8 top tips to avoid the winter layers piling on!
Now that daylight savings is over we know the inevitable season of winter is upon us. But that doesn't mean that we have to hibernate & pile on the extra layers of fat that can creep in under those baggy jumpers!
It's all about acclimatising & adjusting your eating & training plans to suit the seasons!
Here are some handy tips for staying on track with your health & fitness throughout the colder months:
1. Have a summer & winter fitness regime
Winter is not an excuse to STOP exercising, you just need to adjust your exercise to the weather conditions.
If you are not one to acclimatise to training outside & brave the elements in the cold then include more Studio Group Classes into your week instead of completing your cardio outside in the cold/wet weather.
2. Set a winter event goal
In your next Goal Session with your Trainer set a winter event goal (like a fun run or long distance event), to keep you plugged into your training so you continue the habit of good eating & keep your training on track. Having a specific goal makes sure you don't feel unmotivated to train as it gets cold.
3. Consuming carbs that keep you full
Carbs become far more appealing through winter!
But did you know that our bodies actually require more protein, fats & fibre during the cold period because we are not moving as much.
If you are looking for carbs, try & include the sources that are more filling like legumes, lentils, oats, quinoa, long-grain rice etc.
For a more filling breakfast, try these variations:
•Swap muesli for porridge & have steel cut oats porridge - (oat that are cut into small pieces instead of being rolled flat) - they are hearty and have a chewy texture.
•Buckwheat porridge (gluten-free)
•Millet porridge (gluten-free)
•Cooked quinoa or rice porridge - simmer cooked grains in milk of choice until warmed and top with poached fruit/compote, nuts/seeds.
•Try home-made baked beans with poached eggs
4. Spice up your meals
When cooking your meals, make your meals more comforting by using seasonal herbs & spices.
Using spices like: Cloves, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Black Pepper can add so much extra flavour & using herbs like: garlic, dill, oregano, parsley, marjoram, sage, thyme, lavender & chamomile.
5. Don't discard your salads, just make them more appealing & warming
Cooking warm salads is a fantastic way to keep the waist line in check without sacrificing satiety!
Sticking to seasonal produce is best, as it is more cost-effective & readily available, warm roasted veggies, cooked grains & pan-grilled meats can make some really yummy & filling salads. Even in winter!
Here's a few warm salad ideas to try:
•Roasted pumpkin, beetroot and pear with goat cheese
•Roasted turmeric and ginger spiced cauliflower and chickpeas
•Stir-fry lentils and toss through some baby spinach
•Instead of having 'meat' and a 'side salad' cook the meat and toss through the salad
•Add ginger and chilli to salad dressings to warm up the feel of the meal
6. Using soups or bone broth for immunity
Soup is such an easy way to get good quality nutrition into your diet.
With lots of vegetables, beans or lentils and some quality meat, soup is the perfect meal to build your immune system. If you do succumb to the flu there may be some truth to the reputation of the humble chicken soup's restorative powers.
For a more filling soup, try using veg, legumes and grains such as quinoa.
7. Make an effort to get some Vitamin D
The cold, dreary weather can be tempting to want to stay curled up in bed all day but try & stick to your normal sleeping pattern & get outside as much as you can.
During winter, our amount of daylight exposure is obviously shortened, so this means we produce a little less melanin which plays a role in our fat tissue storage. Our bodies are predisposed to store fat over colder periods or when we change our sleeping cycles, purely because it thinks we are going into a hibernation period. If vitamin D levels drop too low it can increase fat storage.
8. Maintaining hydration
Water is definitely less appealing in the colder months, but good hydration is essential for carrying our water-soluble vitamins through our bodies, our urinary system, detoxification, energy levels etc. Try sipping warm water instead of cold water, herbal teas are a great alternative to plain water, of even water with some lemon or fruit to give your water some flavour.
Other quick & simple recipe ideas to help you through winter
•Roasted/baked mixed fruit with yoghurt and seed mix
•Poached fruits with yoghurt and seed mix
•Warm fruit compote e.g. rhubarb and apple or berry with yoghurt and fruit mix
•Stuffed sweet potato, place whole in oven, once soft, cut in half and scoop out some of centre, top with mixed beans, guacamole and natural yoghurt/hummus
•Lentil stuffed eggplants
•Ricotta and quinoa stuffed Portobello mushrooms - mix ricotta, cooked quinoa and herbs together, stuff into the cap of a cleaned Portobello mushrooms and bake until mushroom is soft, sprinkle with parmesan cheese if you like.
•Sweet potato, eggplant and chickpea curry using turmeric, ginger and coconut milk
It doesn't have to be all doom & gloom for the months of winter, embrace the season & adjust your lifestyle to suit the conditions. With a little extra effort, it means you will be beach ready when summer rolls around!
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.