As the nights get colder, our battle to beat the winter bulge gets tougher.
As the seasons change it’s not just the weather that’s different, we tend to change our diets too. I often see patients who say that managing their weight is easier during the summer. As our diet and exercise routines grind to a screeching halt, our bodies respond by growing the winter bulge. Here are some common winter bulge triggers:
We tend to:
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• Eat less SALADS and opt for hearty meals
• Increase our PORTIONS
• EXERCISE less – most of us just want to hibernate!
• Wrap up in cosy LAYERS so the worry about showing our ‘beach bodies’ is long gone!
• Have endless PARTIES!
A never-ending Christmas
Do any of these apply to you? Well, read on! December is such a sociable month – parties, get togethers, buffets, drinks, and, of course, CHRISTMAS! I see so many people that seem to think that Christmas lasts a month, not a day! Some people are resigned to a winter bulge over Christmas, so let themselves go OVERBOARD and try to make drastic changes in January. Think of it as DAMAGE CONTROL – Christmas is ONLY a DAY
The winter bulge can become a dangerous habit. If you don’t manage to lose the excess weight over the summer, then the situation will get worse and worse as the years pass. Even if you ‘only’ gain 4 pounds over the winter, this mounts up to a stone in just over 3 years. This is a dangerous as it’s a steady weight gain that can easily stay unnoticed until it’s too late, and, you’ve develop a health problem.
Remember, one pound is roughly two packs of butter or a tin of baked beans. And this is usually PURE FAT – so imagine that amount of fat surrounding one of your organs – such as your heart – does it seem more important now?
Eat fruit and veg to beat the winter bulge
In fact, the average person gains 5-7 pounds over winter! Some people seem to forget about their 5-a-day mission during the winter months as the summer offers more fruit and salad options. This could be why some gain weight – I am a strong believer in FILLING UP ON VEG OR SALAD at a meal so that we can better control our carbohydrate (starchy food) portions.
My GOLDEN RULE for weight loss is simple but effective – half fill your plate with veg / salad/ fruit and divide the other half between carbs and protein. People often feel like they have no energy – no get up and go, during the winter and that’s a lot to do with our lack of exercise. Believe it or not, exercise wakes us up, as it releases endorphins in the brain that makes us feel as good on the inside as it does on the outside. As there is less daylight, sometimes we are less motivated to exercise so why not mix it up – try a morning workout instead of an evening one. If we are low in mood we are more likely to snack or comfort eat too – this can lead to a vicious cycle of weight gain and feeling low. Making homemade soup is a great meal option – you know exactly what’s going in it, it can count towards your five a day and it’s usually a low calorie option. The key lies in PREVENTION.
Read my next article for Quirky top tips to help you beat the winter bulge.
(image credit: ecspokane, anylabtestblog)