Winter Weight Loss
I was recently sent an article in which the author talked about different strategies for losing weight in winter versus summer. Naturally, the author began with the catch phrase “A summer body starts in winter.” Now I don’t believe that life has seasons—we should be staying fit and healthy all the time as opposed to only wanting to look and feel good for the summer. But the author made a few good points.
They noted that if you do want to look good for summer, then starting in spring or summer is too late and you should be starting in winter. And that, in general, people tend to put on a bit of excess body fat on during the winter months. Why is that so?
It may have to do with a few things. Given the cold weather, the lure of the couch and bed can be stronger than the need to train so you may be expending fewer calories in winter. Modern-day humans are also hedonistic eaters—they eat for pleasure. During winter there may be a craving for comfort foods to alleviate the winter blues. Comfort foods are often high in sugar and processed carbs, so not only are you burning fewer calories, you may also be consuming more calories. You might also just be lazy.
So how would you prevent that winter weight gain? The same way you would lose it in summer. The only difference between the approach and the foods you eat will be seasonal changes to the fresh produce available.
Losing weight in winter is the same as losing weight in summer!
Losing weight in winter, however, appears to be more challenging due to the environment and changes in intrinsic motivation. So what can you do to keep the momentum up, or even to begin your road to better health and fitness in winter?
Become a part of a group
Whether you join a running club, attend group classes, or participate in lifestyle challenges, being a part of a group helps. People in the group hold you accountable, and knowing that you’ll be going through the challenge with others is often enough to get you off the couch.
Set short-term goals
Set a few SMART goals to attain specifically over the three months of winter. When you have something to work towards you remain disciplined.
Stay full by eating foods that keep you fuller for longer. That means eating a lot of vegetables, and including some good quality fat and protein at every meal and snack. It also means avoiding sugar and processed food.
Keep at it after winter!
Life has no off-season, so maintain these habits all year round and you’ll maintain a beach body all year round too!