Winters have finally come, my favourite season; and I am sure so it would be for many of you because that cosy feeling we get in bed during nights, longer nights, long sleeping hours wow… moreover the long festive season and vacations gives a lot of free time to enjoy our favourite hot food. This all makes winter the best time of year for me and many of you, but do you know what other gifts winter brings along with it?
Winter season may bring a lot of happiness in our lives, but the side effects of this season have bigger impact on your body or you can say health. Yes…, this is not just an urban myth. Studies and research have shown that one can easily gain around a pound of weight per month in winters. There are also theories abound as to why weight gain seems to be such a foregone conclusion during winters. The reason behind it is that, winter doesn’t increase hunger, rather it reduces thirst. We don’t drink the same amount of water as we do in summer months, which leaves us dehydrated. Hunger and thirst centres in the brain are set very close together, and sometimes, we wind up eating because we feel thirsty, leading to a lot more overeating. Meanwhile, the short, dark days can also deprive our body of vitamin D and up our production of drowse-inducing melatonin, leaving us lethargic and craving sugar and calories. Add to this lack of physical activity, comfort eating, and overeating during the holiday season, and suddenly we’ve got ourselves a new set of health problem; increased weight. And, we are all aware that how this increased weight could be fatal for our heart and overall health. The worst part about this seasonal weight gain is that many of us don’t figure it out and it keeps multiplying year over year.
So, make this winter a healthy winter and don’t let the enjoyment interfere with your health. I have prepared a list of points that you need to take care this winter so that you could avoid that extra pie of weight:
- Do not cut physical activities:
Cold weather and shorter days don’t mean you have to abandon exercise completely. Instead, rearrange your schedule to fit in what you can. You don’t need formal exercise to burn calories. It’s just, you need to take care of some points; like don’t always stay inside, go out for a brisk walk, if it’s cold then wear more cloths and jacket but go for a walk, that will also circulate your body temperature and revitalise your body. Or join some winter sport… skiing, ice skating… or even playing in the snow with the kids! Stick to your routine – join a class at a gym, walk the mall, use workout videos if you prefer staying indoors.
- Avoid Alcohol:
Alcohol is loaded with calories. And since many holiday celebrations involve drinking, it’s easy to take in a lot of calories without being aware of what all things you are taking in with alcohol. While others don’t even need the festive season because they believe alcohol keeps them warm, this is true up to a point; but this is also true that drinking a lot of it will surely make you fat. So, take care of it and avoid drinking as much as you can. And winter, being festive season I can’t ask you to completely stop, so take a few preventive measures here; drink a glass of water or a diet soda before and after each alcoholic beverage to help pace yourself and to dilute calories. It will not only help get calories out of your body, but will also help you fight the hangover.
- Include Soup before Meal:
Including soup before the meal could probably be the easiest way to fight the weight gain of winters. Taking soup before your main course is good for warming up from the cold and losing weight. Studies have shown that eating soup as an appetizer can help you put back calories and lose weight. The trick here is to choose soups that are low in calorie density, so opt for a sweet corn or mix veggie soup and not your cheese filled soups.
- Keep a check on coffee/tea intake:
Sipping a coffee or tea is the best time pass for most of us to get warmth in winters. It might give you some warmth and energy also, because of calorie presence, but it also packs on the pounds. Here I am not asking you to forget coffee and tea altogether, work on limiting your thirst for them, use of full-fat milk, white sugar, and even artificial sweeteners. And make sure you get all of your coffee by noon. That will help ensure it’s out of your system come bedtime. After all, when you don’t sleep well, you’re even more apt to reach for high-energy, low-performing foods the next day.
- Say no to your tongue:
Magically, in winters, chocolates, cakes, burgers, pizzas all looks more tempting more alluring than ever. The reason may be you don’t want to go home and cook because of that laziness and moreover these things are also prepared in such a way that they look even tastier in cold weather. So, what to do? Try and ensure that your days are long and keep you occupied so that you stay away from comfort foods. It’s very easy, when you are at home surrounded by a mountain of chocolate, to be buried under it. Make sure you don’t buy all these stuffs whenever you go to market.
- Don’t forget to enjoy:
The winter months are also party months, where festivals coincide, weddings happen and relatives and friends come down from all over the world. So, instead of focussing more on food, focus more on having fun, go out, hang out with friends and relatives, play games and try and make as much memories as you can. The more you’ll enjoy more calories you’ll burn and studies have also shown that happier people tend to have better ability to digest food and calories. So, don’t be a boredom, get out and enjoy.
Following these tips won’t spoil your fun and will also help you stay fit. Now, don’t worry and enjoy this festive season with more reasons to be happy.
Practice Healthy…!! Stay Healthy…!!