It’s certainly a lot chillier today, isn’t it! Brrrrr! And the forecast has promises of snow and ice – let’s hope they’ve got that wrong! It is winter though and that means it’s time to change our weight loss tactics. That’s why we’ve launched our brand new Pick ‘n’ Mix Winter Plan this week.

A full 7-day plan packed with delicious food that will help you melt away those pounds and still keep warm. It’s really flexible with lots of choices for breakfast, lunch and your main meal – all calorie-counted and nutritionally balanced, so there’s nothing for you to do except choose your favourites!

In this cold weather, it’s important to have regular meals, so make sure you eat throughout the day – it’s never good to miss a meal and then end up so hungry that you just grab whatever’s to hand! Hot food helps you to feel warmer too. Why not have a jacket potato for your lunch, or pop your sandwich onto the health grill (or under a conventional grill), it’ll make you feel so much better. And this is the time of year that our good old standby, Slimtone soup, really comes into its own!

It’s a great idea to start the day with a hot breakfast. The new plan has lots of ideas, as well as those in the Lifestyle Plan. Porridge is top of our list as it provides you with your own central heating. Like porridge, Weetabix or bran based cereals sustain us longer and help prevent those mid-morning mood swings. Why not take advantage of the split breakfast – have a bowl of porridge first thing, then a thick slice of granary toast topped with canned or grilled tomatoes mid-morning. Not only does this stop those hunger pangs, it also helps to rev up your metabolism.

There are some new ideas and recipes on the Pick ‘n’ Mix Winter Plan too. The Salmon Fishcakes are quick and easy to make and a firm favourite with our members. Another quick and easy recipe is Chicken with Pineapple – ideal instead of those calorie-laden Chinese takeaways and great for celebrating Chinese New Year! Our Potato-topped Chicken Pie is a real winter warmer too and a perfect way to use up any leftover cooked chicken.

With any of these recipes, remember to fill up your plate with lots of “free” vegetables. Choose your favourites – they can be boiled, stir fried or roasted with low calorie cooking spray, so add lots of variety and texture.

And just because the weather’s cold, don’t forget to always have a glass of water wherever you are – on your desk or in the kitchen. Remember 6 glasses a day will keep the flab away! For a real winter warmer on a cold day, make it into a hot drink with sugar-free squash (my favourite is sugar-free Ribena).

These are just a few quick and easy ways to beat the cold and stay on the right track to lose weight. Come along to class this week and get your copy of our new Pick ‘n’ Mix Winter Plan – there’ll be lots more ideas, hints and tips too, as well as a lovely warm welcome! Choose the class that’s most convenient for you – I look forward to seeing you there.

Marie x

P.S. Remember, the new Slimtone Pick ‘n’ Mix Winter Plan is only available in January, so don’t miss out!