Personal Trainer and fitness motivator Jodie Bell, of Healthy Habit Dorset, tells us how to avoid the winter weight gain this Christmas and New Year.
At this time of year, the majority of us leave the house in the dark and then come home at the end of the day in the dark, we feel less energised and lose enthusiasm for staying away from bad lifestyle habits. The cold weather encourages us to seek warmth and comfort. Many years ago we would need to up our calories, work harder and eat more to keep our bodies warm in the cold winter months. Nowadays however we have central heating and homes that work themselves, our days are less energetic and our expenditure much lower. Of course our minds and basic instincts are very good at telling us that as it’s cold outside we need more food to keep ourselves warm and we all enjoy over-indulgence!
How can we stay strong and comforted but kick our poor winter habits and reduce the inevitable calorie intake?
1. Prepare the weekly meal and get out the slow cooker, cook up curries, stews, chilli, meats and soup
2. Commit to evening exercise or post work sessions to reduce the amount of evening boredom and binges
3. Eat enough healthy foods during the day to reduce cravings
4. Drink plenty of water, avoid too much caffeine and try tasty warm drinks like herbal tea and warm water with fruits
5. Increase your protein, try to eat protein with every meal to reduce hunger pangs and rev up your metabolism
6. Have a sauna, this will revitalise you, get rid of toxins and generally warm you up
7. Only keep clean treats on hand and ensure the fridge is full of healthy, clean leftovers to fill you up
8. Get an early night and become an early riser. Try to get some exercise in first thing and get to bed by 10pm to help increase your quality of sleep and reduce mood dips
Just because it is Christmas, it isn’t a green light to binge eat chocolates and other calorific foods throughout the whole of December! Ensure you eat a balanced breakfast as your first meal, porridge with Greek yogurt keeps you full and reduces your appetite when it gets to snack times.
Avoid baileys or any creamy spirits that do not require mixers, they go down too quickly and are highly calorific. Avoid the seasonal coffees and drinks in local coffee shops, these are laden with extra calories which are not needed.
Get moving and try not to drive everywhere just because it's cold, a brisk walk in the cold is not only great exercise but great for the mind too.
Always eat a light meal before a buffet style party, make sure it combines protein and slow release carbohydrates. This will keep you full, avoid energy slumps and hunger peaks and also stop you craving the naughty foods you see on offer!