It’s the first day of winter and if you are anything like me you’re probably shivering and cursing the cold. This winter you will probably acquire a new set of gloves, a coat and beanie… but did you know that 53% of males and 30% of females will also acquire 2-5 kilos of weight gain? Yikes, huh!?
A study released by the NSW Food Authority and NSW Health found that men are most likely to put on weight over winter with 53 per cent of males envisaging a 2-5 kg weight gain compared to 38 per cent of females. The research revealed that:
• Nearly half of Australians expect to gain up to two kilos this winter;
• 90 per cent say they eat more fast and snack foods and takeaways because they make them feel warmer and happier;
• 36 per cent of Australians are concerned about putting on weight this winter; and
• 59 per cent say weight gain will be caused by exercising less and eating more fast-foods, snack-foods and takeaways.
So, to minimise the likelihood of acquiring those extra kilos, I’ve got some tips for you!
1. Keep moving!
This doesn’t necessarily mean joining a fancy gym or competing in your first marathon, this simply means not going into winter hibernation because it’s cold! Become an active participant in life and incorporate extra activity into your daily tasks. Think about parking further away when going to the shops, taking the stairs and not the lift, or going for a walk in the middle of the day. Perhaps invest in a pedometer and try to walk 10,000 steps every day.
2. Become a savvy shopper
Time to think about eating foods close nature, or at least purchasing products that read like they are ‘homemade’. Investigate ingredient lists and choose products that read as though Grandma made them. Good examples of a ‘homemade-ingredient-list’ are LaZuppa soups, found in the supermarket for about $3.00. They make a great winter lunch or snack.
3. Eat three meals a day and stop grazing
It’s not uncommon for ‘grazers’ to always feel hungry or to be constantly thinking about their next meal. It’s best to consume three well-balanced and nutritious meals, so that your body feels satisfied and can register hunger for the next meal. A little bit of hunger is a good thing when trying to lose weight, and hunger tells us that our metabolism is working hard whilst making use of some stored energy/fat.
Snacks should be eaten only when you have true ‘belly hunger’; not because you saw someone eating a warm cinnamon doughnut and think you need one, too! When people graze on small snacks all day long, they rarely feel satisfied. If you plated up an entire days worth of ‘grazing’ you’d probably be surprised by how much you’ve actually consumed! Go for three well-balanced meals and feel the difference.
4. Ditch the sugary drinks
If you swap all your juices, soft drinks, cordials, energy drinks and vanilla flavoured lattes for water or herbal tea you are going to make a massive change to your waistline and your skin will look amazing! Liquid kilojoules certainly add up across the day and water won’t lead to a spike in blood glucose levels.
5. Fill up on non-starchy plant foods
Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre, non-starchy vegies are superb nutrition! Go for half a plate of non-starchy vegetables with every meal. This includes broccoli, asparagus, beans, cauliflower, mushrooms, cabbage, tomato, Asian greens, baby spinach, zucchini, squash and carrots. Plus, enjoy two serves of whole fruit each day; mandarins are amazing during winter!
6. Sleep well
Getting a good night sleep is essential for feeling alert and re-energised each day. If you constantly wake feeling tired and lethargic you might need to reset your sleeping patterns. Think about turning off all electrical appliances (iPhones, computers, tv) at least half an hour before going to bed, washing your face and having a small cup of warmed skim milk before going to bed. Try and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day for a few weeks and feel the difference in your energy levels; especially important in winter when it’s still cold and dark when you wake!
Until next time… Eat well, be well!