How can I maintain a healthy weight in winter?

The key is planning and pacing, according to Maria Scaffidi, MPA, RD, CDN, Bariatric Coordinator at the Surgical Weight Loss Institute at Good Samaritan Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth).

Eat meals on small plates to prevent overeating. Your brain will think you’re eating a bigger meal. “High-fiber and lean-protein snacks between meals help fuel the body and promote weight loss,” Scaffidi says. (Think avocado or almond butter on wheat toast or a Greek yogurt with mixed berries.) Wash it down with zero-calorie beverages such as unsweetened iced tea or flavored seltzer. Scaffidi recommends two liters of water per day, including hot herbal tea.

If you’re craving cold-weather “comfort foods,” prepare healthy versions such as vegetable chili or butternut squash soup. Track your food intake via food-tracking apps or write it in a daily journal. “It makes you more accountable and aware of portion sizes,” she says. Consistency is key! Round out your day with adequate exercise and sleep, because studies show that less sleep can alter hunger hormones.

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