For those of us who live in areas with lots of seasonal change, wintertime can be one of the most romantic and fun times of the year. Winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and sledding can be enjoyed during the day, and then afterwards a cuddle by the fire with a wool blanket, a cup of hot cocoa, and good book for some evening relaxation.
However, winter can also bring a number of challenges when it comes to staying healthy and fit, especially if you’re an outdoorsy person who needs a lot of sun. The colder, shorter days make it difficult to find the motivation to head outside for a run, and staying indoors to watch tv on the couch sounds more and more like an attractive prospect. The good thing is that with a few small changes to your routine, there are plenty of ways to stay in shape during the chillier months of the year. Read on to learn how you can lose weight and stay healthy this winter.
Curb Your Calories. With the holiday season upon us, finding extra calories on your plate at every meal is a fairly common situation. The good news is that you can still enjoy the festivities while also watching what you eat so those extra calories don’t stick with you longer than you’d like. Curbing calories is all about quantity, so take what you want, but make sure to eat only a few bites of the pie rather than going back for an extra slice. The day after you’ve enjoyed a big meal with your family, make sure to eat a healthy and detoxing diet filled with lots of legumes, protein, and fruits. And watch out for drinks – without knowing it, you can consume hundreds of calories in a matter of an hour. Substitute sugary drinks with sugar-free ones, and attend holiday parties with a plan to limit your alcohol consumption so that you’re not caught off guard when you arrive.
Variety is Key. Adding lots of variety to your exercise regime during the winter months is a great way to stay motivated and to keep your body guessing while it’s busy burning fat. Use the colder months, short days, and dark evenings to pick up a new indoor sport or physical activity. Martial arts, indoor rock climbing, and yoga classes all keep you warm but also help you maintain and manage your attendance through the cold season.
Drink Water. During winter, people tend to drink less water because they are sweating less. However, we still need to drink the recommended amount of water everyday, even if we’re not sweating, and especially if we’re still working out. Staying hydrated during winter is key to fuelling the body and giving energy, so make sure that water bottle is always full! Water will also help your body burn fat quicker and easier. If you need a little extra boost, fat burner supplements can be taken to jumpstart the calorie-burning process in your body. Just remember to drink a few glasses of water before bed and as soon as you wake up to get the body and mind alert.
Free Weights. During the winter, you might not be as keen to do outdoor aerobic exercising like running and cycling. The good news is that this time of year will give you a great opportunity to try resistance training by using free weights. Resistance exercises build muscle quicker, increase fat loss, and also keeps your metabolism high for many hours after your workout. Training with free weights also encourages the body to specifically seek body fat as a way of fuelling your workout. So get that gym membership some use and start using the weight training area!
The Sad Step. During the winter months, it’s hard to avoid stepping on the scale to check how your weight has changed from the summertime. The best thing you can do for your mental health and motivation is to put the sad step away and simply focus on the physical changes you see and feel. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat, so gaining weight is a possibility if you’re working out consistently. Remember that your weight is not a reflection of your progress! Use the mirror, assess how you feel, and keep an eye on how your winter jumpers fit for signs of your body changing for the better.
Winter Protein. Throughout the sluggish winter months, it’s important to keep your metabolism high so that you burn more fat. An easy way to do this is to increase your protein intake which will help to maintain your muscle mass and burn fat. Your body actually burns more fat by digesting protein than it does with other fats and carbs! So remember to take second helpings of the Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas roast for an energetic workout the next day.