CLEVELAND – Packing on the pounds can be problematic for some of us as the season shifts toward cooler temperatures.
If you find yourself falling into that comfort food trap, Beth Czerwony, registered dietitian for Cleveland Clinic, said the key to tipping the scale in your favor starts with cooking at home.
“You could use pumpkin, roasted pumpkin in oatmeal, instead of having a carby-kind of base to things,” she recommends. “I personally like to use pumpkin soup a lot and make it savory, so using some curry in that or some coriander, cumin those types of things.”
Pumpkin is low in calories, low-fat and starchier, so there’s no need for heavy creams to thicken it.
Substituting spaghetti squash for pasta and adding herbs or seasonings is a flavorful way to spice up your meal while providing a healthier alternative.
Seasonal vegetables are plentiful this time of year and can be more nutritious than off-season produce.
You can try roasting them instead of sautéing or frying, which reduces additional fat and brings out their natural sweetness.
“Vegetables, being lower calorie and having more fiber, more fluid — they are going to end up keeping you fuller longer, so this is a good way to bulk up the diet with more food and thinking that you are going to stay fuller longer without giving a lot of extra calories,” Czerwony explained.
Using leaner cuts of meat, choosing smaller portion sizes and tracking food intake can help you avoid unwanted weight. Most importantly, when it comes to comfort foods – be selective and choose seasonal favorites that are special to you and just indulge in those.