During the summer, losing weight isn’t so challenging: The long, bright, and warm days are energizing, motivating you to get outdoors and be active. Delicious produce is in season, making the choice to eat right easy. Soon enough, however, winter rolls around; and the seemingly endless dark and cold months make shedding pounds seem nearly impossible. To lessen your burden, we’ve explained some of the challenges that make winter weightloss so daunting, and how you can overcome them.
Temptation’s Around Every Corner
You’re determined to eat a healthy diet, but comfort foods, warm sugary drinks, and holiday desserts surround you. This is problematic for multiple reasons: In addition to the fact that it makes you more likely to indulge yourself, it also contributes to a mindset that deems all temptations bad. So when you stray from your diet, as you inevitably will, you’ll likely feel guilty or shameful — feelings that provoke your body’s stress response. And as you probably already know, stress makes it harder to do and be your best, especially when it comes to sticking to a diet (cue the stress eating).
To avoid this dilemma, focus less on “good” and “bad” foods and more on incorporating healthy foods that you like. You don’t have to cut out temptations completely, either. You might limit yourself to one small temptation a day, or plan ahead if you know you’ll be indulging a lot for a special event.
Your Instincts Tell You to Hibernate
When it’s already dark when you get home from work, finding the motivation to leave your cozy home to go to the gym or on a run is a daily struggle. So why leave? You can get a good workout nearly anywhere, including your living room floor, so deciding not to venture out into the cold doesn’t have to mean skipping your daily exercise. Invest in some affordable home exercise equipment and decide which kind of routine best suits you. Find an online video you like and follow along to perform yoga, dance cardio, strength training exercises, or stretches.
Raw Fruits and Veggies Just Don’t Sound Good
As you’re deciding what to have for dinner on a cold winter evening, salad probably isn’t what comes to mind. Instead, we tend to gravitate toward warm, filling comfort foods. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, though: The right kinds of stews and soups can make for a healthy meal. Go for broth-based soups, which tend to have less calories than cream bases, and options that are veggie-heavy. You can also eat your fruits and vegetables warm if you can’t stomach cold produce at this time of year. Roasted peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, brussel sprouts, and asparagus can be delicious when seasoned well, and work well as a side or tossed with greens. Baked or roasted peaches, plums, pears, and cherries topped with a little cinnamon, honey, or whipped cream can make a mouth-watering holiday treat.
Your Diet Is Salt-Heavy
Eating less fresh produce means you’re supplementing your diet with something else, and for most of us, that something comes in the form of packaged and processed foods. Canned soups and vegetables, bread, pasta, crackers, and chips tend to be high in sodium, which makes you retain water (and water weight).
This added weight can make you feel sluggish, bloated, and even less inclined to get up and work out. Luckily, hydrating as much as possible can help you shed the weight. Consuming lots of potassium can help, too, since it regulates your body’s sodium levels. Think bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and coconut water.
Featured image via Pixabay