Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Avoid Winter Weight Gain

On cold winter days it's easy to forego your workout and curl up on the couch with some comfort food instead. Here are a few ways to keep your body looking and feeling great all year round. No more hiding under baggy sweaters!

Eat seasonal produce. Keep off the winter pounds be eating foods that are naturally in season. Dark-green and orange fruits and vegetables will help you lose weight, so stock up on broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, winter squash, oranges and kale.

Move more indoors. During the winter, most people aren't as active around the house or outdoors as they are in the months when the sun actually shines. Eating the same amount of food, but decreasing your  activity levels can lead to unwanted pounds. Find an indoor activity that is fun so that you will keep up with it. Nintendo Wii Fit, at-home fitness DVDs or jumping rope indoors can be fun ways to burn off those extra calories.

Photograph your food. Tracking calories in a food journal can help you lose weight, but it can be inconvenient to write down every little thing you eat. Instead, use your camera phone to take a quick shot of your meals and snacks. Download the pictures to your computer to compile a food journal or calculate your calorie intake for the day with the help of a nutrition tracking websites.

Don't cut out carbs. Nothing is more comforting on a cold, rainy day than warm pasta, bread or freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Eat some carbs during the day so that you don't binge on them later.

Soak up some sun. You can benefit from natural light even if it's overcast outside. The lack of sunlight this time of year can lead to depression and cravings because of the drop of serotonin, the feel-good chemical in your brain. Even a quick walk outdoors for 15 minutes on your lunch break or a well-lit home and office can make a difference.

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