Do you want to feel more confident and better in your own skin? Does your self-confidence depend on how you look? Do not worry – it is totally normal to have those feelings, but you do not have to anymore. Just because it is winter does not mean that you cannot do anything about those extra body pounds. Yes, we believe that it is a lot harder to make the decision to lose weight during winter, but it is certainly not impossible. Not with the tips that we are about to share with you. Stay with us in the next couple of minutes and find out the little tricks that will help you get that dream body this winter.
Why losing weight in winter is harder?
For many people, losing weight during spring and summer seems to be a lot easier as compared with the cold days during fall and winter, there is no question about it. There are many reasons why that is. Most of them are concentrated on how short and gloomy the days are during fall and winter, as compared to the warm and sunny, and naturally longer days that are characteristic for spring and summer (1).
Who wants to leave the house, that comfy, warm cocoon that you have created for yourself and go to the gym or go for a run? And we all know how important is the regular physical activity for the process of weight loss, right?
Not to mention the fact that fall and winter are the seasons during which we celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, which means that we are surrounded by nothing but temptations. Delicious food, wine, and loving friends and family is the recipe for good memories, but not for weight loss as it seems.
And who wants to eat raw vegetables when you can enjoy a savory meal instead? Or drink hot water when you can drink mulled wine or hot chocolate? Yes, the temptations are all around us, and often, we fail to make the right decisions, which only makes the preparation of our summer body a lot harder in the months that follow.
But it is not all about weight loss, as it is about maintaining healthy and focused on your goals. Fall and winter are the perfect seasons to practice dedicated to the tasks that you set for yourself, especially if one of those tasks is staying healthy. And what is a better way to stay healthy than eliminated those extra body pounds?
Tips on how to efficiently lose weight this winter
But instead of feeling hopeless or hiding behind excuses, do something different this winter and try to lose weight despite all the reasons that we laid out for you. Yes, weight loss during the winter will present itself as a bigger challenge, for sure, but that does not mean that it is an impossible thing to do.
In the following, we will share some great tips that will help you change small, yet highly significant habits of yours for the purposes of getting that dream body of yours. You do not have to wait until spring to start working on that beach body of yours, and you can start right away!
Drink cold water
You would think that hydrating your body is not as important during the winter as it is during the summer when you are sweating so much. But you are wrong. Proper hydration is essential at all times! Make sure that you are drinking the recommended eight glasses of water each day, no matter the season.
But here is a secret that you can use, not only during the winter but during all weather seasons – Drink cold water at all times. According to a study published in 2003, drinking cold water is what will help you burn more calories since your body will have to work extra hard to warm it up, which is an effect that you would miss out on if you are drinking warm or room-temperature water (2). Plus, science has also shown that drinking around 500 ml of water before lunch or dinner can help reduce the number of calories that you are about to intake with your meal, which is also something that your weight loss process will benefit from (3).
Take a walk in the snow
Yes, it is incredibly hard to leave home and head outside when you do not have a real reason to do so. But this year, it is all about taking long walks in the snow and embracing the holiday spirit.
Did you know that walking on snow results in a greater calorie burn as compared to walking on a stable surface? Because you are losing your bouncy boost while walking on snow or sand, which represents an unstable surface that requires your body, especially your legs to work harder in order to walk while maintaining your balance (4). So go ahead, bundle up in some warm clothes and head down the streets to burn those extra body pounds.
Start your meal with a hot soup
One tip that we think that you will love is starting your meals with a nice, delicious, hot soup, because who does not want to warm his heart with some tasty soup?
Did you know that starting your meal with a bowl of soup works similar to drinking a full glass of water before your meal? Soup, like water, will help reduce the number of calories during your meal, without causing you to starve yourself, according to a study published by the Penn State University (5). Just make sure that you choose a broth-based soup over cream-based soups to make sure that you do not intake most of your calorie requirements with the soup alone.
Do not skip any meals
Skipping meals is a step that often leads to weight gain instead of weight loss. Opposite to what many people tend to believe, skipping meals will leave you feeling hungry as you will be more prone to eating empty calories later to satisfy your hunger. Even if you do not eat anything to fill that void, it is still a bad idea to skip meals since eventually, your body will try to do whatever it takes to protect itself and survive, which will prevent you from losing that unwanted weight.
In addition, skipping meals in order to allow yourself to have more food at a party or dinner during the holidays is also a bad idea. Going to a dinner starving, where you will be surrounded by nothing but temptation will only increase the risk of overeating. Instead, make sure that you have a well-balanced diet during the day and then later enjoy that piece of cake because you have earned it!
Get yourself a quality activity tracker
One of the best things that you can invest this year is a quality activity tracker that you will wear every day to help get a better idea of how physically active you actually are. The fitness tracker can also help track how many calories you have burned, which can help you plan out your calorie intake every day.
Plus, an activity tracker will keep a step count for you. So if you do not have the time or the motivation to fit in a workout for the day, you can at least focus on getting 10,000 steps instead. Something to look for in a fitness tracker is a sedentary reminder so that it can always remind you to stand up and get a few steps in before returning to work.
Try some home workouts
The cold weather should not be an excuse as to why you fail to be physically active on a daily level and get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Instead, you should use the opportunity to burn more calories, walking in the snow on your way to the gym as we mentioned earlier, but if you do not feel like doing so, then at least try to fit a 20 to 30 minute home workout in your schedule. Remember, physical activity is essential if you want to lose weight, and there is no way around it (6).
There are tons and tons of different home workouts online. Most of them require only a yoga mat and motivation, but you can also find some that offer a chance to use your dumbbell or medicine ball that might be hiding in your closet. Make sure that you get at least 20 to 30 minutes of a home workout four to five times a week to maintain a great body shape all through the winter days.
Combat your hunger with protein
Apart from exercising daily, another essential method for an effective weight loss is a well-balanced diet. One trick that you can use every day is to rely on protein for support, simply because proteins are your friend during the weight loss process. Packing your meals with clean protein will help you feel full longer, and you will be less tempted to reach out for empty calories instead (7).
Start with your breakfast and work around eating enough protein all day long. That way, you will be eating clean, not feeling hungry, and losing weight all at the same time. Just make sure to fill a quarter of your plate with lean protein such as chicken and fish, while filling half of the plate with seasonal veggies and the other quarter of the plate with healthy fats for the ultimate meal plan (8).
Reconsider your drink choices
If you are a regular sweetened tea, energy drinks, cocktail, or hot chocolate lover, then it is time to reconsider your drink choices. All of these drinks are filled with added sugars which do nothing but harm your health, and your weight loss process, while we are at it. They are a true representation of what we like to call empty calories because they have little to no nutrients in them while they are filled with sugars (9).
You should not ban alcohol from your diet altogether, but it is recommended that you consider drinking beer and wine in moderate amounts this seasons. Try changing up your usual tea or coffee order and drinking it unsweetened and without any milk. When you do have to drink it sweetened and with something added in it, try adding stevia and almond milk instead.
Eat seasonal produce
The winter season is the time when you have to be smart about the food choices that you are making. One of the best things that you can do for yourself is to surround yourself with the seasonal produce that Mother Nature is offering us during these cold days.
That means buying the low-calorie natural foods such as kale, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts which are all highly-filling because of their high fiber levels. When cooked in combination with some quality animal products to get that clean protein that you are craving, you have got yourself the perfect meal. As for your snacks, snack on some healthy pomegranate and baked squash to maximize your nutrient intake throughout the day and enjoy their great health benefits.
Order in instead of eating out
One thing that you can work around while trying to lose weight in the winter while staying at your cozy, warm home is ordering in instead of heading down to your favorite restaurant to get yourself a treat for dinner. Yes, we are all human, and there are those days that we do not feel like cooking, so instead, we choose to eat out or order in.
Science has shown that people tend to choose low-calorie meals when they order food in as compared to when they are ordering in right before they eat, like when they are sitting in a restaurant, for example. So if you do decide to order in instead of eating out, the chances are that you will make a much better decision regarding the calorie count. But do not rely on that fact alone, do take the time to decide what would fit the best in your meal plan and your required calorie intake for a successful weight loss.
As you can see, it is all in those small habits of yours. It takes a lot of dedication, patience, and time to lose weight, but it takes, even more, to do it during the cold winter days. This is the season that you can not only change how you look, but also how you feel, and how you treat your body and mind. Imply these small changes and feel as your body is transforming.