Winter seems to be a time when many people put on some extra weight. Have you ever considered why that is? Here are some of the top reasons and what to do about them.
More layers, more room to hide. The bulky sweaters and loose coats give us that fake comfort and temporary ability to feel denial. I always tell my clients to have one summer outfit easily accessible and to try it on on a regular basis. Aside from serving as a reminder that summer is just a few short months away, it will be an accurate measurement of how your more fitted (and less layered) wardrobe feels.
Hot comfort drinks. Don’t we all associate those hot chocolates and creamy lattes with cold winter days? Did you know that these drinks can contain up to 700 calories? Many people falsely assume that “liquid calories” don’t count. This is obviously false. Try herbal teas instead, or lower calorie versions of your favorite drink. Substitute whole milk for skim, skip the whipped cream, and use cinnamon powder for flavor, instead of flavored syrup.
Feeling too lazy to exercise. Many people feel a lot less energetic in the winter months and that is understandable. The days are shorter, it gets dark sooner, and getting out of the house requires bundling up, and even warming up the car. Outdoor exercisers find it more challenging to stick to their routine with the unpredictable weather, and it getting dark so early in the day, giving them less hours of “ideal workout conditions.” My suggestion? Adjust your schedule or routine accordingly. See what works for you. Changing weather and conditions should not deter you from your fitness goals or routine. If you’ve been exercising outdoors, consider joining a gym. If you are more tired at night because it gets dark so early, consider getting in your workout in the morning instead.
Chanukah parties, office holiday parties, Chinese auctions, dinners, and fundraisers... need I say more? As always, plan ahead. Do not ever starve yourself the day of a function, planning to make up for it later on. Eat regular balanced meals throughout the day, and try drinking 2 glasses of water before the event. When you get there, plan what you will have before you fill up. Treat a buffet style table as a visual menu. It is just there for visual display, and it is up to you to make choices from it.
As always, having professional guidance is one of the best tools you can invest in. Whether it’s a nutritionist helping you plan your menus, or a personal trainer working out with you and measuring your results, having that professional guidance is extremely valuable.
Remember that summer is right around the corner. With just some planning and willpower, you can avoid weight gain traps this winter.
Tanya Rosen, M.S. CAI CPT is a nutritionist, personal trainer, aerobics instructor and owner of Shape Fitness, an all women’s fitness studio in Brooklyn. Tanya is also the creator of the first and only kosher workout DVD available for women and for girls through www.shapefitnessgym.com. For questions or column topic ideas, feel free to email Tanya at tanyashape_gmail.com
By Tanya Rosen