Healthy Eating

The 5 Best Winter Foods For Weight Loss

These foods are healthy and hearty!

By: Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC

Winter eating often means leaning on cozy, filling, and stick-to-your-ribs foods, which can tend to be on the heavier (and more caloric) side of things. But wintertime also brings us an amazing variety of fruits and vegetables that are at their peak of flavor when the weather starts to cool down. So, if you are trying to lose weight, find comfort knowing there are delicious winter foods that can naturally support your weight loss goals. Ahead, the best winter foods for weight loss that are just as tasty as they are healthy!

What Foods Are In-Season During The Winter?

Cooler weather and shorter days don’t mean that we have to live without fresh and in-season produce. While we will be hard-pressed to find fresh and locally-grown peaches, tomatoes, and other delicate summertime fruits and veggies, we get to enjoy some hearty and nutrient-dense winter options as the season changes. 

From potatoes to carrots to oranges to the less commonly known turnip, there’s no shortage of winter produce choices. Many of these foods — like root veggies or hearty fruits — have very thick skin, helping them thrive in the colder weather. And that’s good news for us, as we get to enjoy them fresh and rejoice and their tasty, nutrient-dense benefits! 

Some of our favorites include:

  • Citrus fruits such as grapefruits and seasonal oranges
  • Root veggies like winter squash, parsnips, and beets 
  • Winter greens like Brussels sprouts, kale, and collard greens

RELATED: FitOn’s Winter Wellness Guide

The 5 Best Winter Foods For Weight Loss 

Wintertime doesn’t only mean eating baked cookies and heavy casseroles. There’s plenty of good-for-you and weight loss-supporting foods out there that are seasonal and completely satisfying. 

Here are five of the best winter foods for weight loss.

Avocado

Avocados are a powerhouse in the nutrition department and are jam-packed with a slew of good-for-you nutrients. One shining star of avocado is the fiber content that this fruit contains. Fiber intake has been linked to supporting weight loss goals, so enjoying avocados in conjunction with an overall healthy diet can be a positive step in your weight loss journey. 

How to enjoy avocado:

  • Mix your salad greens with mashed avocado as a “dressing”
  • Use avocado in place of mayonnaise in your sandwich
  • Add on top of your whole-grain toast for a healthy fat and fiber boost rather than using butter

Broccoli

Broccoli is low in calories (less than 100 calories per cup) and high in fiber — two factors that make this winter veggie a perfect weight-loss supporting food. Plus, broccoli is high in water content and protein (with 3 grams per cup), helping to increase satiety and further support weight loss goals.

How to enjoy broccoli:

  • Add broccoli to a stir fry
  • Mix steamed broccoli into a pasta dish
  • Roast it with a light drizzle of olive oil and some garlic
  • Enjoy it dipped in a yogurt-based dip, like a healthy ranch made with greek yogurt 

Grapefruit

While the grapefruit diet was certainly a healthy eating myth that (thankfully) didn’t stick around for a long time, including this ruby-red winter fruit in a healthy diet may support weight loss. In fact, research suggests simply eating ½ a grapefruit before a meal could stimulate a reduction in weight. But regardless of the effect grapefruit has on your weight loss goals, eating this citrus fruit will give your body a boost of good-for-you nutrients like fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C — something we can all use during wintertime. 

RELATED: 6 Immune-Supporting Eating Habits

How to enjoy grapefruit:

  • Broil it with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a warming and healthy dessert
  • Add it to fresh a yogurt bowl made with greek or dairy-free greek-style yogurt
  • Enjoy it plain, as is!

Kale

Kale is a popular superfood that has claimed the spotlight for many years, and for good reason. Let’s face it, kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods. It’s full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins such as A, C, K, and B6. You’ll find this popular veggie in smoothies, stews, and many other dishes. And thankfully, this hearty winter-friendly green is easily added to many cozy dishes without adding a significant amount of calories (only 35 per cup). 

Plus, kale contains fiber, which helps people feel fuller for longer periods of time. And the high water content of kale makes enjoying this veggie hydrating and satiating at the same time. 

How to enjoy kale:

  • Add kale to your soups and stews
  • Enjoy it sauteed alongside your favorite egg dishes for some additional fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Use it as the base in a fresh or roasted salad 
  • Bake it into kale chips with a slight drizzle of avocado oil and sprinkle of sea salt 

Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes 

As long as you are not loading up your potato with high-fat condiments and toppings like bacon and butter or eating them fried like potato chips or French fries, potatoes can be a surprisingly good-for-you addition to a weight-loss-friendly winter meal. Potatoes are a natural source of fiber and contain key nutrients like potassium.  

Adding diced potatoes to your dishes or eating a potato as a base to a healthy dinner can be a super-satisfying nutrient-dense way to manage your weight. 

How to enjoy potatoes:

  • Use a slice of sweet potato as a bread substitute for your avocado toast
  • Cube potatoes or sweet potatoes and roast them with other weight-loss-friendly fall veggies like Brussels sprouts and broccoli 
  • Use thinly sliced sweet potatoes in a one-pan loaded nacho recipe in place of chips

Looking for a recipe idea that brings comfort to your dish while supporting your weight loss goals? Try these protein-packed stuffed sweet potatoes! With less than 10 ingredients and simple step-by-step instructions, we’re willing to bet this will be your new go-to comfort recipe. 

Crush Your Winter Weight Loss Goals

Wintertime brings us some amazing superfoods that are equally delicious and satisfying. Including some winter weight loss foods like grapefruit, kale, and avocados with your overall healthy diet during the cold months can be a seasonally simple way to keep your diet in check. So, whether you are whipping up a winter stew, cooking a homemade casserole, or even making a winter salad, including some of these winter foods in your dishes can give your body a boost and help you stay healthy during the coldest season of the year. 

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