5 Ways to Avoid Winter Weight Gain
As the days get colder and the sunsets earlier, you may suddenly find you’ve become a homebody. Suddenly that small waistline you worked so hard to maintain in summer starts to expand. Your healthy lifestyle suddenly becomes a thing of the past. Green tea is replaced with hot chocolate and whip cream, and greens with sweet potato pies.
If this sounds like you and you want to get through winter without packing on pounds, here are 5 tips to keep your waistline in check this winter.
Choose Tea. When the winter chill hits your body, your first instinct may be to get a hot beverage to keep you warm. Winter’s hot beverage of choice tends to be hot chocolate or a fattening seasonal drink at Starbucks (egg nog or pumpkin lattes.) Instead opt for green tea or your favorite herbal tea.
Remember To Eat Your Veggies. If you can’t fathom eating raw veggies because they’re cold, too pricey, or not in season, then eat cooked veggies. The fiber in them will keep hunger at bay so you’re less likely to snack on unhealthy foods, and the vitamins and minerals will strengthen your immune system to prevent you from getting sick. Roast up a whole bunch on Sunday so you can eat them throughout the week.
Make Fitness a Priority. Although frequent physical activity should be a year-round goal, try even harder to put exercise at the top of your to-do list during the winter. Not only will it keep the pounds from creeping on, but it will also get your brain circulating feel-good endorphins to prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the months of cold weather and sparse sunlight. (And let’s face it, feeling down or depressed isn’t going to do anything to help your motivation to eat well or exercise.) You can also seize this opportunity to switch up your workouts and enjoy the winter sports (think skiing and ice skating) that aren’t available during the rest of the year. As a bonus, many wintertime activities tend to be group-oriented and family-friendly, so participating in them is a great way to bond with friends and loved ones while keeping fit.
Stock up on healthy foods. The worst thing you can do is stock your kitchen with unhealthy foods in the wintertime. When you get snowed in, I don’t want you stuffing your face with chips and cookies all day. Stock your freezer with veggies and healthy lean protein, load up your cabinets with whole grains (quinoa brown rice, wild rice etc.), nuts and seeds and healthier snack options. The more prepared you are, the more likely you will be able to maintain your weight. Just remember that although certain foods may be healthier, that doesn’t give you the green light to overeat as it can result in weight gain.
Don’t Let Comfort Food Make You Uncomfortable in Your Clothes. From gooey macaroni and cheese to freshly baked cookies, chowing down on some good old-fashioned comfort food passes the time, warms your body, and makes the dreary winter months more tolerable. Although comfort foods may be good for the soul, few are as friendly to your waistline. Instead of turning to food to lose the winter blues, stop and think about what’s getting you down in the first place. Are you feeling cold? Warm up with a hot cup of tea (it’s calorie-free!) or cuddle up under a big, fluffy blanket. Is the weather making you stir-crazy? Call up a friend and do something active together to get you out of the house and keep your blood pumping. Identifying the reasons why you want to eat will make it easier to take a step back and make a healthier choice. If you don’t want to give up on your favorite winter comfort foods altogether, you can still have them! Just make sure to use the principles of moderation and smart substitutions to stay on track with your healthy efforts.
I want you to enjoy your winter season without regrets. Incorporating these simple tips will help you enjoy the season, but keep the unwanted pounds away. I’d love to hear from you. What are your favorite tips or strategies you use to maintain your waistline in the winter months? Comment below!
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