Avoid Winter Weight Gain
Winter weight gain often feels inevitable. There are so many holiday parties, delicious treats, and tempting savory dishes. We tend to accidentally overdo it during the ever-growing holiday season and the colder, shorter days make it harder to get outdoors and easier to stay glued to the TV. It may seem easier to say “bah humbug” and decline every party invitation to avoid those holiday treats and drinks. But there’s good news: the 10 pounds the average American is alleged to gain between Thanksgiving and New Years Day is only a myth.
A National Institute of Health study in 2000 tested this theory by measuring the weights of 195 volunteers before, during, and after the six-week holiday season. What they found was that the average weight gain was only about one pound. One pound!
And whether it’s one pound or a few that you’ve packed on this year, you can still lose weight during the cold winter months. The results of the study concluded that there were two controllable factors that influenced those who gained five or more pounds and those who didn’t. People that kept moving and kept their hunger levels in check succeeded in staying true to their weight loss goals.
Ready to bust the myth of winter weight gain? Here’s How:
1. Shorten Your Session
You shouldn’t skip a workout for a party or a snow day but you can do a shorter sweat session. Forget the gym and try quick workouts you can easily do at home in less than 20 minutes. You can find plenty of at-home workouts on YouTube that will get you sweating in no time.
2. Use Colder Weather and Shorter Days to Try Out New Indoor Activities
Colder weather and shorter days are a great excuse to try out new indoor types of physical activities. Martial arts, indoor rock walls, and hot yoga are fun ways to move and stay warm. You can also try Zumba, PiYo, Barre, and other liberating new fitness trends you’re sure to love!
3. Wear Your Activity Tracker Every Day
If you haven’t invested in one yet, it’s not too late! Fitness trackers are a great way to monitor your activity and make sure you’re sticking to your fitness goals. If you already have one but maybe you’ve been inconsistent with wearing it lately, wintertime is an ideal time to for usage. If you can’t get a workout in, just focus on getting 10,00 steps a day.
4. More Moving, Less Eating For Holiday Fun
Activities that get you moving, like caroling or ice-skating with friends, are great alternatives to cookie exchanges and cocktail parties. You can still celebrate afterward with a cup of homemade hot chocolate or a gingerbread cookie (or two, we won’t tell!)
5. Pack Your Plate With Protein
We all know this by now. Protein is great for weight loss! It keeps you feeling full longer and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Even your snacks between meals should have at least 10 grams of protein to keep your energy up and help you feel full until your next meal. Don’t eat meat? There are plenty of other options out there for you, such protein shakes or eggs.
6. Always Have a Glass of Water or Hot Tea in Your Hand
Research suggests the some 75 percent of Americans may be chronically dehydrated and we often mistake dehydration for hunger. Diligent water consumption can curb snacking for the wrong reasons and boost energy.
7. Be Carb Smart
Carbs are not the enemy. I repeat: CARBS ARE NOT THE ENEMY. You can eat bread and pasta, but quality, quantity, and timing are key. Carbs that satiate, like vegetables, or those with protein and fiber, like beans and dairy, should be the bulk of your intake. If you’re going to have bread, pasta, and rice (starchy carbs), after a workout is the best time because this is when your body can best use and store them.
8. Don’t Skip Meals
The worst thing you can do is to go to a holiday meal or party starving. When you arrive hungry everything looks good, despite your best intention to “enjoy in moderation.” Eat normally throughout the day so you have willpower to only enjoy one slice of grandma’s pecan pie.