With cold weather and short days, it’s easy to fall off healthy eating and exercise routines. Here are tips on how to eat right and stay motivated to exercise during the winter months.
It’s easy to fall into eating calorie-loaded or nutrient-empty comfort foods in the winter, but take time and plan ahead. The optimum winter foods for weight loss and maintenance are packed with nutrients and filling fiber, so we feel full longer and eat less. Here are five suggestions for your shopping list.
Pistachios. The fiber-rich green nut makes the perfect wintertime snack for many reasons. Research shows that pistachios promote healthy, stable blood-sugar levels and can help improve various risk factors for heart disease when snacked on regularly.
Winter squash. In season, butternut squash delivers a sweet, nutty flavor for fewer carbs and more fiber than you would expect. It is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, both antioxidants that will help keep your immune system in top shape. Add into soup and give your body what it craves: cold weather comfort.
Mushrooms. Mushrooms are a great cold-weather food that is in season all winter long. They are not only a unique source of a potent antioxidant called ergothioneine, but they are also a low-calorie, appetite-filling food that can be roasted, braised or sautéed.
Cabbage. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage are fibrous low-calorie foods that are perfect for the winter. They also contain powerful antioxidants like glucosinolates that help reinforce your body’s cellular detoxification pathways.
Green tea. Green tea is one of the few truly fat-burning foods. The antioxidants in green tea work to increase the amount of calories that your body burns as heat while also stimulating the liberation of stored fat in your body.
It’s too hard to get motivated to exercise on cold, dark mornings, and by nighttime, you just want to get home and eat something warm. But there are tricks to staying motivated to move during the winter months.
Set a new goal and reward yourself. Whether you want to lose weight, get stronger or move faster, set reasonable and specific goals that involve numbers or tangible accomplishments. Once you’ve attained your goal, treat yourself with a massage, new outfit or whatever tickles your fancy.
Find a workout buddy. Accountability is a great way to stay on track. Make a commitment with a friend or personal trainer for set times. This not only forces you to show up, but it can also make you push harder when you have someone cheering you on – and it’s fun!
Think outside the box. Do something different like a dance class, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) class, join a running group, or grab friends and go ice-skating.
Dress the part. Invest in some new gear. It’s a known fact we all feel better and perform better in the appropriate attire. Invest in a couple of great pieces.
Amp up your playlist. Music motivates. Create a bunch of playlists that get you up and going. Play songs as you get ready.
Focus on nutrition. Food is fuel to get moving. Every week, set yourself up by preparing healthy snacks that you can just grab and go if needed, such as portable pistachios, hard-boiled eggs or chopped vegetables.