The farmer’s market is still shuttered, and it’s the season for comfort food, not weight loss. Although eating more seems natural, it is very much possible to lose weight in the cooler months. It just requires different tools, including a regular rhythm of high-calorie breakfasts and low-calorie dinners, as shown in an Obesity study. Here are some essential staples for healthy weight loss.

Stay Full with Greens

The foods of this season often fail to fill us up, but dark, leafy greens like kale, chard, collards, and mustard greens ensure greater satiety. Not only do they thrive in chilly weather, but greens also contain high amounts of dietary fiber and water. Together, these allow for you to eat fewer calories without increasing hunger, as shown in a study in Nutrition Reviews.Cooking Light’s Creamed Winter Greens recipe in particular combines vitamin and mineral-rich spinach and kale for an earthy and exciting take on a winter standard.

Eat Sweets with Squash

In the cold, we often crave sweets, but refined carbohydrates can harm health. Instead, turn to the natural sweetness of vitamin and mineral-rich beets, potatoes, and squash. The many varieties of butternut, acorn, winter, and other squash in particular are all low in calories but high in dietary fiber, which, according to Slavin’s research, supports weight loss by filling you up quicker. The seeds, too, contain a remarkable amount of protein and iron similar to peanuts. Try warming up with the savory sweetness of a bowl of mild and buttery Butternut Squash Soup.

Stay Healthy with Citrus

The colder months bring a greater risk for illness, but citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits can help boost immunity. Not only do they contain high levels of vitamins A and C, with an average orange boasting 100 percent of your recommended daily dose, but these fruits are also at their juiciest in winter. A UC Berkeley study, in particular, showed that regularly eating grapefruit supports weight loss and helps counter a high-fat diet by lowering blood sugar levels. You can add take advantage of these benefits with this Winter Citrus Salad with Honey Dressing, which will add sunshine to a dreary diet.

Spice It Up with Cayenne

Chili peppers will also liven up your weight loss meals while boosting your metabolism. In particular, a study in The Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology found that chilies create metabolic spikes by activating the sympathetic nervous system. Their spiciness comes from the compound capsaicin, which studies like McCarty, DiNicolantonio, and O’Keefehave shown will promote both metabolic and vascular health. One remarkable way to incorporate peppers into your diet is through drinks like this Mulled Apple Cider with cayenne.

Eat Hardy with Pulses

Lastly, colder weather also calls for high-quality, low-fat proteins like pulses. These superfoods help stabilize blood sugar levels to curb cravings for unhealthy snacks. From beans to peas, lentils, and chickpeas, these protein-rich staples also increase fullness so that you can avoid overheating. As a study in The American Journal for Clinical Nutrition shows, pulses can thus help reduce caloric intake, even as they reduce bad cholesterol. They also provide an opportunity to combine multiple cold weather staples with dishes like this Chickpea and Winter Vegetable Stew from MyRecipes.

Healthy weight loss in the cooler months is not as difficult as it seems. The key is to break your old habits and turn instead to nutrient rich and more filling foods like those outlined above.

If you want to learn more about healthy weight loss, connect with Derry Medical Services today to ask questions, find support and learn more about Diabetes 180, a lifestyle change program designed specifically for people living with the disease. You can also bring concern up your concerns at your next primary care appointment.