Winter is a tough season. The weather can be bone chilling, and the days are short and dark. Going outside is not an enjoyable experience. It’s easy to stay indoors, vegging out in front of the TV while surrounded by your favorite comfort foods. As your winter hibernation progresses, the numbers on the scale slowly starts to creep up. Find out how you can keep off those pesky winter pounds.
The first weapon in your arsenal is exercise. We need to keep our metabolisms fired up and working at peak capacity. Exercise is a great way to make this happen.
Many people find they lack the motivation to go to the gym after work. The cold, dark night is more conducive to a speedy trip home – not extra exposure to the harsh elements. Plan for these feelings; try to schedule your workout during the day. Can you slip out during your lunch break?
When you do hit the gym, make sure that your workouts are balanced between strength training and cardio.
Sunlight is quite important – especially in the winter months when the sun tends to retreat earlier and is not as powerful. Grab your gloves, hat and scarf to brave the cold. The sunlight will rejuvenate your mind and will lighten your mood. A better mood means you will feel less of a need to delve into your comfort foods. If you are at work, try zipping out for a bit during your lunch hour.
Find a winter sport that suits you. Skiing, skating and sledding are great ways for you to keep in shape, enjoy the outdoors, get some sun, and burn off some calories. If you are really not an outdoorsy type of person, go to your local fitness centre and see what they have to offer. There are a lot of indoor winter sports leagues you can join such as volleyball, hockey, dodge ball and basketball.
Hearty winter foods often lend themselves well to over-eating splurges. However, you should never eat until you hit the bursting point. For example, you don’t need to tackle the entire pot of stew or attack a honey-baked ham once a week.
Find foods that are low in calories and low in fat. Stock up on fresh vegetables and fruits when you can find them – these make great healthy snacks.
Winter time usually involves a lot of socializing and get-togethers where junk food abounds. Don’t ban yourself from all cookies, candies, chocolates and chips. If you do, you’re likely to eventually succumb to your cravings and over-eat. When you do treat yourself, make sure you eat in moderation.
Besides junk food, alcohol is usually pretty bountiful during the winter months – especially during the holidays. Alcoholic beverages are often chalk full of sugar and are high in calories. Again, moderation is the key.
Plan for a Healthy Winter
Some studies have shown that our bodies tend to store fat in the winter to combat against the cold and to boost our immune system. Don’t look at a slight weight gain as a total failure, but rather as a natural process for our bodies. However, hibernating on the couch while living off potato chips is not natural – nor is it a good idea.
What steps are you going to take to stave off the winter weight gain? Do you have any tips or ideas that you would like to share?