Ways to Prevent Winter Weight Gain
Here are my tops tips for healthy eating in the winter:
Eat for Warmth When you’re physically cold, what sounds better: a chilled salad or a bowl of soup? See, you actually know your body better than you may think. Focus on the seasonal foods. For most of us, that means eating more naturally sweet, dense root vegetables, hearty winter greens, and quality animal products. Warming spices and herbs may also be used to ground and sustain your energy.
Focus on Fats that Trim Did you know your body needs the right kind of fats to help absorb important nutrients from food as well as lose weight? True story. Healthy fats help your body soak up vitamins A, D and E, and are necessary for a healthy nervous system. That also means when you eat the right fats, your mood is better.
Stock up on a variety of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and the right saturated fats this winter, but avoid hydrogenated and trans fats that lurk in processed foods. Try olives, olive oil, almonds, avocados, salmon, walnuts, anchovies, flax seeds, hemp seeds, and unrefined coconut oil.
Savor Sweets that Slim Refined sugars and carbohydrates cause most obesity and heart disease, not fat. But we still crave sweet! This winter, eat a variety of naturally sweet, high-nutrient, seasonal vegetables to give you the sweet taste, satisfaction, and grounded, cozy energy you desire. Roast beets, bake sweet potatoes, and steam winter pumpkins and squash for their vitamins and mild natural sweetness, and it will be much easier to mute sugar’s siren call.
Sleep When the weather is cold, and the day is short, human bodies return to the natural, evolved state of slow metabolism and more sleep. Get more sleep during the early, dark evening hours, and wake up earlier to catch every ray of sunlight possible. When you wake up early and get more morning sunlight, it has a positive effect on your sleep cycle. More sleep before midnight, especially in winter, helps your mood stay stable, stops you from midnight snacking, and improves the quality of your sleep.
Move More Indoors Even if you’re eating the same amount of food as you did in July, you’re not moving around as much, leading the scale to inch up. Find an indoor activity you love so much that you’ll do it often.
Avoid Alcohol Alcohol is loaded with calories. And since "many holiday celebrations involve drinking, it's easy to take in a lot of calories without being aware that you are," says Scott Isaacs, MD, clinical instructor of medicine at Emory University and medical director at Intelligent Health Center. "Drink a glass of water or a diet soda before and after each alcoholic beverage to help pace yourself and to dilute calories.”
Practice Calorie Damage Control If you do overeat, don't 'fall off the wagon.'" says Isaacs. "Make up for it by cutting your calories for a few days and adding extra exercise."
And get exercise in anywhere you can. Take a brisk walk on your lunch break and after dinner. At work, use stairs rather than the elevator.