It’s easy to slip into a state of hibernation during the winter months, complete with baggy sweats and comfort food. But sitting by the fire sipping hot chocolate won’t help you reach your weight loss goals. Whether you’re working on your beach body, have made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, or simply want to improve your health, there’s no better time than the present to work on your weight loss program no matter the weather.
Eat winter produce: Winter weather calls for comfort food, but many of the foods we love to warm our souls are high in carbohydrate and calories. Plan your meals around healthy seasonal foods that can help you drop those extra pounds before swimsuit season. Eat more dense root vegetables, hearty winter greens, and quality animal products. Low-calorie foods such as kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts contain so much filling fibre that you won’t have room to overeat higher-calorie foods after loading your plate with these seasonal ingredients.
Focus on good fats: When cooking, opt for monounsaturated fats (nuts, olive oil and avocados), and polyunsaturated fats (walnuts, fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring, and sunflower seeds), but avoid hydrogenated and trans fats, which lurk in processed foods.
Catch more ZZZs: More hours of darkness and cooler bedroom temperatures can help you get more sleep, making winter definitely the best time for weight loss. That’s important because studies have found that not getting enough Zzzs is a risk factor for weight gain.
Walk on snow: When you walk on snow, your legs have to work harder. The deeper the snow, the more difficult it is to lift your legs and put one foot in front of the other. On top of that, there’s also the instability of walking on shifty or slippery snow, which requires extra effort too. All of this results in a greater calorie burn than you’d experience on a stable surface.
Reach for healthy sugars: It’s no secret that we crave little sweetness when the temperatures start to cool. Even in winter nature comes to the rescue with high-nutrient, seasonal vegetables to give you the sweet taste you desire. Beetroot, sweet potato, and pumpkins are great for their vitamins and mild natural sweetness, and will help you resist sugar’s temptation. Don’t forget about warm fruits either, they can be a delicious and healthy winter treat. You can bake or roast apples or pears and eat with a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Enjoy the weather and stay healthy.