Winter is the time when we all pack on a few extra kg's and we usually justify it because we won't be going to the beach, or will be covering up ourselves with layers of clothing so hopefully no one will notice. Then as summer approaches again there is a mad rush to lose that winter weight and get your beach body back.
What if there was a way to enjoy all of the delicious comfort winter foods and still maintain your summer body. There definitely is a way and if you apply some or all of these tips you will be on your way to keeping trim and having a summer body all year round.
1. Keep your fresh vegetable intake up.
It is common in winter to change from eating lean chicken and vegetables to eating spaghetti bolognese. It's ok to lash out and have your favourite pasta once a week or after a big workout, however eating this comfort food on a regular basis is a sure way to pack on a few extra kg's. Vegetables contain a high amount of fibre and fill you up just the same as pasta with less calories.
2. Minimise and monitor sugar intake.
While you may crave extra sugar during winter time, the short term positive feeling from this is then followed by a drop in serotonin levels, which causes sugar cravings to increase even more. Serotonin is the "feel good" hormone that makes you feel positive and happy. Resisting that initial sugar craving and opting for a healthy option (eg. almonds, green vegetables, a handful of berries) will lead to feeling good and building up the power to say no to that sugary temptation.
note: if you feel the need to spoil yourself once a week then set a meal, (eg. Sunday Pancakes) and write this into the calendar, having something to look forward to will keep you on track during the week.
3. Schedule in regular exercise.
There are 24 hours in the day, surely you can pencil in at least 20 minutes, preferably an hour to do some exercise. Find a partner or a group to hold you accountable and schedule in times that you will workout. It doesn't have to be the gym, it could be tennis, bushwalking or something else that takes your liking. Exercise and physical activity not only increases metabolism but also increases that "feel good" hormone serotinin.
Enjoy the rest of winter.
Dark chocolate contains a higher level of cacao which helps suppress appetite..