While looking at the geographical location of my visitors I would say that most of The Flat Stomach Blog readers are currently enjoying some warmer weather. However as we hit the summer months it occurred to me that there is a whole other side of the equator who are getting ready to snug up for winter. Countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil are either in, or about to be in the middle of winter.
One of the problems with winter approaching is that our bodies are more covered up and we sometimes lose the motivation that we have to stay in shape over those warmer months. For some, winter can become an excuse to stay inside, skip the gym and eat heavier foods. Our bodies are no longer as much on display each day and we may use this as an excuse to overeat and under exercise.
Keep Warm and Dry With Coffee and Pie
Even though most of us are aware of the risks that winter brings in terms of weight gain and putting on that little bit of extra belly fat, many of us still fall victim to it. Those extra few pounds can add up pretty quickly and with every added year and pound that weight becomes harder and harder to shift. Although this weight gain is common and easy enough to do it doesn’t have to be this way.
Obviously the key lies in weight gain prevention. A major factor in the potential for weight gain over the colder months is the fact that we are generally moving less. Combine this with some over indulgence of heavier foods and warm desserts compared with summer salads and fruit based meals and it easily explains the increased weight.
Crucial to preventing the winter wight gain is maintaining your level of movement and activity. Shorter days may mean there is less time for physical activity than in summer but you must force yourself to continue your training schedule. If you find you can no longer get yourself out of bed to face those cold mornings then shift your training sessions to the afternoon or evening. As with all exercise whether it be in the winter or summer it is often more motivating to work out with someone else. So grab a friend, get a personal trainer or participate in a team sport. Indoor tennis, soccer, basketball or netball are great ideas for a winter team sport.
Giving your body a decent amount of exposure to sunlight is crucial for your health but also helps out with your mood and feeling of overall wellness. Going for a simple short lunch time walk can be a great addition to your training and will help with your weight management and can even increase your energy levels.
While you need to keep up your physical activity over winter the second most important factor in winter weight management is simply watching what you are putting into your mouth. Try limiting winter foods such as puddings, cakes, pies, pastries and chocolate to only once a week treats. Make sure your fill your meals up with lots of vegetables and try adding a soup to your evening meals. If you eat soup either as an entrée or as a main meal you are less likely to overeat during the meal or later at night. Below are few tips that can help you stay in shape in winter.
6 Tips To Stay In Shape Over Winter
1. Drink plenty of water every day, its good for you and keeps you feeling full
2. Limit winter comfort foods to once a week at most
3. If you’re craving a sweet desert try baking a home made apple dish
4. Replace full cream milk with skim milk in your coffees, teas and other warm drinks
5. Do not stop with your regular workout routine just because it’s winter and you’re a little more covered up
6. If you don’t like the cold mornings then move your workout session to the afternoon or evening
There is a belief that it is natural to put on weight in colder months because of our human ancestry. Our bodies may see it as a time to store energy, or fat for the colder months. The weather gets cold, the blood vessels in the skin contract and blood moves to the center of the body. While there it may stimulate internal organs such as the digestive tract, and its activity can increase. When the digestive tract grows more active, appetite increases, and if the appetite increases, naturally so does your weight. However because we now spend most of our time in temperature controlled environments it no longer becomes and excuse to put on weight.
Finally, don’t give in to thinking that it’s okay to let yourself and your weight slide a little over winter. You will only regret it when summer comes back around and it becomes harder to shift those extra pounds and get a flat stomach.