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  Healthy Diet Plans >>  Best Healthy Winter Foods  
Winter is the time of the year when you feel comfortable staying indoors as these months are often associated with flu-like symptoms and dreaded cold. But when you aim to ward off the infectious germs to prevent a blue day, fueling your diet with nutrients shall reap positive health benefits. Winter not only gets the chills along but also gets you in a festive mood, starting from Thanksgiving to Christmas. There is nothing wrong with sitting in front of the fire and snuggling, but what you tuck in your tummy will reflect on your appearance and who you are. Listed below are 21 of the best healthy dietary tips you can try out this festive season to remain fit.
1. Food and physical activity
  It is not wrong to gain a few extra pounds during the winters. But for many people this weight gain adds up year after year and is often difficult to deal with. So along with sticking to healthy dietary habits do not be lax with your physical activity.
2. Water
  Your brain may give you low signals for thirst in the winter months but ensure that you keep yourself well hydrated, because the winter months are not just cold but extremely dry as well.
3. Other fluids
  Watch what you drink. Other than water fluids like unsweetened fruit or vegetable juices are fine. But try to avoid creamy cocktails, sugary pops, pre-mixed drinks loaded with cream or sugar that have an ample amount of fattening calories.
4. Alcohol
  Be careful when you indulge yourself in drinking. Always dilute your drinks; avoid indulging in the popular 'on-the-rocks' style. You may try a fresh cranberry juice with a dash of mineral water as your choice of cocktail at a party.
5. Nutrition
  The word 'festival' or 'celebration' often revolves around foods which are low in many nutrients. But with just a bit of effort and judicious planning you can make many tempting recipes more nutritious. Modify the cooking method if necessary; for example instead of deep frying, use other cooking methods like roasting, baking or steaming to retain the nutrients.
6. Fish
  You can practically have a deficiency of vitamin D during the winter months when sunlight becomes scarce. In such case you may experience SAD (seasonal affective disorder) throughout the winter months. Fish is a very good source of vitamin D as well as omega-3 fatty acids which will help to relieve any mood disorders by elevating your serotonin levels in the body.
7. Chocolates
  These tempting chunks cannot be avoided by many, especially when it comes to the festive season. But making a prudent choice will help; choose good quality dark chocolate with high cocoa content to gain maximum antioxidant benefits from cocoa. Also steer clear from inferior products especially those which are sugar-rich.
8. Nuts
  Don't go nuts when hungry; instead eat a handful of them. Almost all nuts are a good source of selenium which is thought to be good for mental health and prevent depression.
9. Whole grains and cereals
  Fiber from wheat, oats, barley, whole grain breads, pastas, and rice are known to have a protective effect for both digestive and heart health. Avoid eating refined or processed cereals and grains as most of the nutrients are stripped in these products at the refining level.
10. Natural yogurt
  Yogurt possesses active bacterial cultures that help to boost your immune system in winters. Choose fresh plain low fat yogurt instead of artificial, flavored or sweet yogurt. You may even add any fresh fruits of your choice to make the yogurt more palatable.
11. Citrus fruits
  Tangerines, oranges, kiwi fruit, grape fruit, red grapes, lemons or guava can be the healthiest fruits to keep you strong in winters. Vitamin C from all the citrus fruits is especially important in winters to keep your immune system high.
12. Dark leafy greens
  Make sure to include at least one or half a serving of a dark green leafy vegetable in your daily diet.
13. Fiber
  Load your diet with plenty of fiber to relive constipation in winters due to a sedentary lifestyle. Be innovative and experiment with different combinations of fruits and vegetables for salads. However do not use any fatty salad dressings as they serve no nutritional purpose.
14. Fruit sugars
  Xylitol or other natural sugars found in fruits and plants can be an excellent choice to substitute table sugar and artificial sweeteners.
15. Chuck the junk
  When hungry choose a plate of fresh fruits or vegetables or a handful of nuts instead of junk or fried snacks. Fresh fruits are also a good way to satisfy your taste buds in case of a sweet tooth craving.
16. Variety
  Remember, no one food will provide you all the nutrients, so include a variety of food in your diet from all the food groups.
17. Moderation
  Learn to watch your portion size while eating any foods. A food can be equally tempting and palatable even if you eat one portion instead of several. Learn to go easy on sugar, fat, salt and junk foods.
18. Alternatives
  Learn to look out for healthy alternatives; for example a dish of fresh fruits can be healthy as well as nutritious compared to a fruit salad loaded with cream and sugar.
19. Don't starve
  Avoid not eating food for many hours as it can actually switch your body to starvation mode and you will end up gaining more weight.
20. Exercise
  To burn excess calories that you consume from those high caloric meals you will need to increase your physical activity.
21. Weight maintenance
  If you find it difficult to lose weight in this festive season, don't panic or get depressed. Instead aim for weight maintenance and avoid gaining weight either.
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