar levels in check. Diets high in micronutrient-rich foods also aid in curbing cravings because they ensure your body is getting the essential vitamins and minerals it needs. In addition to this, foods with a pop of color are high in antioxidants, helping your body get rid of those damaging free radicals that can lead to cancers and other diseases. Typically the darker the color, the higher the antioxidant level, so chuck the iceberg lettuce and reach for the kale.
Another benefit of adding a pop of color to your diet is that it never gets boring! You’ll expand your horizons, switch up your routine, and discover how delicious healthy eating truly can be. I challenge you to add a pop of color to your diet; your body will reward you for it! Your taste buds will adjust, you will begin to crave healthy foods you once used to force yourself to eat, and the weight loss will come naturally.
- Start your day with a bright breakfast. Typical breakfast foods like eggs, oatmeal, and some cereals can be part of a balanced and healthy diet, but these foods lack the spectrum of health-promoting nutrients. Add a pop of color to the most important meal of the day by adding vibrant and color-rich fruits and vegetables. Add red peppers and avocado to your omelet, mango and strawberries to your overnight oatmeal, and blue and red berries to your cereal.
- Open your mind to new colors. It is easy to get stuck in the monotony of foods that are familiar to you, but if you make the effort to broaden your horizons and open up your palate to new flavors, you’ll discover a whole new world of foods. The more diversity in your diet, the more nutrients you take in, and the healthier you’ll be.
- Make veggies the star of one meal a day. No need to go meatless—just make sure your portions of colorful vegetables are larger than the other meal components.