As the season’s change, so do your body’s biological rhythms making weightloss challenging. Research shows that we have entire groups of genes that are impacted by the body’s circadian rhythms (biological clock). Many of these genes can impact body weight and hormones (like adiponectin production, which increases insulin sensitivity and fat burning). It’s important to make changes to your winter diet.

The cold triggers a self-preservation mode, with the body sending messages to heat up fast. That message is often translated as a craving for carbohydrate-rich snacks like biscuits, laddoos, sweets, halwa, tea or coffee — the sugars and starch provide an instant “heat” boost that your body longs for.

Certain healthy foods have the ability to raise your body temperature and keep you warm. Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, barley and millet provide not just warmth, but essential carbohydrates to leave you energetic. They are also a great source of vitamin B and magnesium, which play a vital role in the functioning of thyroid and adrenal glands. These are the glands that regulate body temperature, so whole grains are a must during the winter.

Dry-fruits like dried apricots, dates, raisins, almonds, peanuts and walnuts act are a great source of essential fatty acids like omega 3, vitamins and minerals. Seeds like sesame, pumpkin and fennel are also great body warmers.

Here are some quick recipes incorporating these healthy and warm ingredients:

Bajra Khichri

Ingredients

1/2 cup bajra (pearl millet), soaked for eight hours and drained

1/2 cup yellow moong dal (split yellow gram), washed and drained

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)

1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)

1/2 tsp hing (asafoetida)

Salt to taste

Method

1. Grind the bajra and moong dal coarsely in a mixer. Combine the mixture with salt and two-and-a-half cups of water in a pressure cooker and cook under pressure for three to four whistles.

2. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and hing. Pour over the cooked khichdi and mix well. Serve hot with kadhi or yogurt.

Calories 122 in 100 gm

PFC ratio Protein 4.0 gm, Fat 5gm, Carbs 15 gm

Crunchy munchy chikki

Ingredients

1/4 cup flax seeds, roasted

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup almonds, powdered

1/3 cup gur (jaggery), grated

2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)

Method

  1. Heat a non-stick pan, add the sesame seeds, flax seeds and almonds and roast over a slow flame till they turn light golden in colour. Remove and keep aside to cool.
  2. Heat the ghee in the same pan, add the jaggery and simmer over a slow flame while stirring continuously, till the jaggery melts and caramelizes and forms a hard ball when you add a drop in a bowlful of cold water. Remove from the flame.
  3. Add the roasted mix and stir thoroughly. When slightly cool, divide the mixture into 10 equal pieces and shape each portion into rounds or mould into desire shapes, using moulds or cookie cutters. Cool completely and store in an air-tight container.

Calories per piece 122

PFC ratio Protein 2.76 gm, Fat 8.9 gm, Carbs 8.8 gm

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Written by Neha Jain

Neha Jain

She may have multiple degrees to back her expertise, but Neha Jain believes there’s nothing complex about nutrition. There is no magic formula for a healthy diet – the trick lies in balancing a variety of food groups and ensuring you’re eating the right portion size. With an MSc in Food and Nutrition from Delhi University and diplomas in naturopathy and yogic sciences, Neha is also a certified diabetes educator with extensive experience in endocrinological disorders and weight reduction, having worked with renowned endocrinologist Dr Ambrish Mithal in Delhi. Her goal is to help people find easy ways to make healthy choices, and believes HealthifyMe has simplified her task with its technology. Neha’s made the right choices for her family – she’s helped her husband control his high cholesterol levels and borderline diabetes by changing the meal plan at home, and introducing him to regular exercise – and now she’s hoping to ‘healthify’ you too.

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