Key Rules for Cold-Weather Weight Loss
Winter weight gain often feels inevitable-the effects of overdoing it during an ever-growing holiday season. The colder, shorter days make it harder to get outdoors and easier to stay glued to the TV. It may seem easier to say bah humbug and decline every party invitation, instead staying tied to the treadmill.
The good news: The 10 pounds the average American is alleged to gain between Thanksgiving and New Years Day is only a myth. A National Institutes of Health study in 2000 tested this theory by measuring the weights of 195 volunteers before, during, and after the six-week holiday season. What they found was that the average weight gain was only about one pound. One pound!
And whether it's one pound or a few that you've packed on this year, you can still lose weight during the cold winter months. The results of the study concluded that there were two controllable factors that influenced those who gained five or more pounds and those who didn't. People that kept moving and kept their hunger levels in check succeeded in staying true to their weight loss goals. Ready to bust the myth of winter weight gain? Here's how.
1. Shorten your session. You shouldn't skip a workout for a party or a snow day but you can do a shorter sweat session. Forget the gym and try quick workouts you can easily do at home in less than 20 minutes.
2. Use colder weather and shorter days to try out new indoor activities. Martial arts, indoor rock walls, and hot yoga are fun ways to move and stay warm. Also try POUND, PiYo, Barre, and other liberating new fitness trends we love!
3. Wear your activity tracker every day. Maybe you've been inconsistent with wearing it lately, but wintertime is an ideal time to for usage. If you can't get a workout in, focus on getting 10,00 steps a day.
4. More moving, less eating for holiday fun. Caroling or ice-skating with friends are great alternatives to cookie exchanges and cocktail parties. You can still celebrate afterward with a cup of homemade hot chocolate.
5. Pack your plate with protein. It keeps you feeling full longer and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Even snacks should have at least 10 grams of protein.
6. Always have a glass of water or hot tea in your hand. Research suggests the some 75 percent of Americans may be chronically dehydrated and we often mistake dehydration for hunger. Diligent water consumption can curb snacking for the wrong reasons and boost energy.
7. Be carb smart. Carbs are not the enemy. You can eat bread and pasta, but quality, quantity, and timing are key. Carbs that satiate, like vegetables, or those with protein and fiber, like beans and dairy, should be the bulk of your intake. You can have bread, pasta, and rice (starchy carbs) after a workout, when your body can best use them.
8. Don't skip meals. The worst thing you can do is to go to a holiday meal or party starving. When you arrive hungry everything looks good, despite your best intention to "enjoy in moderation." Eat normally throughout the day so you have willpower to only enjoy one slice of grandma's pecan pie.
By Pamela Hernandez, certified personal trainer and health coach for DietsInReview.com