Between holiday indulgence and cold weather inciting a desire for comfort food, sticking to a pain-healthy diet during the winter can demand record levels of willpower. Even the most disciplined fail, so if you’ve succumbed to temptation, don’t feel bad.

Each day presents a new opportunity to eat healthy, and with these five tips to strengthen your resolve, you’ll be disciplined to stay on track better all winter.

1. Eat healthy comfort food

Soup can be comforting, filling, and warm. Best of all, most vegetable-based soups are healthy, too. Making soup from scratch is easy and can take less than half an hour. Try this recipe for Northwestern-Style Lentil Chili. It takes just 25 minutes and mixes low-fat and filling lentils with just enough potatoes to satisfy your craving for carbs.

Short on time? Try canned soup. Just be sure to buy low-sodium versions to avoid the high levels in traditional canned recipes.

2. Incorporate winter veggies into your diet

Saying good-bye to summer fruit may be sad, but winter brings a whole new rainbow of flavors to enjoy. Staple cold-weather fare includes butternut squash, beets, and carrots. These filling foods don’t sacrifice taste for nutrition while you are sticking to a pain-healthy diet.

3. Remember to drink water

Once sizzling summer temperatures stop making you sweat, forgetting to stay hydrated can be all too easy. But adequate water intake is key for maintaining optimal health — even during the winter. Also, thirst can sometimes be mistaken for hunger, leading you to eat more than necessary.

To stay fully hydrated, drink about eight glasses of water a day. Try keeping water with you at all times so remembering to drink it becomes effortless.

4. Try oatmeal for breakfast

Starting the day off with a warm, hearty breakfast keeps you feeling full longer and satisfies your craving for starchy foods. Adding nuts or fruit into the mix increases the nutrient content and provides extra healthy calories.

5. Eat a healthy meal before attending holiday gatherings

Most holiday party food involves rich desserts, food cooked with loads of butter, and other unhealthy but maddeningly tempting options. Eating a healthy meal before you go fills your belly, leaving less room for indulgence. Those sugary treats will still tempt you from the table, but your belly will thank you later.

How do you stick to a healthy diet during winter?

Image by Skanska Matupplevelser via Flickr

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