It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s depressing. We know. Winter is probably the worst time of the year to even consider weight loss for two main reasons: our bodies instinctually tell us to eat more to make it through the adverse environmental conditions and we are really not in the mood to exercise. Moreover, winter requires specific eating behaviors and does not offer a wide plate of slimming alternatives to our yummy (yet fattening) comfort foods. However, it is not impossible to lose weight in winter, as we already proved in a previous article. Upon popular request, we focus once again on weight loss in winter months and offer you X new tips and tricks.
1. High Calories Breakfast, Low Calories Dinner
Research and science back up a truth we all know for quite some time: a hearty breakfast and a pauper dinner is the healthy way to go if you want to shed some pounds – while keeping the overall number of daily calories constant. Doctors found that women following a 700 calories breakfast and a 200 calories dinner managed to lose about 19 pounds on average over a course of 12 weeks.
2. Shed the Stress First
The endless cold, the lack of light, and life, in general, can take their tolls on your inner peace and stress coping mechanisms. In the words of nutritional experts, if your best friends in the winter are Ben and Jerry or Mac and Cheese, you might get into trouble. Avoiding stress is easier said than done. However, you can find your peace instead finding the kitchen by switching to some light yoga sessions, taking “me time” with a book, a movie, or a beauty ritual, or even talking to a certified therapist if you feel things are a bit out of control.
3. Skip Fad Diets
Research is adamant in its quest to show that fad diets actually help you gain more weight for the long haul while jeopardizing your health. Be smart and skip all the gimmicks, pills, detox plans, and cleansing programs, malnutrition-promoting diets and so on and so forth. They do not work, they threaten your health, consume your time, money, and energy to no avail. Instead, be mindful of your real weight loss needs, your hunger, the feelings of fullness, and the relationship you have with food.
4. Let the Right Ones In
Many people fail and feel frustrated about their diets when they see the amount of good food they have to give up. The restrictions in diet plans have a negative psychological impact. The second you start dieting, you start craving for things you did not even know you loved so much. Many diets promote one form of starvation or another, leaving you to feel abandoned in hell. Switch the perspective, say nutrition experts. Instead of banning entire lists of foods, make entire lists of foods you should eat more.
To eat more to lose weight is baffling, but hear specialists out. Instead of say, eliminate carbs altogether, think about introducing more hearty winter veggies in your diet. Ask yourself if you had a fruit today. Wonder whether a nice fresh lemony salad would find its way to your plate tonight. The more healthy dishes you include on your plate, the less room there is for the not-so-healthy foods. Some people call this smart plate allocation and we totally agree.
5. Avoid Gaining Weight in Winter
One of the easiest ways to achieve weight loss in winter months is to avoid gaining extra weight. It sounds a bit strange, but this is the main idea: this season manages to put us all down. The lack of light means lack of serotonin we try to compensate by eating things that make us happy. Many of these things contribute to gaining weight. Instead of stressing out about those three extra pounds, try to preserve your present weight and have the patience for brighter days to arrive to resume your outdoor exercise routines and your intake of sun and sun-kissed fresh fruits and veggies. Being mindful of your eating habits is your goal these months. So here is how you can do it:
- Never go to a party or a meeting hungry. Watching your friends beefing on burgers while you gnaw on a lettuce leaf can be too much even for the most determined dieter on the planet. You may give in to your cravings and the scent of the amazing dishes on your friends’ plates and fell off track. Instead, eat well before you leave the house (preferably foods that do not fatten you) and have some fun downtown while indulging yourself with a salad or some low-calorie dish.
- Limit the alcohol. Alcohol tends to help us gain some pounds, so replace it every time you can with water or a freshly squeezed fruit juice. A glass of wine or a beer from time to time won’t ruin your dieting plans, but alternate them with detox teas, sugarless sodas, or lemon water.
- Exercise. We said nobody wants to exercise, but think about it this way: relaxation and even weight loss yoga are easy and fun, dancing around the house boost your happiness levels while moving the furniture around help you get that cleaning session right. Just turn up the volume on those favorite tunes of yours and shake your body!
- Quit binge eating while bingeing on your favorite hobbies. For obvious reasons, try to limit the number of snacks and munchies you treat yourself with when you watch TV or work on your computer, when you play a video game when you read, and so on.
Gathering up our plates…
Weight loss in winter months is not impossible, albeit difficult. Mindfulness is the key, together with the decision of making some lifestyle changes that will boost your health and keep you in shape for the long run. Do you have other weight loss in winter months tips and tricks for us? Let us know in the comments section below!
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