But Baby...It's Cold Outside!
Despite your best resolutions, it’s tough to stay motivated to lose weight as the winter months drag onward. Chilly weather and falling snow make many of us want to huddle by the fire and eat hearty foods. Although it’s common to gain weight during the winter months, even a few pounds can be unhealthy. Follow these key tips to beat the winter gain and stay healthy through the springtime and beyond.
Create a Healthy Eating Plan
Ever feel frustrated that your good intentions are derailed by a big bowl of creamy soup or an extra piece of warmed apple pie? Creating a healthy eating plan -- and sticking to it -- is an excellent way to prevent winter weight gain. To begin, plan your meals for the next week, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one or two snacks. Then, make a comprehensive shopping list to ensure that you have a pantry stocked with healthy options.
Remember to incorporate complex carbohydrates and a protein source into each meal to keep your body energized. For example, eat a serving of nonfat yogurt, a slice of whole-wheat toast, and a glass of orange juice for breakfast; a large salad with sauteed chicken and quinoa for lunch; and grilled salmon over a bed of brown rice for dinner. Consider snacking on raw veggies with hummus or a handful of almonds to boost your energy during the day.
Add an Exercise Plan
To keep yourself on track, make a resolution to perform at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Physical activity doesn’t always mean hitting the treadmill; brisk walking, dancing, or step aerobics can be pleasant ways to incorporate exercise into your life. Recruiting your partner or a workout buddy is a great way to keep yourself on track. Consider taking up Zumba, indoor tennis, or trip the light fantastic by learning how to ballroom dance. Varying your workout routine keeps things fresh and prevents you from getting bored with physical activities.
One of the greatest challenges of winter weight loss is not wanting to venture out in the cold to hit the gym. To prevent this from derailing your exercise plan, try to think of fun activities to do at home on occasion. Experimenting with a new workout DVD, doing a session of yoga, or basic weightlifting can be done from the comfort of your own home. Plan and track your workouts in a journal to monitor your progress.
As the monotony of winter sets in, you may find yourself losing motivation to stay fit. Setting goals and sticking to them is a great way to boost your motivation and keep yourself working hard. Make sure that you set goals that are achievable, specific, and time-bound. For example, you might want to be able to run three miles in under 30 minutes within six weeks. Or maybe you’d like to bench press 100 pounds by March. Come up with relevant sub-goals to track your progress. Even if you don’t meet one of your benchmarks, readjust your fitness plan and keep your eye on the end goal.
Although winter can wreak havoc on your healthy diet and exercise plans, making a few simple changes can keep you on track. Try to make healthy choices most of the time and remember not to beat yourself up if you slip up once or twice. When spring finally arrives, you’ll impress everyone with your fitness and newfound health.
Need Some Help Making a Change?
If you live in the Northern Virginia area and are interested in finally getting on the path to good health, losing the weight you want, AND getting advice on exercise that can help you make the changes that you need in order to be successful this time, request your consultation about our nationally-recognized Nutritional Coaching for Women program TODAY!