It is proven fact that a lot of people tend to gain weight in winter. Some of the reasons to this weight gain include the fact that winter is simply cold and most people try to avoid the cold by chilling indoors and this means that people are less likely to take a walk or go to the gym. Also in winter we get very little sunlight and by default we end up getting very little vitamin D and this reduces fat breakdown and trigger fat storage. We also eat and drink the wrong things because we spend so much time indoors. The lack of sunlight means we produce less serotonin which is responsible for our moods. In an attempt to lift our spirits we reach for comfort foods such as cakes, white breads and pastas, which tend to be high in fat and sugar. Last but not least many of us drink less water in winter and we are dehydrated.
So here are the best ways to avoid winter weight
ü Spend time outside where there’s a bit of sun and also increase your vitamin D levels by eating sardines, salmon, tuna and eggs.
ü Weight yourself once a week to put a stop to your weight gain before it gets out of control.
ü Sit on herbal tea and water with lemon instead of kilojoule-rich drinks such as cappuccinos and hot chocolate. To lower your alcohol intake, drink a glass of water before and after each alcoholic drink and also cut down on caffeine, sugar and alcohol.
ü Get enough sleep! Being tired can affect the hormones that stimulate hunger, research says.
EAT THE RIGHT FOODS TO STAY HEALTY
- VITAMIN B6- helps create antibodies to fight infection. Foods with high B6 levels include chicken, fish, nuts, whole grains, beans, lentils and bananas
- FIBRE- keeps you satisfied for longer. Eat fibre-rich cereals, fruits and vegetables. Other foods include whole grains, oatmeal and wholewheat pasta, breads and brown rice.
- PROTEIN- lean meat, peas, beans and lentils are nutritious and filling.
- ENERGY BOOSTING FOODS- helps to fight infection and include onions, garlic, ginger, berries, and low GI foods such as whole grains and oats.
- EAT MOOD BOOSTING FOODS such as fatty fish
- ENJOY SPICY FOODS as they have been found to boost metabolism and work as an appetite suppressant.
- SIP ON SOUP- eating a small bowl of soup before your main meal can save up to about 3000 kilojoules, research says.
- REDUCE PORTION SIZES- If you simply must have meat three times a week, half your portions. If you usually have two eggs with your bacon, try having just one.
- HAVE A HEALTHY, WELL-BALANCED BREAKFAST such as whole-grain toast with an egg or yoghurt with fresh fruit and also include fibre in your breakfast. Try a bowl of warm oats with grated apple and teaspoon of honey and cinnamon.
- GET MOVING!!! Opt for resistance raining workouts with weights- proven to burn fat even after you’ve stopped exercising. Or sign up for a new sport or buy a home exercise bike.