by Lisa Lewtan • October 7, 2014
How Not to Get Fat this Winter
When it’s dark and cold outside, would you rather head out for an after dinner walk or curl up with a good book and a glass of wine by the fire? Truth is, that as the leaves start changing, we start getting ready for hibernation and slowing down. Sadly, small changes in activity can add up to big differences in our bodies over the course of the winter. Before you reach for the flowy sweaters and baggy sweat pants, however, check out these tips to help you avoid packing on the extra pounds this winter!
1) Take a Deep Breath.
So much of the time we are running around, eating in the car, or relying on coffee to get us through the day. This pattern can put our bodies into stress mode, which is the same mode as if a tiger was chasing us. When we are in stress mode, our brain tells the rest of our body to hold on to our fat for dear life because we don’t know when we will have another meal. Digestion slows down and fat storage creeps up in order to survive. Try to slow down and take some deep breaths throughout the day. This will help you to become more mindful, feel less hungry, and set you up for better choices and better digestion.
2) Eat at Home.
It’s way more fun to eat out all the time (especially if you are an empty nester) but, if you are watching your weight, restaurants are not your friends. We really have no clue about what is going into our food. Did you know that pizza dough is often sprinkled with sugar? That the seemingly innocent side dish of veggies may have been cooked in pork fat? Getting together with friends is an important ingredient in good health but, if you want to keep fitting in your jeans, consider throwing some dinner parties at home and eating clean more often.
3) Get Outside.
Get outside of both your home and your comfort zone. If you are an extreme skier or an ice climber feel free to skip this section and move on. For the rest of us, winter can be challenging. Good news is that shivering (although not recommended) is one of the biggest calorie burners out there! Have you tried snowshoeing or shoveling the walk? Getting fresh air, getting more exercise, and keeping your spirit alive will all help you stay in shape both physically and mentally.
4) Take a Stand.
Standing desks may be the very best thing for your body out there. It feels a little weird at first, but within a couple of days, you will never want to go back to sitting at a desk again. Not only do standers burn about 50 more calories per hour than sitters, but also standers are more likely to do a little jiggle dance while working. If you do need to sit at a desk all day, be sure to stand up and walk around throughout the day. Just try to avoid the “oh-I-need-a-break-so-I-must-be-hungry” mentality while taking those breaks.
5) Look Inside.
We often use food as way to fill in for areas of our life that are not satisfying us. Are you looking for love in the bottom of the cookie jar or taking out your work stress by crunching on an entire bag of chips? Taking some time to address the areas of your life that need nurturing can be both eye opening and a huge step in weight management. Sometimes a painting class, a new workout, or even a call with an old friend can be much more satisfying than that semi-stale half-eaten scone on the counter.