With the days getting shorter and colder, the easy thing to do is to head straight home from work and curl up on the couch with a nice glass of red wine and hibernate until you have to face the elements tomorrow… but stop! This is not a healthy habit to get into this early into winter.
The 3 main ways to staying healthy throughout winter:
- Lose a small amount of weight or maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise and move more
- Modify your diet and eating habits
If you have worked hard all summer at your diet and exercise and you are finally at a place where you are feeling good, don’t stop now! Imagine how much easier it will be going out for your walk or run in spring if you keep up your exercise habits over winter. Think of how good you feel after exercising. Try and find at least 30-40 minutes three times per week to help maintain your fitness levels and keep you strong and healthy throughout winter.
You don’t like exercising in the dark? Easy, go for a walk or run at lunch time, start work early a few days a week so you can leave early when it’s still light, join a gym, exercise on the weekends. There are so many options; it’s just a matter of choosing one that is best suited to your lifestyle.
Winter meals can be hearty and full of stodgy carbohydrates which often contributed to weight gain however, this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some tips to help you to keep your weight down over winter:
- Cook using high fibre wholegrains – wholegrain pasta, brown rice, beans, legumes, and lentils.
- Make sure you have sufficient high protein food sources in your meals which helps with satiety and fullness in between meals
- Bulk out meals out with plenty of vegetables – layer vegetables in a lasagne or grate vegetables in a Bolognese, double the amount of pumpkin in a risotto
- Portion control carbohydrates – ½ cup cooked rice, 2/3 cup cooked pasta, 1 medium potato
- Start the day with a filling, low GI breakfast, such as porridge or 2 eggs on 1 slice of toast.
- If you’re having a hearty soup, don’t be tempted by the bread, the soup will be filling enough.
- If needed include a healthy morning and afternoon tea to prevent over eating at main meals.
- Drink herbal teas if you are finding that water isn’t going down so well when it’s cold.
- Limit processed foods.
- Use natural yoghurt in place of creams and butters in rich, hearty dishes such as beef stroganoff.