Gaining weight when it's grey and cold is not a fatality! In order not to end up with extra pounds in the spring, we must act now. Our advice to help you keep toned and lighten up at the same time.

How, to, easily, keep, the, line, in, winter?

With the cold and gray weather, it's a reality: in winter, we tend to get a bit greasy. In the hot seat, our behavior. "We move less and we eat more, fatter and sweeter, while between heating and layers of clothing, the cold finally has little impact on the organisms", explains Véronique Liesse, dietician and micronutritionist. With, all the same, an excuse: "The lack of light can lead to a drop in morale with an increase in appetite and a marked attraction to sweet products", notes Dr. Florian Ferreri, psychiatrist.

Programmed to hibernate, we also undergo hormonal changes: "We observe a modulation at the level of the thyroid and a decrease in the secretion of leptin, the satiety hormone," says Dr. Vincent Renaud, a nutritionist. We therefore feel like eating more, and we store more easily". To face the winter without taking an ounce, follow the advice of our experts.

Eat fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal

Fresh fruit and vegetables contain few calories (on average 10 to 50 per 100 g of vegetables, 30 to 70 per 100 g of fruit), and are full of vitamins - especially C -, minerals and trace elements (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron...) and substances with antioxidant properties. Thanks to their fiber, they quickly fill up.

In practice: 1 fruit for breakfast, then 200 to 300 g of vegetables and 1 fruit for lunch and dinner, limiting the banana to once a week. "In pieces rather than pureed or mixed and without sauce or cream," says Dr. Renaud. Vitamin C is vulnerable to heat, so we mix raw and cooked. In the case of a fragile intestine, it is cooked al dente. For a wide range of micronutrients, we prefer seasonal fruits and vegetables by varying as much as possible the families, colors ... 

 Three tips to fill up with vitamins

    Putting lemon juice on food, salads (instead of vinegar, for example) helps to increase vitamin C intake and to fight against acidification which weakens the body.
    Sprinkle brewer's yeast flakes or wheat germ (1 teaspoon) on yoghurts, salads, dishes... This reinforces the intake of vitamins (especially of the B group) and various minerals.
    Parsley is rich in iron and vitamin C, and it's good for everything. It is sheared, fresh, on vegetables, raw vegetables, meat and fish...

Select starchy foods and ration them

Pasta, bread, rice ... complete display nearly 75% more micronutritional intake (vitamins E and B, magnesium, iron, zinc ...) compared to their refined versions! Also good: bulgur, quinoa and potatoes, rich in vitamins and minerals. All of them are energetic foods to be moderated when you want to lose weight, but don't skip it because their carbohydrates help prevent fatigue and snacking. "There is no need to eat more of them in winter," insists Dr. Renaud.

In practice: 50 g of spelt bread, rye bread... or 5 crunchy buckwheat sandwiches, or 3 Wasas on rye... for breakfast, and 4 tablespoons of rice, split peas... cooked for lunch, every other day. In the event of irritable bowel, one avoids the "all complete" and one prepares the pulses in purée or soup. 

Rehabilitate the fat, the good!

While saturated fatty acids should be consumed in moderation, unsaturated fats, especially omega-3s, prevent depression and anxiety in winter. They also promote fat burning and have an antioxidant power to fight against free radicals that are harmful to health.

In practice: We add 1 tablespoon of oil to each meal, alternating between olives and rapeseed or nuts, we crunch nuts and seeds and we eat fatty fish once or twice a week. 

Monitor red meat, but do not exclude it

Meat is the best source of iron in the diet. Not only do meats contain good quantities of it, but in addition this one, known as haeminic, is better assimilated than the one from the vegetable kingdom. They are also rich in quality proteins, with a very satiating power, and maintain muscle mass. They are sources of amino acids essential to the manufacture of neuromediators (serotonin, dopamine, etc.), "carriers of good mood", zinc and B vitamins, essential for cell renewal, says Dr. Laurence Benedetti, nutritionist, specialist in micronutrition. 

In practice: every day, at lunch and dinner, alternating with fish, favouring the least fatty cuts (poultry cutlets, 5% minced steak, rump steak, filet mignon, liver...) and limiting red meat to twice a week, at lunch only. Also think about giblets (blood sausages, liver, etc).

Mix fatty fish, lean fish and seafood

Moderately caloric even when they are fatty, fish and seafood are rich in protein, contain omega-3 fatty acids and many micronutrients "including zinc and iodine which boost thyroid function," says Vincent Renaud. Certain shellfish, such as mussels, are also among the foods richest in easily assimilated iron.

In practice: a nice portion (150 to 200 g) for lunch and dinner, at least two to three times a week, alternating with meat. Think of fatty fish (trout, salmon, sardine, mackerel...) to be eaten once or twice a week. 

Select dairy products

They are a source of calcium, which promotes the destocking of fats, in association with vitamin D. Rich in probiotics, some of them are also essential for the proper functioning of the intestinal flora, a key factor in immunity (fermented milks, yoghurts, etc.).

In practice: 30 g of cheese for breakfast (avoiding those with more than 300 calories/100 g) and 100 g of 20% fromage blanc (except in the case of irritable bowel) or 1 sheep or goat yoghurt (more digestible) for the afternoon snack. 

Introduce drink breaks

In winter, we often drink less. However, dehydration of the organism of the order of 2% is enough to reduce its performance by 20%! In addition, many drinks such as broths or certain mineral waters contribute to increase the intake of micronutrients without calories.

In practice: throughout the day, we sip a hot drink: tea, herbal tea, broth ... And you keep a bottle of mineral water, preferably rich in magnesium (Contrex, Hépar...), with which you can also prepare your tea! 

Sweet pleasures in small doses, combined with physical activity

It is possible to take sweet breaks: "by reducing sugar and choosing quality ingredients: chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa, low GI flours (coconut, chickpea, lentils...)," says Véronique Liesse. To consume reasonably, at lunch or snack."

The empty calories in ultra-processed products are replaced by foods bursting with micronutrients: chocolate bars by dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa (magnesium, iron...) or oilseeds (magnesium, selenium...), refined cereals by the complete versions (vitamins B and E, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc...), and breakfast cereals by wholemeal bread or muesli without sugar (magnesium, iron, copper, zinc...). 

In times of cocooning, "there is no harm in doing yourself good," says Dr. Ferreri. We can give in to this need for freedom and pleasure, but only for a limited time (vacations for example), not all winter". And the psychiatrist insists: "the best lever to compensate for excesses, regulate appetite and reduce energy intake is physical activity". One strives to move at least 45 minutes to 1 hour, once or twice a week

Consume food at the right time

Nibbling and sweet urges are often linked to a deficiency in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and appetite, which is made, among other things, from the tryptophan in food. To regulate its production and anticipate compulsive cravings, it is necessary to keep a rhythm of complete meals, at a fixed time, while limiting snacking.

In practice: a salty breakfast rich in proteins (ham, eggs, oilseeds, cheese...) to avoid fatigue and late morning snacking, and a sweet snack rich in tryptophan (dairy, chocolate, oilseeds, dried fruit) to avoid sweet temptations in the evening.