Ten Tips for Winter Weight Management

Fat tire riding in Whistler, BC  






Winter weight management can be challenging, especially when temperatures dip so low. Here are 10 tips to keep you on target:

1. Stop focusing on the "coldness". If you can't head to a sunny beach right now, deal with the fact that you live in a place that has a winter season. For most of us here, we’re in a toasty bed, car or building 99.9% of the time, but we act like we’re facing the elements 24/7. Shift your thoughts to your goals for the day. Find something fabulous about winter.

2. Make healthy meal choices to increase energy levels. Translation: skip the sugar and processed foods that leave you feeling bloated and moody. Winter comfort foods can interfere with weight management, so if you have a goal, practice moderation with portion sizes and frequency.

3. Wear breathable layers of clothing, even indoors if you’re cold. No reason you can’t wear a fleece vest around the house and wool socks. (You’ll also reduce energy bills.) Girlfriends, wear a cami under your shirt, leg warmers or liners under your dress pants, and the ever-present scarf. Now you can move around freely, all toasty warm.

4. Invest in the best outdoor gear you can afford. Good stuff lasts forever, and you’ll be more likely to play outdoors if the memories aren’t associated with frostbite. I winter kayak and usually cover all exposed skin when temps are low. I have a wool face mask that I use for multiple sports and prolonged outdoor time.

5. Walk with intention, keep your arms moving, and relax your shoulders. Reduced activity makes us even colder. Tension from that "hunkered down” posture will make you even stiffer. Find places to move at work - march in place, wall pushups, stair climbing, bear crawls down the hallway. Schedule exercise, as in Put it on the calendar, and then do it.

6. Don’t forget to drink water in winter (ask for it without ice). Dehydration symptoms mimic hunger, so be aware of your intake. If you’re drinking coffee or tea to stay warm, remember to switch to decaf or herbal to avoid ODing on caffeine.

7. Get some sun when you can. It feels good, elevates your mood, provides Vitamin D synthesis, and reminds us that we’ll be in swimwear soon. Revel in the rays, and appreciate the wonder of such a universal arrangement.

8. Watch your alcohol intake. You already have less sun and less movement, so avoid the natural depressant or at least consume it in moderation. You already know what happens to food consumption when you over-indulge, right?

9. Go out and play with some friends. Go to a movie, have a party, do yoga together, laugh. You can always find rewarding volunteer opportunities, and meet some new friends while being a community partner.

10. Sleep. Researchers have told you that sleep plays a significant role in weight management. Believe them and use it as an excuse to head to bed with a good book and a prayer.

#winter #moderation #weightmanagement #health