How to Enjoy Winter Without Increasing Your Waistline
There are so many things to love about winter – big cosy coats, hot chocolates and warming nourishing soups to name a few. But one thing we all find challenging is the tendency to add on a little extra padding during the colder months (and I’m not just talking about coats!). Here are some tips for enjoying winter without adding on extra weight
There is a natural tendency to want to slow down and hibernate during winter but we are not bears (although at times we may feel like crawling into our cosy caves all winter long!). Rather than staying indoors on the couch, keep moving! Exercise makes you feel good and look good and it also boosts mood (which can be become flat during winter). You may need to adjust your exercise regime though as winter lends itself to restoring practices such Yin Yoga, although a brisk run in the great outdoors can be invigorating too!
Saffron is a perfect herb to take during winter. It has some good research supporting its use in depression and anxiety (both of which can become worse in winter) and it can also assist with weight maintenance. Some research has found that consuming this wonder herb may reduce appetite and overeating and although more rigorous trials need to be conducted, these results are promising. Saffron can be used in cooking but to get the best effects, this herb should be consumed in potent effective therapeutic forms that you can get from your Naturopath.
Balance Your Meals
We all tend to crave carbohydrate rich foods during winter (hello baked potatoes and pasta!!!) as these energy dense foods are filling, warming and comforting. You can still enjoy these foods but balance them with healthy fats (such as avocado, nuts and seeds) and lean protein (eggs, lean meats, fish and legumes) to keep your meals balanced and healthy. If you are going to enjoy soup for instance, make sure it contains some type of satisfying lean protein such as chicken to fill you up or you might find yourself reaching for a second or third piece of toast!
It’s easy to get lost in the warmth of winter and open fires (and lots of red wine!) which may mean having an extra helping seems like the most important and delicious thing to do! Having a longer term goal such as a holiday in the sun, or a big event can help keep your weight goals on track and may keep you more motivated. Remember, gaining weight doesn’t just affect your appearance; it can make you more prone to chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and depression, which can affect your quality of life. – and that’s a huge motivation in itself!
So enjoy your winter and everything it has to offer, but keep a balanced and healthy approach to your dietary and lifestyle choices and you will come out the other end feeling fit, happy and healthy! Come see me at Shift Natural Medicine if you want to talk more about how to keep healthy during.
Image by One Hot Yoga (35-48 River Street South Yarra VIC).
Clothing by Jaggad