Find Out the Real Truth About Exercising in the Cold

Winter is upon us and we all want to keep up with our workout routines| no matter what the thermometer says. But is it bad for us to continue our exercise out in the cold? Details gives us the 411 about working out during the colder months.

If you’ve ever exercised in the cold| you know the sensations. Your muscles feel tighter. Your toes and hands go numb. The cold air rushing through your mouth and nose| down your windpipe| and into your lungs can feel harsh and| at times| painful. Afterward| you may have a slight| sometimes dry| sometimes wet cough. These sensations can cause wonder| and worry. “Is it bad to work out in the cold?” you may ask yourself. “Are my muscles supposed to feel this way? Is the cold air doing harm to my lungs and body?” We spoke with Dr. Sean Robinson of the Oregon Health and Science University| an avid winter runner with a Certificate of Added Qualification in sports medicine| for some answers.

Stretch Smart

No matter the temperature| before you workout| you need to warm up. But| when it’s cold| it’s doubly important. “Muscle contraction is negatively affected by temperature|” Robinson explains. “The stiffness that you feel in the cold weather is related to this issue. The thought is that the muscle has a harder time getting oxygen from your blood in colder temperatures and your muscles need oxygen to contract| thus making contraction more difficult.” So| how do you counteract the tightness and make sure it doesn’t turn into pain and injury? Dynamic stretching.

“The notion of stretching before running is often debated|” Robinson states. “There are a group of experts who feel that injury prevention is not affected if you stretch prior to exercising| and a group that feels it helps. Most will agree that dynamic stretching is better than static stretching. Cold weather will generally make you feel stiff| and a gentle dynamic stretching routine can do wonders for your muscles.” When it’s cold out| Robinson prefers warming up outdoors to prepare his body for the weather.

Listen to Your Lungs

Your muscles aren’t the only thing affected by the cold| though. The cold| dry air has been known to cause pain in people’s throats and lungs| and though it isn’t always a sign of something serious| it’s worth monitoring. “Your lungs function as your natural air filter and humidifier|” says Robinson. “There are some athletes who are prone to bronchospasm (the small airways in your lungs will spasm and shrink)| and this can cause pain| coughing| and shortness of breath. Other individuals may get an initial bronchospasm but their body will normalize and allow them to continue.” If coughing| shortness of breath| or any pain continues| Robinson advises talking to your doctor.

Hydrate to Avoid Hypothermia

When you exercise in warm weather| your body has to work especially hard to keep your body cool. You sweat| you cool down| you get thirsty| you drink. In cold weather| the burden isn’t as extreme| you tend not to notice the sweat under your layers| and as a result| you can forget to stay hydrated. “Hydration is just as important during cold weather as warm|” Robinson explains. “You sweat more than you realize. The risk of hypothermia increases with dehydration| so be sure to drink even if you’re not thirsty.” If you run with a reservoir| Robinson’s trick is to blow air into the tube after you take a sip to ensure the tube is full of warm air| not freezing water.

Dress For the Elements

Another key to avoiding hypothermia| or general coldness that can lead to sickness or numbness in your extremities| is wearing the right clothing. Pure cotton is a no-go because while it pulls the sweat from your body| it doesn’t evaporate quickly| leaving you with a damp| cold layer. A cotton-and-polyester mix is what you want. “A polyester-cotton material provides the better combination of pulling sweat and enhancing evaporation to keep you warm| dry| and comfortable|” says Robinson. “Layering an insulated wind-resistant shell with a sweat-wicking base is advised.” Robinson also mentions that if you’re feeling a little under the weather| you can still exercise in the cold| but pay attention to what your body is saying. However| if you have a fever over 100.4?F| take a day off| as exercising with a fever can put you at risk for heat illness.

Finally| once you’ve finished your workout| be sure to get inside and change into dry clothes as quickly as possible. If you’re going to be outside for a while afterward| bring a towel to dry off and some extra layers to maintain your body’s temperature. Oh| and if your throat is a bit parched or your body is a bit cold| try a hot beverage. Gin and tea| anyone?

Check out more great stories from Details:

The Best Plank You Aren’t DoingHere’s Why You Should Try BoxingWhy You Should up Your Vitamin D Intake This WinterImage Source: Shutterstock

Find Out the Real Truth About Exercising in the Cold

Winter is upon us and we all want to keep up with our workout routines, no matter what the thermometer says. But is it bad for us to continue our exercise out in the cold? Details gives us the 411 about working out during the colder months.

If you’ve ever exercised in the cold, you know the sensations. Your muscles feel tighter. Your toes and hands go numb. The cold air rushing through your mouth and nose, down your windpipe, and into your lungs can feel harsh and, at times, painful. Afterward, you may have a slight, sometimes dry, sometimes wet cough. These sensations can cause wonder, and worry. “Is it bad to work out in the cold?” you may ask yourself. “Are my muscles supposed to feel this way? Is the cold air doing harm to my lungs and body?” We spoke with Dr. Sean Robinson of the Oregon Health and Science University, an avid winter runner with a Certificate of Added Qualification in sports medicine, for some answers.

Stretch Smart

No matter the temperature, before you workout, you need to warm up. But, when it’s cold, it’s doubly important. “Muscle contraction is negatively affected by temperature,” Robinson explains. “The stiffness that you feel in the cold weather is related to this issue. The thought is that the muscle has a harder time getting oxygen from your blood in colder temperatures and your muscles need oxygen to contract, thus making contraction more difficult.” So, how do you counteract the tightness and make sure it doesn’t turn into pain and injury? Dynamic stretching.

“The notion of stretching before running is often debated,” Robinson states. “There are a group of experts who feel that injury prevention is not affected if you stretch prior to exercising, and a group that feels it helps. Most will agree that dynamic stretching is better than static stretching. Cold weather will generally make you feel stiff, and a gentle dynamic stretching routine can do wonders for your muscles.” When it’s cold out, Robinson prefers warming up outdoors to prepare his body for the weather.

Listen to Your Lungs

Your muscles aren’t the only thing affected by the cold, though. The cold, dry air has been known to cause pain in people’s throats and lungs, and though it isn’t always a sign of something serious, it’s worth monitoring. “Your lungs function as your natural air filter and humidifier,” says Robinson. “There are some athletes who are prone to bronchospasm (the small airways in your lungs will spasm and shrink), and this can cause pain, coughing, and shortness of breath. Other individuals may get an initial bronchospasm but their body will normalize and allow them to continue.” If coughing, shortness of breath, or any pain continues, Robinson advises talking to your doctor.

Hydrate to Avoid Hypothermia

When you exercise in warm weather, your body has to work especially hard to keep your body cool. You sweat, you cool down, you get thirsty, you drink. In cold weather, the burden isn’t as extreme, you tend not to notice the sweat under your layers, and as a result, you can forget to stay hydrated. “Hydration is just as important during cold weather as warm,” Robinson explains. “You sweat more than you realize. The risk of hypothermia increases with dehydration, so be sure to drink even if you’re not thirsty.” If you run with a reservoir, Robinson’s trick is to blow air into the tube after you take a sip to ensure the tube is full of warm air, not freezing water.

Dress For the Elements

Another key to avoiding hypothermia, or general coldness that can lead to sickness or numbness in your extremities, is wearing the right clothing. Pure cotton is a no-go because while it pulls the sweat from your body, it doesn’t evaporate quickly, leaving you with a damp, cold layer. A cotton-and-polyester mix is what you want. “A polyester-cotton material provides the better combination of pulling sweat and enhancing evaporation to keep you warm, dry, and comfortable,” says Robinson. “Layering an insulated wind-resistant shell with a sweat-wicking base is advised.” Robinson also mentions that if you’re feeling a little under the weather, you can still exercise in the cold, but pay attention to what your body is saying. However, if you have a fever over 100.4?F, take a day off, as exercising with a fever can put you at risk for heat illness.

Finally, once you’ve finished your workout, be sure to get inside and change into dry clothes as quickly as possible. If you’re going to be outside for a while afterward, bring a towel to dry off and some extra layers to maintain your body’s temperature. Oh, and if your throat is a bit parched or your body is a bit cold, try a hot beverage. Gin and tea, anyone?

Check out more great stories from Details:

The Best Plank You Aren’t DoingHere’s Why You Should Try BoxingWhy You Should up Your Vitamin D Intake This WinterImage Source: Shutterstock

Lululemon’s Latest Limited-Edition Leggings Are Here

Lululemon’s Latest Limited-Edition Leggings Are Here

If you count yourself among the Lululemon-obsessed| you’ll be happy to hear about its superluxe Black Friday limited-edition collection. Available 10 stylish brands that aren’t Lululemon u2014 at every price point.

Related: Lululemon Fans Freak Out Over Limited-Edition Garb at Wanderlust

| Pace Tight (Front)

Lululemon Pace Tight *SE Reflective ($298)

| Pace Tight (Back)
“|”id”:39126420|”type”:”image”|”thumbnail”:”Image Source: Lululemon

“”|””large_link””:”” Speed Tight IV (Front)

Lululemon Speed Tight IV *SE Reflective ($198)

| Speed Tight IV (Back)
“”|””id””:39126419|””type””:””image””|””thumbnail””:””Image Source: Lululemon

“”|””large_link””:””

Lululemon Race With Grace 1/2 Zip II *SE Reflective ($198) and Race To Place Run Hat *SE Reflective ($68).

Lululemon’s Latest Limited-Edition Leggings Are Here

Lululemon’s Latest Limited-Edition Leggings Are Here

If you count yourself among the Lululemon-obsessed, you’ll be happy to hear about its superluxe Black Friday limited-edition collection. Available 10 stylish brands that aren’t Lululemon u2014 at every price point.

Related: Lululemon Fans Freak Out Over Limited-Edition Garb at Wanderlust

| Pace Tight (Front)

Lululemon Pace Tight *SE Reflective ($298)

| Pace Tight (Back)
“,”id”:39126420,”type”:”image”,”thumbnail”:”Image Source: Lululemon

“”

Here’s a 10-Minute Workout That’ll Work Your Whole Body

Mix strength moves with bike intervals to torch calories in just 10 minutes with this workout from Self.

No time? No problem. Try this routine from Basecamp Fitness in Santa Monica| California| famed for its 35-minute HIIT classes. Because you change direction during each move| you fire up more muscles (plus zing your abs).

Warm-Up

Step-Through: Face a doorway with hands on sides of frame. Step right leg forward into a lunge and lean back| stretching chest| shoulders and left hip flexor upward. Hold for 3 seconds; stand. Alternate sides for 30 seconds.

Stretching Jack: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend forward and touch hands to floor| then walk hands out into a push-up. Walk feet to hands. Stand; do 2 jumping jacks. Continue for 30 seconds.

Ride a stationary bike as fast as you can for 1 minute.

Total Time: 2 Minutes

Block One

Plank Lift: Lie on right side with elbow under shoulder. Lift hips; raise and lower top leg for 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite side.

Sizzle Sprawl: Stand with legs shoulder-width apart| knees bent| and quickly run in place. Every 10 seconds| drop into a push-up| jump feet to hands| explode into tuck jump (as shown above) and return to start. Continue for 1 minute.

Bike fast for 1 minute.

Total Time: 3 Minutes

Block Two

Push and Plank: From a push-up| drop down into a plank| one elbow at a time. Press back up into a push-up one hand at a time. Continue for 1 minute.

V-Crunch: Lie face up with arms extended overhead. Lift hands and feet at same time and aim to touch toes. Slowly lower arms and legs to floor. Continue for 1 minute.

Bike fast for 1 minute.

Total Time: 3 Minutes

Block Three

Curtsy Lunge: Step left foot to left| lowering into a side lunge. Push off left leg to stand| then step left foot behind you to right; lower until right thigh is parallel to floor. Return to start. Alternate sides for 1 minute.

Speed Skater: Stand on right leg with left leg behind you. Explosively hop to left leg| placing right foot behind it to soften landing. Alternate sides for 1 minute.

Total Time: 2 Minutes

More from SELF.com:

Which Is Better For Weight Loss? Cardio or Weights?Here Is Rita Ora’s Ultraeffective 4-Move WorkoutThis Is How 1 Woman Overhauled Her Health and Fitness ¡ª and Lost Over 30 PoundsImage Source: Shutterstock

Here’s a 10-Minute Workout That’ll Work Your Whole Body

Mix strength moves with bike intervals to torch calories in just 10 minutes with this workout from Self.

No time? No problem. Try this routine from Basecamp Fitness in Santa Monica, California, famed for its 35-minute HIIT classes. Because you change direction during each move, you fire up more muscles (plus zing your abs).

Warm-Up

Step-Through: Face a doorway with hands on sides of frame. Step right leg forward into a lunge and lean back, stretching chest, shoulders and left hip flexor upward. Hold for 3 seconds; stand. Alternate sides for 30 seconds.

Stretching Jack: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend forward and touch hands to floor, then walk hands out into a push-up. Walk feet to hands. Stand; do 2 jumping jacks. Continue for 30 seconds.

Ride a stationary bike as fast as you can for 1 minute.

Total Time: 2 Minutes

Block One

Plank Lift: Lie on right side with elbow under shoulder. Lift hips; raise and lower top leg for 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite side.

Sizzle Sprawl: Stand with legs shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and quickly run in place. Every 10 seconds, drop into a push-up, jump feet to hands, explode into tuck jump (as shown above) and return to start. Continue for 1 minute.

Bike fast for 1 minute.

Total Time: 3 Minutes

Block Two

Push and Plank: From a push-up, drop down into a plank, one elbow at a time. Press back up into a push-up one hand at a time. Continue for 1 minute.

V-Crunch: Lie face up with arms extended overhead. Lift hands and feet at same time and aim to touch toes. Slowly lower arms and legs to floor. Continue for 1 minute.

Bike fast for 1 minute.

Total Time: 3 Minutes

Block Three

Curtsy Lunge: Step left foot to left, lowering into a side lunge. Push off left leg to stand, then step left foot behind you to right; lower until right thigh is parallel to floor. Return to start. Alternate sides for 1 minute.

Speed Skater: Stand on right leg with left leg behind you. Explosively hop to left leg, placing right foot behind it to soften landing. Alternate sides for 1 minute.

Total Time: 2 Minutes

More from SELF.com:

Which Is Better For Weight Loss? Cardio or Weights?Here Is Rita Ora’s Ultraeffective 4-Move WorkoutThis Is How 1 Woman Overhauled Her Health and Fitness ¡ª and Lost Over 30 PoundsImage Source: Shutterstock

Nutritionists Recommend the Perfect Dinner Equation For Weight Loss

Want to know how the last meal of the day can help you drop pounds? We’ve enlisted the expertise of two nutritionists ¡ª Stephanie Clarke| RD| and Willow Jarosh| RD| of C&J Nutrition ¡ª to share the perfect equation for what to eat for supper to help you lose weight. Follow their advice below to start seeing results.

Calories

Aim for a range between 450 and 550 calories. If you’re trying to lose weight| stay closer to 450| and if you’re trying to maintain weight| especially if you’re working out| shoot closer to 550 calories.

Carbs

About 45 to 55 percent of your dinner calories should be devoted to carbs| which is about 50 to 75 grams of carbs. Don’t be afraid to eat carbs at night because you’re worried you won’t have time to burn them off. As long as you’re sticking to your total calorie amount for the day| eating carbs at this meal isn’t more likely to cause weight gain. Actually| eating enough carbs at dinner can dissolve those postdinner carb cravings for sweets and chips.

Protein

About 20 to 25 percent of your dinner calorie amount should be protein| which works out to 25 to 35 grams. Protein is vital to help rebuild and maintain muscle| and since your body does a lot of rebuilding at night| ensuring your dinner includes enough protein is important. Protein also makes you feel satisfied| which is another tool for preventing postdinner noshing sessions.

Fats

Shoot for about 15 to 25 grams| which is about 30 to 35 percent of your total supper calories. Instead of saturated fats like beef and cheese| go for monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) like olive oil| sesame oil| coconut oil| avocado| olives| and nuts and seeds.

Fiber

To help you reach the recommended daily total of 25 grams per day| aim for at least eight grams at dinnertime. This should be coming primarily from fiber-rich carb choices like whole grains| starchy veggies| beans| small amounts of fruit| and fiber-containing fats such as avocado| nuts| and seeds.

Sugars

Stick to no more than seven grams or fewer of total sugars. And when it comes to added sugar| try not to exceed four grams ¡ª that’s about one teaspoon of any sweetener used in sauces or dressing.

Timing

Ideally you should eat dinner about two to three hours after your 3:30 p.m. afternoon snack. If you plan to exercise after work| fuel up with a later-afternoon snack around 4:30 p.m. Then you can exercise at 5:30 p.m. for an hour and eat dinner by 7/7:30 p.m. As mentioned above| don’t worry about eating dinner too late. As long as you don’t exceed your daily calories| what time you eat won’t impact your weight.

A Few Examples of Perfect Dinners

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

Mexican Quinoa Bites With Salsa: Enjoy four of these quinoa and black bean bites with one-quarter of an avocado and two tablespoons of mild salsa.

Calories: 506

Total fat: 22.2 g

Saturated fat: 7.9 g

Carbs: 55.1 g

Fiber: 13.9 g

Sugars: 6.5 g

Protein: 24.2 g

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lizzie Fuhr

Panko-Crusted Fish Over Kale With a Side of Wild Rice: Follow this simple recipe to make one serving of panko-crusted halibut| and enjoy it with a curly kale salad and half a cup of cooked wild rice mixed with one-eighth cup of kidney beans.

Calories: 550

Total fat: 20.4 g

Saturated fat: 4.3 g

Carbs: 52.8 g

Fiber: 7.4 g

Sugars: 3.3 g

Protein: 41.9 g

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lizzie Fuhr

Grilled Chicken Burrito Bowl With Brown Rice: Whip up this easy dish made with chicken| black beans| and salsa| and stir in half a cup of cooked brown rice and half a tablespoon of olive oil to make it even more filling.

Calories: 518

Total fat: 11.7 g

Saturated fat: 1.4 g

Carbs: 58.7 g

Fiber: 10.1 g

Sugars: 4.7 g

Protein: 45.1 g

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup With Bread: For the vegans out there| throw all the ingredients in your slow cooker in the morning| and you’ll come home to a hot bowl of creamy butternut squash lentil soup. Enjoy your bowl with two small slices of warm sourdough bread smeared with half a tablespoon each of Earth Balance.

Calories: 538

Total fat: 14.3 g

Saturated fat: 4.3 g

Carbs: 76.8 g

Fiber: 18.5 g

Sugars: 6.5 g

Protein: 25.5 g

Dinner Mistakes to AvoidSkipping carbs: People often go carb-free as a way to lose weight quickly| but forbidding yourself this important nutrient will make carb cravings even stronger| leading to carb bingeing. Including healthy fiber-rich carbs such as whole grains| starchy veggies| and beans will actually satiate your hunger longer and make eating a balanced diet easier to sustain in the long term. Enormous plates: Dinner-size plates are pretty standard| but the amount of food you can pile on one can add up to two or three times the amount of calories you should have at dinner. Downsize your plates and use either smaller-sized salad plates or cereal bowls. Don’t be afraid to measure out portions| and once you do| pack leftovers away in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch so you’re not tempted to grab a few extra bites. Setting a strict dinner time: While there’s something to be said for giving yourself guidelines for not snacking after a certain time (e.g.| after you’ve already eaten dinner)| if you find yourself skipping dinner because it’s too late| then you may be setting yourself up to overeat the following day. Eating after 8 p.m. (or any time) won’t make you gain weight| so there’s no need to skip it. Just be sure your dinner is balanced and doesn’t make you exceed your daily calorie limit for the day.

Looking to lose weight during other times of the day? Here’s what to eat for breakfast and what to eat for lunch| as well as what to eat at snack time to lose weight.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

Nutritionists Recommend the Perfect Dinner Equation For Weight Loss

Want to know how the last meal of the day can help you drop pounds? We’ve enlisted the expertise of two nutritionists ¡ª Stephanie Clarke, RD, and Willow Jarosh, RD, of C&J Nutrition ¡ª to share the perfect equation for what to eat for supper to help you lose weight. Follow their advice below to start seeing results.

Calories

Aim for a range between 450 and 550 calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, stay closer to 450, and if you’re trying to maintain weight, especially if you’re working out, shoot closer to 550 calories.

Carbs

About 45 to 55 percent of your dinner calories should be devoted to carbs, which is about 50 to 75 grams of carbs. Don’t be afraid to eat carbs at night because you’re worried you won’t have time to burn them off. As long as you’re sticking to your total calorie amount for the day, eating carbs at this meal isn’t more likely to cause weight gain. Actually, eating enough carbs at dinner can dissolve those postdinner carb cravings for sweets and chips.

Protein

About 20 to 25 percent of your dinner calorie amount should be protein, which works out to 25 to 35 grams. Protein is vital to help rebuild and maintain muscle, and since your body does a lot of rebuilding at night, ensuring your dinner includes enough protein is important. Protein also makes you feel satisfied, which is another tool for preventing postdinner noshing sessions.

Fats

Shoot for about 15 to 25 grams, which is about 30 to 35 percent of your total supper calories. Instead of saturated fats like beef and cheese, go for monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) like olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, avocado, olives, and nuts and seeds.

Fiber

To help you reach the recommended daily total of 25 grams per day, aim for at least eight grams at dinnertime. This should be coming primarily from fiber-rich carb choices like whole grains, starchy veggies, beans, small amounts of fruit, and fiber-containing fats such as avocado, nuts, and seeds.

Sugars

Stick to no more than seven grams or fewer of total sugars. And when it comes to added sugar, try not to exceed four grams ¡ª that’s about one teaspoon of any sweetener used in sauces or dressing.

Timing

Ideally you should eat dinner about two to three hours after your 3:30 p.m. afternoon snack. If you plan to exercise after work, fuel up with a later-afternoon snack around 4:30 p.m. Then you can exercise at 5:30 p.m. for an hour and eat dinner by 7/7:30 p.m. As mentioned above, don’t worry about eating dinner too late. As long as you don’t exceed your daily calories, what time you eat won’t impact your weight.

A Few Examples of Perfect Dinners

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

Mexican Quinoa Bites With Salsa: Enjoy four of these quinoa and black bean bites with one-quarter of an avocado and two tablespoons of mild salsa.

Calories: 506

Total fat: 22.2 g

Saturated fat: 7.9 g

Carbs: 55.1 g

Fiber: 13.9 g

Sugars: 6.5 g

Protein: 24.2 g

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lizzie Fuhr

Panko-Crusted Fish Over Kale With a Side of Wild Rice: Follow this simple recipe to make one serving of panko-crusted halibut, and enjoy it with a curly kale salad and half a cup of cooked wild rice mixed with one-eighth cup of kidney beans.

Calories: 550

Total fat: 20.4 g

Saturated fat: 4.3 g

Carbs: 52.8 g

Fiber: 7.4 g

Sugars: 3.3 g

Protein: 41.9 g

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lizzie Fuhr

Grilled Chicken Burrito Bowl With Brown Rice: Whip up this easy dish made with chicken, black beans, and salsa, and stir in half a cup of cooked brown rice and half a tablespoon of olive oil to make it even more filling.

Calories: 518

Total fat: 11.7 g

Saturated fat: 1.4 g

Carbs: 58.7 g

Fiber: 10.1 g

Sugars: 4.7 g

Protein: 45.1 g

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup With Bread: For the vegans out there, throw all the ingredients in your slow cooker in the morning, and you’ll come home to a hot bowl of creamy butternut squash lentil soup. Enjoy your bowl with two small slices of warm sourdough bread smeared with half a tablespoon each of Earth Balance.

Calories: 538

Total fat: 14.3 g

Saturated fat: 4.3 g

Carbs: 76.8 g

Fiber: 18.5 g

Sugars: 6.5 g

Protein: 25.5 g

Dinner Mistakes to AvoidSkipping carbs: People often go carb-free as a way to lose weight quickly, but forbidding yourself this important nutrient will make carb cravings even stronger, leading to carb bingeing. Including healthy fiber-rich carbs such as whole grains, starchy veggies, and beans will actually satiate your hunger longer and make eating a balanced diet easier to sustain in the long term. Enormous plates: Dinner-size plates are pretty standard, but the amount of food you can pile on one can add up to two or three times the amount of calories you should have at dinner. Downsize your plates and use either smaller-sized salad plates or cereal bowls. Don’t be afraid to measure out portions, and once you do, pack leftovers away in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch so you’re not tempted to grab a few extra bites. Setting a strict dinner time: While there’s something to be said for giving yourself guidelines for not snacking after a certain time (e.g., after you’ve already eaten dinner), if you find yourself skipping dinner because it’s too late, then you may be setting yourself up to overeat the following day. Eating after 8 p.m. (or any time) won’t make you gain weight, so there’s no need to skip it. Just be sure your dinner is balanced and doesn’t make you exceed your daily calorie limit for the day.

Looking to lose weight during other times of the day? Here’s what to eat for breakfast and what to eat for lunch, as well as what to eat at snack time to lose weight.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

The Paleo Comfort Meal You’ll Be Craving All Winter

While traditional spaghetti and meatballs won’t be making an appearance on a Paleo-approved menu| this creative riff on the classic will become your new favorite go-to when you’re craving Italian. Gluten-free almond meal stands in strong for classic breadcrumbs| and the addition of red pepper flakes brings just the right boost of flavor and spice. And yes| while spaghetti squash will not taste exactly like a bowl of pasta| it is a nutrient-rich alternative that will slash calories and carbs from any noodle dish.

Paleo Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash

Adapted from Parade

Paleo Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash

Paleo Meatballs

Ingredients

1 large spaghetti squash1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil1 cup yellow onion| diced finely4 cloves garlic| minced1 teaspoon red pepper flakes1 teaspoon dried oregano1 pound ground beef| preferably grass fed10 ounces (about 2 links) mild Italian sausage| uncooked1 large egg1/2 cup almond meal1 teaspoon sea salt2 cups low-sugar marinara sauceChopped parsley| for garnish

The Paleo Comfort Meal You’ll Be Craving All Winter

While traditional spaghetti and meatballs won’t be making an appearance on a Paleo-approved menu, this creative riff on the classic will become your new favorite go-to when you’re craving Italian. Gluten-free almond meal stands in strong for classic breadcrumbs, and the addition of red pepper flakes brings just the right boost of flavor and spice. And yes, while spaghetti squash will not taste exactly like a bowl of pasta, it is a nutrient-rich alternative that will slash calories and carbs from any noodle dish.

Paleo Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash

Adapted from Parade

Paleo Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash

Paleo Meatballs

Ingredients

1 large spaghetti squash1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil1 cup yellow onion, diced finely4 cloves garlic, minced1 teaspoon red pepper flakes1 teaspoon dried oregano1 pound ground beef, preferably grass fed10 ounces (about 2 links) mild Italian sausage, uncooked1 large egg1/2 cup almond meal1 teaspoon sea salt2 cups low-sugar marinara sauceChopped parsley, for garnish