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Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Ultimate Guide to Preventing Winter Weight Gain

With 8 weeks left of Winter, we actually have a great opportunity to get organized, get fit and get ready to take on the second half of 2011. So of you have been struggling over the past few weeks, here are the steps you need to take to get back on track, today.

1) Shift your mindset
If you have been whining about the cold since Easter, it is time to stop. The truth be known, it is not overly cold in Australia and most of us are surviving with a light jacket and scarf. Start to view the Winter months as a time to get organized and fit rather than a period of self-imposed hibernation and excuses.

2) Make a list
You have 8 good weeks to get on track with your life. What needs to be done at home? What projects have been sitting around unfinished for weeks if not months? What exercise should you be doing? If you consider that we often gain weight simply because we eat more when are at home not doing anything, it makes sense to get busy and stop eating.

3) Get out
Sitting at home feeling sorry for your self is a recipe for disaster. Not only are you likely to eat more as mentioned above, you are also more likely to sleep more and suffer low mood. Make regular contact out of the house with friends and family so you are busier, happier and less likely to be focused on the short days and chilly days of Winter.

4) Commit to a training program
Like many things in life, we are simply more likely to do them once we have a plan. With the Sydney Marathon, City to Surf and a number of other big events on the horizon, it makes perfect sense to start a regular training program that ties in with an upcoming event to give you direction and motivate you to make it to 3-4 training sessions every single week.

5) Get some sunlight
I cannot tell you how many clients I see who are low in Vitamin D simply because they NEVER leave the office during the day. Make it a priority to get out during the day, every day and especially on weekends. Not only will you burn more calories by being active, the sunlight will do wonders for your skin and mood.

6) Concentrate on nutrient rich eating
If you are struggling with coughs and runny noses, quite simply you probably have not been eating that well. Fried foods, high fat snacks and plenty of alcohol at this time of year often take the place of brightly coloured vegetables, warming soups and fresh fruit so make it a priority to cook a couple of healthy meals each week and include oily fish, lean red meat and nuts and oils in your diet on a daily basis.

7) Check your fluids
If coffee, hot chocolate and chai lattes have taken place of your regular water and fresh juice; remember that it is just as important you keep well hydrated in Winter as it is in Summer. Swap coffee for warm water with lemon or herbal tea and still aim for at least a litre of water every single day.

8) Walk, walk, walk
No, you will not die if you take a walk in the cold. Walking early in the morning or after dinner even though it may seem a little chilly is one of the best things you can do to control your weight over Winter.

9) Choose 1 light meal each dayIf dropping a few kg is your Winter ideal, simply replacing one meal with a light alternative whether it be a meal replacement drink, soup or salad, you will find that this drops the kg without too much effort at all.

10) Go heavy once a week
We all like to eat out and we all like to eat chocolate, dessert, pastry, cakes…we are human. Eating them too regularly though, for the average inactive individual with only lead to weight gain, or be preventing weight loss so make sure you enjoy heavy options just once a week and you will find you stay on top of your weight without feeling too deprived at all.