Winter has its downsides; and if you give in to those unpopular winter trends that have you staying indoors with warm blankets instead of going for a walk, you will likely start to think of ways to lose weight with the first warmer days.
Gaining weight in winter has a lot more to do with our bad habits, contrary to the popular belief, because it all starts with an imbalanced energy, that is, when we take in more calories than we burn. However, this can happen anytime, not only in winter.
The truth is that winter makes us lose track of how much we eat and how much we need, rather than want. Accordingly, one of the biggest problems regarding winter weight gain is that pounds tend to stay for a very long time, with many studies showing that those who gained weight in winter had many obstacles when trying to lose it.
If you know you can easily gain weight in winter, you need to start thinking about different ways that will help you track eating habits.
To break it down, this is what we do wrong in winter, and these are our main obstacles:
- Over-indulging and comfort eating
- Minimal physical activity
What can we do? You can do these simple things in the morning:
#1 Morning winter sunlight can boost your energy
We know winter can easily bring bad mood and affect our productivity, but studies showed that morning sunlight could boost productivity. Sun can also increase serotonin levels and help control food cravings.
#2 Keep a food diary
Write down everything you eat. By writing it down, you will have a good insight into your eating habits and things you need to change. Keeping a food diary will also help with mindfulness eating. To stay on top with potential weight gain, weight yourself on a weekly basis, and write it down. If you know you are prone to overeating, weighting yourself will help, because in case you overreact, you will know you need to cut calories for a few next days.
#3 Organize your day
Make it a habit to organize your day in the morning, or to check your to-do list. This is a good way to plan your activities, and to keep yourself busy, and by doing so, you have less chances of giving in to inactive winter habits.
#4 Set motivational plans
If winter can change your daily habits, and if you have already had bad experience with winter weight gain, set motivational plans. Plan spring activities, or try to find interesting ways to learn something new, such as photography, foreign language, or knitting, anything that you find interesting that will keep you active, both mentally and physically.
#5 Create shopping lists and put an accent on healthy food
Every morning check if your home is complete with healthy foods. Browse for new recipes that will put an accent on healthy eating. It’s important to store certain foods for a quick and healthy nutritious meal. Plenty of winter fruits can give you the energy and help you maintain weight.
What else can we do?
#1 Use cold weather to try out new indoor activities
Winter gives you a perfect opportunity to try some fun ways to stay warm and get your body moving. Rock climbing, yoga, martial arts, bowling, indoor pools, and more, there are plenty of options out there.
#2 Enjoy winter sports
Ice-skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skiing, pick one and enjoy. Remember: even shoveling can help you burn calories.
#3 Workout at home
In case you need to skip a workout for a snow, don’t be lazy and do a quick workout at home.
#4 Don’t mistake dehydration with hunger
This is one of the most common mistakes that lead to weight gain, thus don’t mistake dehydration with hunger. Keep your body hydrated, and always have a glass of water, or tea, in your hand. Water consumption boosts your energy and curb snacking.
#5 Don’t skip meals
Skipping meals is not an option, this is in fact the worst thing you can do. When you go hungry to a holiday party, everything will look delicious, and you will likely drink and eat more. There is only one rule: eat before you go.
#6 Think before you drink alcohol
In winter, we drink more alcohol, but we tend to forget how much calories we consume while drinking it. You don’t have to avoid it, although that’s the best option, but it’s not going to be easy, rather to control the intake.
#7 Don’t eat in front of TV
When at home, we do many activities we can easily associate with eating, such as seating on the sofa and watching TV or working in a kitchen. If you want to watch a movie, go out. If you need to finish your work, it’s better to finish it before you go home.
#8 Don’t forget Superfoods
You know some food can help you lose weight and maintain your weight, so try to include the right food in your daily nutrition. What should you eat? Food rich in fiber, which will help feel fuller for longer. Wintergreens, such as kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are a must on your kitchen table.
#9 Avoid stress
Stress makes cortisol levels rise, which in turn forces your body to store fat. Hunger hormone levels will rise, and you will end up eating because of emotional stress. This time of year can be particularly stressful, but you need to do your best and avoid stressful situations. When you find yourself combating stress with eating, stop and try to figure out what’s the reason and how to solve the problem.
#10 Use activity trackers and healthy cooking apps
Wintertime is an ideal time to try fitness apps and wear activity trackers. These devices and applications can help you keep track of your calorie intake, habits, exercising and more. Moreover, there are plenty of cooking apps to explore and have fun cooking.
There you go, these are the tips that will help you maintain healthy weight.
Do you have more tips you want to share?