How to keep the kilos off this winter
Are you partial to a hot chocolate or two and nights spent watching Netflix during the cooler months? When you’re indoors, all rugged up, it’s easy to pay less attention to your health. Unfortunately for your body, skimping on exercise and eating heartier meals can catch up with you pretty fast. Celebrity nutritionist, chef and founder of Falling In Love With Food, Zoe Bingley-Pullin, reveals her top five tips for beating the bulge this winter.
Despite being one of the most effective tools in keeping the kilos at bay, exercise is usually the first thing to go. Exercise is not only great for warding off the winter blues by increasing the production of serotonin, it also boosts your metabolism, keeps you energised throughout the day and helps you sleep better at night.
If you’re prone to hitting snooze instead of going for a run when the temperature drops, mix up your workouts by joining a new studio or indoor training group that is close to your home or work. The trick is to make exercise as convenient and comfortable as possible.
Alternatively, you could sign up for a fun run or half marathon in August/September. You should start training for long distance running events at least three months in advance. Once you have a deadline you can set yourself some short-term, realistic goals, which is a great way to keep your training regime on track.
- Professional boxer, Danny Green, shares some other great tips for finding your fitness motivation here.
2. Don’t oversleep
It’s cold and dark outside and sleeping in has never felt so nice. But can you get too much of a good thing? While there is a lot of advice out there encouraging people to “get more sleep”, this doesn’t necessarily apply in winter.
When the days get shorter, our internal secretion of melatonin (the hormone that regulates our sleep cycle) increases. In other words, the lack of light causes the body to produce more melatonin, increasing our tendency to oversleep.
While oversleeping doesn’t necessarily cause weight gain, it does mean you’re missing out on valuable training time and it can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and unmotivated. Aim for between 7-9 hours each night.
3. Get some vitamin D
Research suggests that vitamin D can impact your weight in a number of different ways. When you have enough vitamin D in your system, you body produces more leptin, the hormone that tells us that we are full. Vitamin D also increases the breakdown of fat in your body and decreases fat storage.
Try to enjoy some sunlight on a regular basis this winter, even if it’s just 20 minutes per day on your lunch break. Alternatively, tuck into some vitamin D rich foods such as oily fish, mushrooms, tofu, egg and dairy products.
4. Make sure you eat enough (of the right foods)
When you’re told to watch your food intake over winter, this doesn’t mean that you should be eating less food. Without adequate nutrient intake, the body won’t get the energy it needs to fuel immune function.
Try to focus on counting nutrients, not calories. Fill your plate with wholefoods and a wide variety of bright coloured fruits and vegetables to ensure that your body is getting the right vitamins and minerals.
If you find that you’re eating much heavier foods, frequently overeating or aimlessly snacking throughout the day, this may lead to weight gain. Try to eat more mindfully, or keep a food diary to track where you’re going wrong.
5. Drink green tea
Green tea has been shown to reduce body fat, cholesterol levels and blood pressure in both women and men. It’s also full of antioxidants. Try a green tea when the afternoon slump hits. And if you must watch Netflix, replace that hot choc with some of this green goodness. It will do you a world of good!
Zoe if offering our readers a $20 discount on her program which you can access here.
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