7 Tips to shedding winter weight
When the winter chill moves in, your body goes into hibernation mode. That means you’re more apt to take an afternoon nap,fill up on heavy comfort foods, and to choose the warmth of your apartment over the bitter cold outside—which stands between you and the gym. Compound this with the seemingly endless assortment of treats that come with the holiday season, and you’re bound to put on a bit of winter weight.
The good news? You can boot that weight as quickly as you packed it on. Just follow these seven tips to help shed the winter pounds.
- Avoid extra pounds in the first place. This might seem obvious, but by simply setting an intention to eat better and exercise this winter, you might avoid putting on weight to begin with. When you commit to indulging in moderation, you’ll come out on the other side of winter a bit lighter in both body and spirit.
- Set a gym routine. Hitting the snooze button and snuggling deeper into your bed probably sounds like a better option on a brisk winter morning, which is why it’s important to design a workout goal that’s both realistic and firm. Choose whether you want to work out in the morning or later in the day. Don’t allow yourself any lag time in between because, chances are, once you get home, you won’t want to leave its warm embrace. Also choose how many days you’d like to work out (three to four is a practical goal) and make at least one or two of them a group fitness class to keep yourself motivated.
- Slow-cook some healthy soups. Winter is the season to break out the slow-cooker and let it do all the hard work for you. Since the Crockpot makes a mean soup, Pinterest some healthy soup recipes to keep you on the right track. Try a vegetarian chili, a sweet potato puree soup, or a classic chicken noodle. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week and eat it for lunch throughout, or whip up a few different types and freeze single servings so that you can enjoy them all winter long.
- Don’t fall for fads. Since you’re not the only one who has put on some winter weight, expect an influx of ads for fad diets on the TV and internet this time of year. Don’t fall for them. Regardless of what a weight-loss pill or trendy diet promises, the only way to creating lasting change is to balance a healthy diet and exercise. The gimmicks might help you lose weight initially, but it’ll just come back unless you lose it the right way.
- Opt for whole foods. After weeks of munching on snacks and indulging in treats, retrain your body to crave whole, natural foods by incorporating them into your diet at every meal. Root veggies are in season right now, so bring on the stews and roasted veggie sides. Fruits, lean meats, and whole grains should also be part of your balanced winter diet, which will not only help you to shed winter pounds, but may also boost your immune system and stave off the sniffles.
- Create long-term lifestyle change. Although achieving a healthy weight is important, it’s not the ultimate goal here. It’s more important to create a lifestyle that focuses on healthy eating and exercise all year round. So when you sit down to create a meal plan or choose workout classes, make sure you keep maintenance in mind. Don’t do anything too drastic.
- Give yourself some wiggle room. In the name of maintaining your healthy lifestyle, allow yourself to stray from the healthy path every now and then. It’s fine to indulge in dessert or skip a workout occasionally as long as your central habits stay focused on health. Driving yourself crazy over counting calories and hitting the gym isn’t any more helpful than ignoring your health all together.
With these tips in mind, you can begin to shed that winter weight and work toward a healthier you.
9 Ways to Fight Holiday Bloat (And Never Feel Deprived) [The Daily Burn]
The Truth About Why We Gain Winter Weight (And How To Get Rid Of It) [Huffington Post]
How to shed winter weight before winter is over [Mother Nature Network]