One of the most frequent reasons Food Lovers give for going off track is sickness. When you’re feeling down and out, you’re likely to reach for convenient, comforting food — the type that’s loaded with the enemies of Fat Loss: sugar, salt and fat. And by the time you recover, your weight loss momentum is gone.

Your best bet is to avoid getting a cold or flu in the first place. Here are some tips to stay healthy, so you can keep on “living lean.”

1. Get some sunshine every day. Even when it’s freezing cold outside, catching some rays is good for your immune system because sunshine provides Vitamin D, one of nature’s great immune boosters. As a bonus, sunshine helps to keep your spirits up, which in itself can be critical to fighting illness.
2. Take a multivitamin. Vitamins C and D are both important to maintain healthy immune function. Fish oil also does wonders to boost immune health.
3. Stay active. Being active doesn’t just tone your muscles, studies show it also helps to keep your immune system in shape. There are plenty of great ways to get exercise during the winter — sledding, building a snow man, making snow angels. Be creative and have fun!
4. Eat colorful veggies. Vegetables like spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, sweet potato and beets are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants.
5. Wash your hands often. The most common way to “pick up” a cold and flu virus is by shaking hands or touching someone who is carrying the virus, especially kids.
6. Don’t bite your nails. If you do happen to pick up a virus on your hands, the best way to prevent introducing it into your body is by keeping your fingers away from your mouth.