As the weather cools down, along comes the temptation to curl up in front of the TV with some of your favourite comfort foods. It is common knowledge that we spend longer indoors, move less and eat more – so it’s only natural that we might put on a little extra insulation over the winter months. However, maintaining healthy eating and lifestyle habits over winter is important not only for weight management but for our general health and wellbeing. To avoid unnecessary weight gain, if that’s of concern for you, try these tips from nutritional experts.
Eat a High Protein Breakfast
Many of us tend to have an easy breakfast such as sugary cereals and toast due to our busy lifestyles, however, studies have shown that consuming a high protein breakfast can help improve appetite control, food intake, and body composition and may decrease snacking later in the day. In particular, breakfasts containing eggs may actually enhance weight loss, as part of an energy-deficient diet. Get poaching!
Maintain Your Exercise Routine
Look I know you probably want to slap me in the face for this one. When it’s chilly outside, the last thing you might want to do is throw on your gym wear but don’t let that stop you from being active. Exercise outside the box and join a new yoga studio or an indoor netball or volleyball team. Find a gym buddy who can help you stay motivated and accountable. The main point here is to keep your body active and healthy throughout the winter months.
Look After Your Gut Bacteria
There is an increasing amount of evidence indicating that our gut bacteria are involved in the control of body weight. It appears that the gut flora of an obese individual differs from a lean individual, and there is potential for live bacteria supplements to improve gut flora and possibly increase weight loss.
Cortisol and other stress hormones act to control both food intake and energy expenditure. In particular, stress hormones are known to increase the consumption of foods high in fat and sugar, particularly in women. High stress levels can leave to weight gain around the middle in particular. Reducing stress is therefore important for both weight management and long-term health. Eating well, limiting caffeine and alcohol and getting good sleep is important. As is taking time out for yourself and asking for help when it’s needed.
Make Your Own Food
I understand more than anyone that when the weather is miserable the last thing you feel like doing is cooking. All you want to do is snuggle up in your blankets and watch movies. However, it is very important to minimise your takeout and make your own food. There are millions of healthy recipes online but here is one to get you started. 39 Quick Healthy Recipes Ready in Under 30 Minutes.