Top Tips on Beating the Winter Bulge


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Top Tips on Beating the Winter Bulge

  1. 1. ==== ====NOTICE: You should check out the diet that compliments the exercise! Click on the ====Top Tips on Preventing Winter Weight GainEven though summer may seem like a distant dream right now, taking steps today to keep yourweight in check will make the warmer months better because you will have a body you will want toshow off! It happens every year: The weather is starting to warm up and you begin taking out yourspring clothes, including the bathing suit you put away in September. You start trying on yourwarm-weather clothes and somehow theyre a little snugger than you remember. What happened?No, the magic clothes-shrinking fairy didnt go to town on your wardrobe over the winter. Stop andthink: You remember how. All those tasty holiday cookies, the workouts you skipped, all thosecandy dishes at work. Right now its easy to hide under bulky winter sweaters and baggy flannelpants, but it wont be for long!Winter weight gain is easy for many of us to let happen, between the shortened daylight hours,colder weather, and endless indulgent holiday treats. Even the most motivated people becomeside-tracked during the colder months. But with a little motivation and willpower you can getthrough the winter victoriously.Below are some tips to help you overcome the most common winter weight gain pitfalls.Form a Game PlanBe realistic. The holidays dont end on January 2; you still have to face Super Bowl Sunday,Valentines Day, St. Patricks Day and Easter before summer rolls around. Jumping headfirst intothe holiday season without a game plan on how you are going to handle all the feasts and treats isa recipe for weight gain. Avoid the "all-or-nothing" mentality with holiday treats since this typicallyleads to binge eating and regret. Write down your absolute favorites and allow yourself to savorsmall amounts. Remember to be mindful of your food while you eat and savor the moment insteadof mindlessly scarfing it down. At parties focus on the company and conversation instead of thefood; after all, thats what the holidays are really about.Seasonal DrinksHigh-calorie seasonal drinks like hot chocolate, spiced lattes and warm apple cider take overcoffee shops from October through February. It is easy to submit to their temptation with their cutefestive names and tantalizing whipped cream toppings. But watch out; these festive delights arefull of fat, sugar and calories. Some of these adorable medium-sized drinks can clock in at 500caloriesor more! Be diligent about your diet and avoid these as often as you can to alleviate theimpact to your waistline. Instead opt for a healthier alternative, like hot tea or plain coffee.Fitness: Keep it part of your routineIts easy to let fitness drop to the bottom of your priority list during the winter. But keeping it aregular part of your life throughout the year will not only keep off the pounds, but it will also getyour brain circulating feel-good endorphins. Many studies have shown that getting your heart rate
  2. 2. during the sparse winter sunlight will help reduce seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Need morereasons? Feeling down or depressed may also lessen your motivation to eat well or exercise,making weight gain a vicious winter cycle. If getting to the gym is difficult for you to do, switch upyour workouts and enjoy winter sports like skiing and snow-shoeing. Participating in these eventsis a great way to keep fit and even bond with friends and loved ones.Comfort FoodsFrom your grandmothers famous mashed potatoes to freshly baked cookies, indulging on goodold-fashioned comfort food warms your body and soul. Sadly these comfort foods are not asfriendly to your waistline.Stop and think: whats driving you to these foods in the first place? Is the weather making you stir-crazy? Instead of hibernating on your couch with cookies, do something active with a friend andget some calories burned instead. If youre feeling cold, avoid the calories in comfort drinks andwarm up with a cup of hot tea. It is much easier to make healthier choices once you understandyour triggers.One way to keep yourself accountable during the winter is to try on a few of your warm-weatherclothes every few weeks to ensure they still fit. No one likes surprises when spring hits! How dothey fit? During the winter we lounge at home more often in comfy sweatpants and chunkysweaters, layering to keep warm. While this is functional, is also hides changes in your bodyweight. During the warmer months we tend to notice these changes more since we are typicallywearing thinner layers or sporting a bathing suit on a regular basis.If you arent ready to give up on your favorite comfort foods altogether, use the principles ofmoderation and smart substitutions to stay on track with your healthy efforts. Give yourselfpermission to enjoy a small serving and remind yourself that theres no need to eat the entire plateof cookies in one sitting! Remember, spring IS coming!Listen to Your BodyIt is easy to lose track of your personal health in the shuffle of food-centric parties and dealing withbad weather, but its important to notice when you get off track. Here are a few simple things youcan do to keep yourself accountable during the winter months.When stress begins to overtake you, instead of turning to unhealthy habits, stop what youre doingfor a few minutes and evaluate. Sometimes youll find that you may think youre hungry, but areactually dehydrated due to the dry weather. Or, you may realize that your body is cravingmovement more than that cookie. You will be more mindful about sticking to a healthy diet whenyou are in tune with yourself.Another way your body signals youre off-track is the scale needle moving up. While the scaledoes not define you, it can serve as a great motivational tool. Weigh yourself about once a week totrack and keep an eye before your weight spirals out of control.Social Eating TrapsSocial gatherings in the winter tend to center around sedentary activity and lots of food (thinkSunday night football with chicken wings and chips with dip). You are far more likely to indulge ifyour friends are eating high-calorie winter fare while lounging in front of the tube. Studies showthat people tend to mimic the eating habits of their peers and social groups. It can be awkward tosit and watch someone else indulge without joining in since eating together is also a bondingexperience. In these group situations you may feel indirect pressure to eat, even if its food youwouldnt normally choose to eat, regardless of your true hunger level or weight goals.
  3. 3. If your friends want to eat something that doesnt fit in with your meal plan, choose a restaurantthat can accommodate everyones needs. When eating socially, constantly keep your goals inmind and make them clear to those around you. It also helps to eat a snack before you are insocial eating situations because you are less likely to indulge.Stop the Boredom BingesYou may find yourself cooped up in the house more often during the winter and turning to food forstimulation when you are bored. However, eating is not be the most favorable winter pastime foryou if you want your swimsuit to fit this summer. Try some of these ideas instead to distract youfrom the pantry this winter:* Join a book club. You are less likely to eat while reading and it is a good alternative to watchingtelevision. Plus, it will get you out of the house when the book club meets!* Make an inspiration board to remind you of your goals. Cut pictures and quotes from magazinesand put them on a piece of poster board and hang in a place where youll see it every day. Youcould also make an ongoing motivational scrapbook to help you focus on your goals and keepyour hands busy whenever you feel like mindlessly snacking.* Create a scrapbook of your holiday or vacation photos.* Knitting is another great way to pass the time and keep your hands busy. If you knit mittens andscarfs its practical too!This time of year is tough, but with these tips, your battle of the seasonal bulge will be much moremanageable.==== ====NOTICE: You should check out the diet that compliments the exercise! Click on the ====