Being well in winter time, and avoid diseases, starts on your plate. But quite often the caloric meals are eaten to warm up, result in a few extra pounds. So how to eat well to avoid winter ailments without gaining weight?
Lighten the rich winter dishes
The following dishes are known to be high in calories. If you take them frequently, and it is difficult for you to do without, it is possible to lighten them during the winter.
Charcuterie, cheese and potatoes, raclette is a mountain dish, supposed to bring the calories spent by walking in the snow or walking the ski slopes.
Of course, raclette will never become a light dish, but there are several ways to lighten it. Choose naturally lean meats (bresaola, the meat of grisons, ham or country without fat, etc.), associate a green salad for the fibers and the volume it brings (will help you feel full faster). Limit the amount of cheese (4 pieces maximum) or better, replace the raclette cheese with Merzer (pressed cheese). It is uncooked like raclette cheese, but with only 12% fat).
You can lighten it by not adding fat or rind when cooking cabbage, and avoid sausages. Lightened sauerkraut could consist of sauerkraut + potatoes + ham or ungrained ham. You can also opt for fish sauerkraut, very fashionable.
Make light gratins by replacing the traditional béchamel with a light béchamel (white sauce with ½ skimmed milk and no-fat cornmeal) or with a little 15% cream and a light braised Gruyere for gratin. You could focus on leek fondue gratin or pumpkin gratin.
Lasagna or spaghetti bolognese
Easy to lighten by using lean ground beef (5% fat) and frying the onions in a non-stick pan with a single spoonful of oil.
Watch out for hot drinks
Winter is also the season where it is usual to warm up regularly with hot beverages. The trap: hot chocolates, cappuccinos and other latte-baked coffee (unfortunately, most people think that drunk calories are less harmful than calories eaten). These drinks are rich in sugars, and calories (a cappuccino can bring up to 300 calories in some brands that I would not mention, but the best known begins with “star” and ends with “bucks”) and can significantly increase the level caloric of your day.
So, instead, prefer herbal tea or a well-scented tea, even if you want to rack it with a spoonful of honey or a square of dark chocolate. You can, for example, opt for Kusmi Boost which is well spiced (green tea, cinnamon, and ginger), Kusmi Euphoria (mate, chocolate, orange) or Kusmi Love (spices, guarana, and licorice).
Try to have a light dinner
Ancestral winter dishes are more energetic, and this is normal. A few decades ago the heating was less efficient, the professional activities were more “physical” and were carried out in the open air, and consequently, the energy expenses were increased at this period of the year. So it was natural and common sense to eat richer in the evening. Today, heating is everywhere, working conditions are considerably improved, and almost nothing justifies a more caloric diet in winter. But the trend persists, the appetite for fatty foods is stronger, probably reinforced by the short days, the ambient cold and fatigue.
Finally, if you are lucky enough to live in the mountains or go on holiday regularly: winter sports are very useful in burning calories. In short, gaining weight during the winter is not a foregone conclusion, and let it settle down by thinking that we will pay attention to spring is a risky bet.