Winter officially started on December 21st, and with the temperatures already dropping, it’s easy to bundle up under the covers and enjoy the comforts of this food-filled season. This, of course, is a great way to pack on some extra pounds. Check out these 5 ways to avoid gaining weight over the winter while still enjoying all the fun of the holidays.
1. Exercise Outdoors. It’s tough to lace up when it’s chilly outside, but invest in some appropriate apparel and head outside to test it out! Whether you want to go running, biking, or ice-skating, being active in nature can be less stressful than battling a line for the treadmills at the gym. And, research shows that all that fresh air will keep you coming back for more.
2. Stock Up On Superfoods. Some foods are better than others at reducing your risk of disease and helping you lose weight. Many holiday staples such as sweet potatoes, kale, and apples are healthy superfoods, so you may have some of these on hand already!
3. Lighten Up Seasonal Favorites. You don’t have to give up seasonal comforts like macaroni and cheese, but you can cut some calories by adding flavorful veggies like onions, mushrooms, or kale, using butternut squash puree in place of some cheese in the sauce, or using spaghetti squash instead of noodles.
4. Have An Eating Plan. Make sure you are prepared before you go to holiday parties and dinners so you can enjoy treats without overdoing it. Eat breakfast in the morning to get your metabolism going so you aren’t starving by the evening. Try to get a workout in before the party – it will influence the way you feel and make you think about food choices. Once you’re at the party, pick and choose the foods you really want instead of eating one of everything that gets passed by. Wait 20 minutes after finishing your plate to see if you’re actually hungry for seconds. And make sure you’re not drinking too many calories. Water is obviously the best choice, but one glass of red wine is still fine. If you are going for the hard stuff, mix it with sparkling water and a lime instead of tonic or soda water.
5. Nix Stress. Between the parties, gift-shopping, and family gatherings, this time of year is just super stressful. This stress does take a physical toll, as stress makes our cortisol levels rise, making the body hold on to more fat. And then hunger hormone levels rise uncontrollably. To fight the stress of the season, follow these steps.
- Have a financial plan. Budget out exactly how much you’ll be spending on presents and going out to celebrate.
- Prepare answers for all the awkward questions you’ll be asked about your work situation or love life.
- Rest! Getting enough sleep each night is absolutely crucial. You’ll be less stressed and make better food choices when you’re well-rested.
Consult your primary care provider with any questions or concerns.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.