The clocks change this weekend, a real sign that winter is here! And with the long, dark nights, it’s time to change our weight loss tactics. Here are Marie’s top tips to help you plan how to cope as the weather gets colder.

Marie’s Hot Tips

  • My first top tip is to always eat a hot breakfast – there are lots of ideas in the Lifestyle Plan, so you’ll never get bored. Porridge is great as it provides you with your own central heating and is quick and easy to prepare. Like porridge, Weetabix or bran based cereals sustain us longer and help prevent those mid-morning mood swings. Lots of members like the split breakfasts – they have a bowl of porridge first thing, and 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. Try it for yourself.
  • Regular meals are important during the colder weather. Hot food helps you to feel warmer and it’s much more nourishing to have a meal instead of using precious calories on cakes and biscuits. Toasted crumpets, muffins and fruit loaf are all delicious with low sugar jam, lemon curd or Philly light cheese. The small pots of Ambrosia Light Rice pudding or custard are delicious warmed and served with stewed apples or over your favourite frozen fruit. I always keep a bag of frozen fruit  in the freezer for a convenient way of having my 5-a-day!
  • Are you using your health grill? A toastie is far more satisfying on a winter’s day than a cold sandwich, so why not pop your favourite lunchtime sandwich onto your health grill. Serve it with a cup of Slimtone soup or canned tomatoes and you’ll have a filling lunch in minutes.
  • Make up a selection of the curries or casseroles from the Lifestyle Plan and freeze them. These are really convenient when you get in from work or shopping and want something quick. I pop a portion of leftover chicken in a dish with gravy and stuffing and freeze it ready for a quick evening meal with vegetables. Or why not try the cans of potatoes at approximately 100 calories – they’re really tasty when roasted or “fried”!
    This Spicy Sausage Casserole is very popular with our members.

Spicy Sausage Casserole
Serves 4 – approx. 300 calories per serving

Grill and slice 454g/1 lb low fat sausages. Mist a non-stick pan with low cal cooking spray and sear 2 red peppers sliced into rings and 112g/4oz mushrooms sliced into chunks for 5 minutes until they have browned. Stir in 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes, curry paste to taste and the sausages. Season with sea salt and black pepper and simmer for 20 minutes for a really filly and tasty meal that all the family will enjoy.
** You can also use Quorn sausages in this recipe.

  • FILL up your plate with lots of “free” vegetables. Remember, they can be boiled, stir fried or roasted with your low calorie cooking spray, so you can enjoy lots of variety and texture. And why not cook a few extra to add into an omelette.
  • Make up Slimtone Butternut Squash soup and keep it in the fridge or freezer to have as a starter or in-between meal snack. The Serve-and-Store bags are really useful and can be found in most supermarkets.
  • 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 or try my favourite Belvoir Farm ginger cordial.

These are some quick and easy ways to make sure you keep warm and still stay on track to lose weight. I’d love to hear about your favourite winter warmers – share your ideas here or on our Facebook page.

Marie x