Written by: Luke Douglas
Once the winter comes knocking at our doors, we tend to hide in our cosy blankets wishing to sleep those cold days off. This is why many people end up gaining that winter weight that we all dread, come summer.
Well, try changing things up this winter – start losing weight that you might have accumulated since the summer ended and, in addition to feeling slim, you won’t have to pressure yourself into shedding pounds once the sunny days come knocking. Here are 7 practical tips with regards to losing weight this winter.
Have a Healthy Diet
It’s relatively easy eating healthy foods during the summer – somehow, our bodies seem to crave raw veggies and fruits and we seamlessly start shedding those pounds.
Once we’ve got to the satisfactory point weight-wise, the summer is already at its end and another period of gaining weight is upon us.
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet throughout the year is definitely the best way to go; once you’ve got used to healthy meals, your bad food cravings will start fading and your body will learn how to give you signals for that which it needs, from protein to carbs.
Eat Healthy Fats
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve definitely heard about the “healthy” fats term.
In order to absorb important nutrients from food quickly and efficiently (which results in weight loss), our bodies need the right kind of fats that help soak up vitamins A, D and E, which are necessary for nurturing the nervous system. Also known as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, these are contained in olives, almonds, avocados, anchovies, flax seeds, hemp seeds, salmon, etc.
Avoid Mixing Fats & Carbs
In truth, avoiding fats like a plague is neither a realistic, nor a smart idea – our bodies need “regular” fats to a certain extent.
What you should definitely avoid is the worst food combination out there – fats and carbs in a single meal.
Both fats and carbs have storing potential and, when combined, can be detrimental to your weight loss goals.
It’s quite logical when you think about it – all the foods related to weight gain, KFC, McDonald’s, fish & chips meals, tacos, burritos, your average burgers and fries; all of these combine fats and carbs into one meal.
Protein is irreplaceable for an exercising body – it helps your muscles grow and is found in largest quantities in lean meats.
However, another cool property of protein is that it keeps you feeling full for a longer period than other foods while stabilising your blood sugar levels.
Avoid Drinking Excess Alcohol
Alcoholism is a dangerous road, but a beer or two a day do not an alcoholic make.
It is hard to find an Australian who doesn’t enjoy a can of beer at the end of a workday and, although this amount of alcohol really isn’t a substantial threat to your health, it is a factor that will definitely slow down your weight loss process.
It goes the same for other alcoholic beverages – cocktails contain borderline diabetes-inducing amounts of sugar, spirits are full of calories and even wine won’t really help you shed those pounds.
Motivate Yourself to Exercise
Well, you didn’t think you’d go through a weight loss article without reading about exercising, did you?
People who claim that exercising is enough to reach your weight loss goals are just about as wrong as those who claim that maintaining a proper diet can be a sole factor that will get you there.
However, when combined, a healthy, protein-rich diet complements quality exercise, while breaking a sweat will leave you craving for healthy foods.
The biggest problem with working out, however, is finding enough motivation to get you going and wintertime is no excuse for being a couch potato. As soon as the bad weather strikes, get some breathable gym wear to motivate you and go to your local gym.
In truth, there is no real ultimate tip that will get your exercise engines running – you need to want to get your body in shape. Keep pushing yourself in the beginning and you’ll learn to love breaking a sweat.
Shape Your Body & Soothe Your Mind at Home with Yoga
While it’s true that yoga isn’t really about exercising (it’s about improving your lifestyle, in general), in the long term, it will help your body become more limber, toner, stretchy and firmer.
By uniting the mind, body and spirit, yoga poses and its transitions in between them will tighten all of your body parts that aren’t firm and will leave you craving for a healthier diet.
Have some patience (as it does take some time to understand and prefect the poses) and, in time, you’ll learn how yoga complements exercise in a perfect manner.
There is no reason for letting yourself go during wintertime – not only is it unhealthy, but the 3+ coldest months are a long enough period to ruin any kind of a physical progress. Maintain a healthy diet throughout the cold season and don’t refrain from working out.