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Old 10-15-2007, 01:38 PM   #1  
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Default Winter turns me into a hibernating bear!

Does anyone else find that it's much harder to stay on plan during the cooler months? I traditionally weigh 10 lb more in the Winter than in the Summer (even back when I was a competitive athlete) because I swear that a switch goes off in my brain and puts me into hibernation mode! I start to crave starchy, fatty foods and sweets like there's no tomorrow, and I feel SO. HUNGRY. all the time.

Of course, this year I won't go down without a fight! But I may need a little help, because suddenly, my lovely filling 1400-1600 calories of healthy food per day isn't so filling anymore, and I'm worried that the cravings & constant rumbly tummy are going to wear down my resistance as the winter progresses!

Does anyone else have this problem? Do you have any specific strategies to help you cope?

Thanks, Everyone!
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:02 PM   #2  
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Funny enough, I find the summer more difficult to stay on plan. I do a tremendous amount of socializing during the summer - and that therein lies the problem for me. We go away a lot of weekends with friends and we are one food oriented bunch.

What I like to do, is eat frequently to avoid that hungry feeling, which in turn helps me to avoid devouring every thing in sight. I make sure that there's lots of protein and fiber in my diet, which really fills me and satisfies me for waaay longer then any of the carby stuff.
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:04 PM   #3  
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Oh man, do I understand! I rely this time of year on lots and lots of big-volume soups...pumpkin soup, butternut squash soup, etc. They somehow seem more "comfort food" to me. What about chicken chili or other lean stews?

There is something about a warm, filling stew that makes me feel very satisfied, whether the calories are low or high. For me, its less about wanting to eat -more- and more about wanting heavier feeling foods. You have to be a little more creative (ie, how do i get a big bowl of satisfying soup for less calories) to get through.

Its also hardest for me in the "shift" - that mid-fall shift away from the light veggies of summer to the heavier ones of winter. You just have to start tweaking your recipes and adjusting your meal plan to feel heavier without actually BEING heavier.

I have an easy, delicious, satisfying pumpkin soup recipe that always fills me up. Its SO low calorie it is ridiculous.

Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Soup

2 sugar/pie pumpkins, sliced in half from top to bottom and scraped of all seeds/stringiness
Cooking spray
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
dashes of cayenne, to taste
Cooking spray
1/2 cup fat free half and half (this is a HFCS/highly processed product, but I use it for certain applications. You could leave this out, but the soup doesn't feel as satisfying. I did, however, make this for a vegan friend with veggie stock and unsweetened soy milk and it was delicious)

Take the sliced and cleaned pumpkins, and place them cut-side-down on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Roast at 375 degrees for about an hour, or until the flesh is tender and the skin is puffing away from the pumpkin flesh. Cut a slit in the skin of each pumpkin half and allow to cool 15 min, then peel the skin away with your fingers (it should be really easy to peel off).

In a large bowl, mash the roasted pumpkin flesh well (if you have a kitchenaid stand mixer, it works REALLY well to just throw the pumpkin in the mixing bowl, put on the paddle attachment, and put it on very low speed). Take 4 cups of the mashed pumpkin (which is approx the yield of two average pie pumpkins) place in a soup pot over medium heat, and add all of the spices. Add the chicken broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until you've reached your desired texture. Taste and adjust spices as needed.

Just before serving, stir in the fat free half and half or soy milk and remove from heat.

2.5 cups of this has approx 95 calories. TWO AND A HALF CUPS OF CREAMY, SWEET, SLIGHTLY SPICY SOUP! 95 calories.

Last edited by mandalinn82; 10-15-2007 at 02:14 PM. Reason: Added Pumpkin Soup Recipe
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:13 PM   #4  
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Thumbs up We get that too down South

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Well, I moved from the Northern climes to the Southern climes. I have been here almost four years. I hate it when the trees lose all of their leaves and the sun is not as bright bright as it is in the summer time.

I agree with the moderator that it is hard to go from the light salads and fruits that seem to make up the summer meals to winter fare. I made my first big batch of homemade chili---yumm yumm. Again, I had to figure out the points for a bowl of that but it is also so filling.

I think what might help besides the other advice on here is put brighter light bulbs in all of your lamps. Maybe, put up a picture of a tropical island somewhere and think about summer.

If you have a specific goal for the warmer months, save a swim suit or a pair of shorts and top you want to wear and leave it out where you can see it a lot. It will remind you that each season passes and before you know it, warm weather will be here and also there and there and there.

Last edited by pamatga; 10-15-2007 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:37 PM   #5  
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Thanks for sharing the recipe, Amanda. My mil was looking for one like this---and I might try it too!!
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:16 PM   #6  
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I get that as well! Although the feeling is more porminent in fall, perhaps because I'm not used yet to the variations in temperature (while in winter, it's cold all the time, so the body goes "meh, I'll live", or something). It's probably something normal, though... Some kind of old instinct inherited from the times we were more dependent on what nature agreed to let us have--that is to say, about 200 years ago --and winter coincided with a need for fattening foods to fight the cold.

'Course it sucks in terms of weight loss. But I agree with Mandalinn: soups can be a great staple. They perfectly fill this need for something warm and filling, at least for me too.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:18 PM   #7  
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No one season is harder for me than any other. The thing I like about fall and winter is that I LOVE to cook and bake. I make LOTS of recipes during these 2 seasons, where as in the spring and summer I just tend to throw stuff on the grill.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:36 PM   #8  
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There's a blog right now on foxnews.com in the health section about this very thing. Mostly blames it on the lack of sunlight and the effect that has on seratonin levels.

I like to keep the house a little colder than is actually comfortable. It's easier to drag yourself to the gym when you're not snuggled up in front of a roaring fire.

I must say, though, that I am dreading the end of the summer fruit season. Come january I'm going to be willing to spend $28 on a nectarine.
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Old 10-15-2007, 05:23 PM   #9  
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Thank you SO MUCH for the responses, everyone! I knew I could count on 3FC to be supporting & offer advice. I'm going to bookmark this thread and reread it whenever I feel the rumbly tummy or cravings during the cold rainy-ness that is Vancouver's winter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post
2.5 cups of this has approx 95 calories. TWO AND A HALF CUPS OF CREAMY, SWEET, SLIGHTLY SPICY SOUP! 95 calories.
Thank you so much for this recipe; it sounds absolutely delicious, and it would REALLY hit the spot right about now. Thank you so much for that recipe!

Last edited by maalisse; 10-15-2007 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 10-15-2007, 05:26 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin41 View Post

I must say, though, that I am dreading the end of the summer fruit season. Come january I'm going to be willing to spend $28 on a nectarine.
Okay, see that was another summer problem of mine. The summer fruit. It was sooo incredbily good, that I overate it. Especially the cherries. OMG, they were delicious.

But I will miss the raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.
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Old 10-15-2007, 06:32 PM   #11  
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Amanda, I know it wouldn't be the same, but would it be possible to substitute canned pumpkin?

Jay
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Old 10-15-2007, 06:35 PM   #12  
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I haven't personally done it, but it would be REALLY fast if you made it that way, and I don't see why not. It would also allow you to make it the 9 months out of the year when you can't buy pie pumpkins.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:00 PM   #13  
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After reading all your posts I feel like a strange person, my most difficult season is spring. I donīt know why but I hate the longer days and the sunshine ohhh itīs horrible for me. Iīve heard that people with depression (I donīt have depression but I think of myself as an extreme sensitive person) have a hard time in spring .. I guess itīs that. But when spring starts (right now here, because I live in Chile) I get so so so hungry!!īAnd itīs hard for me to eat healthy!

Ahhh itīs strange for me to hear about summer/winter vegetables! We have the same ones all year long here. I mean, I eat lettuce, coliflower, brocoli, cabagge, spinach, etc all year long.. which are winter veggies? Some fruits change, but itīs basically the same!!
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:51 PM   #14  
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Rafaella!
I'm exactly the SAME way! When the weather starts getting warm in April and May it makes me nervous! I just love cool and cloudy days and just ADORE snow! I actually swell up in the summer - ugh - it gets to 100 on many days here in the summer along with the humidity and my body just swells with all that humidity!
When it's cool or cold, I lose much better!
Lori
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Old 10-16-2007, 06:04 AM   #15  
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Actually I'm the opposite. I find that we tend to stay home more and "nest" in the wintertime plus that's usually when hubby doesn't bring home as much moola and so we don't go out to eat and etc and I find my appetite gets depressed and I stick a lot more to my plan in the winter time. There are not that many activities around here during the winter time that we are actually interested in so we don't go out so much like we do in the spring/summer/fall. I'm really enjoying this thread!
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