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Top 5 Ways to Beat the Bulge This Winter

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Published May 16th 2012
Top 5 Ways to Beat the Bulge This Winter
For many people winter inevitably results in some unwanted weight gain. The days get shorter, the cold dark nights get longer and we are tempted at every turn to indulge in comfort foods and couch potato behaviour. Now is the time to start fortifying ourselves mentally against the impending chill and it's devilish temptations; here are my top 5 ways to stay on top of it.

Obese Rabbit
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Start Smart
Begin each day with a glass of warm water mixed a generous amount of fresh lemon juice. This will alkalise the body which in turn will assist and optimise digestion of your breakfast.
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Added benefits of lemon water include the cleansing of toxins from the body, rehydrating, promoting radiant skin, strengthening immunity, and lowering the absorption of sugars you eat in your food. The last one is particularly important if you give in to the temptations of fatty or sugary comfort foods. So do yourself a favour and try to drink a few glasses of warm lemon water throughout the day.

Eat a good breakfast and fuel up for the day; you're less likely to get hungry between meals and snack on sugary foods.

Eat Smart
Shift your diet to include more alkaline foods to assist weight loss and increase energy.
Don't eat late at night; it is a lot more difficult for your body to burn calories at night and you are more likely to retain those extra calories on your hips.
Snack wisely by planning ahead; carry fruit or nuts with you, make muffins, stew fruit, or get some snack foods from the health shop
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Spice up your diet; substitute that calorie laden hot chocolate for a cup of green tea with some fresh ginger, eat curries, and add spices like chilli to your meals to get some heat into your body and boost metabolism and digestion.
Green Tea
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Eat Seasonally
Winter is the time for slow cooked stews, casseroles and soups made from fresh, seasonal ingredients such as beetroot, broccoli, leeks, potatoes, cauliflower, parsnips and garlic. Eat plenty of the winter greens spinach, silverbeet and Asian greens such as bok choy. Winter fruits include pink lady apples, grapefruit, lemons, rhubarb, custard apples and pears. Stay away from the frozen and processed dishes that are laden with calories. Eating seasonally will ensure you eat warming foods that nourish the soul, optimise the nutritional value of your food and benefit both you and the environment.
Chunky Soup
Courtesy of Wikipedia
Korean Stew
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Stay Active
Maintaining an active lifestyle throughout the colder months will optimise metabolism and help keep off the kilos. Don't let the cold put a dampener on your motivation; choose exercise forms you enjoy, you'll be more motivated to stick to a routine. Rug up and get out walking, jogging, rollerblading or whatever takes your fancy. If you can't face the outside weather, stay at home and dance to your favourite tunes, do a yoga or exercise DVD, play Wii or do some vigorous housework. The more you exercise, the better you'll feel and the less likely to turn into a couch potato.
Vacuum Cleaner
Courtesy of Wikipedia
Yoga for Exercise
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Things to Avoid
Alcohol - don't succumb to the temptation of that extra glass of wine or scotch, have a cup of herbal tea instead.
Comfort foods - the hot puddings, creamy cheesy pastas and breads, all those high fat, high sugar foods that taste so good. It's okay to indulge occasionally, moderation is the key.
Bad attitude - avoid negative thoughts, moping and self indulgent wallowing. Accept that it's winter and get on with life, choose to see the positives.
Not Getting Dressed - get out of your pyjamas or trackie pants! Getting dressed will aid motivation.
Hibernation - be careful of withdrawing socially, force yourself off the couch and out of the house, you'll feel better once you do.
Couch Potato
Courtesy of Wikipedia
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Why? Avoid winter weight gain
Your Comment
Why all those posts about winter and Xmas! In june???! Is it Xmas down under?! or have you swapped seasons?
by Diane (score: 1|12) 3398 days ago
Research has shown that it makes no difference when you eat food so your advice to not eat late at night isn't accurate. Weight watchers also state the same. Eating smart certainly does not include muffins!!!! Full of sugar and fat. Vegetables and fruti are a far better option.
by jenni (score: 1|41) 3404 days ago
Hi Jenni
It depends entirely on which school of nutritional thought you belong to, and there are several. It is not my philosophy to believe something I hear or read simply because it fits within the narrow paradigms of scientific research. And even if I was, there are several bonafide scientific studies that support the theory that eating late at night is detrimental to your health. Over the course of my studies I have read several articles from both sides of the argument and in the end, one must act according to what feels right to them based on their knowledge, experience and intuition. If you feel eating late at night is good for you, go for it.

Ancient cultures, in addition to Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine support the theory and know that our bodies have natural rhythms, and metabolic cycles where digestion has peak efficiency times and when it does not; night is naturally the time for our bodies to rest, cleanse and heal, not working overtime to digest a late night meal or snack.

As for muffins they most certainly can be a healthy snack, and not necessarily full of sugar and fat. I make delicious sugar, dairy and gluten free fruit muffins, and there are plenty of relatively healthy muffins sold in cafes today - which are certainly preferable to snacking on a donut or sausage roll, and offer some variety from straight fruit and vegetables.
by Clare DeVille (score: 2|293) 3404 days ago
This article is full of fairly sensible advice but you need to factor in the fact that we are usually tireder in the winter which is a normal response for all us members of the animal kingdom and that the colds and flu bugs leave us with even less energy. A bit more about superfoods and building immune systems would also be good. Also the amount of calories we consume is what causes weight gain not when we eat them. Your point should be that our system needs to rest and repair not do a major digest late at night. I wonder if the lemon water at night aids digestion. Does anyone know?
by KAM57 (score: 1|68) 3343 days ago
Hi Clare,
I only saw the one article so I based my response on what I read. As to catching the flu etc I was only saying that if we catch it we have less energy. I have had a flu for 6 weeks now. One of those linger a bit and then come back and get you twice as hard so I am tired. As to weight of course there are many reasons. Couldn't agree with you more. Thanks for your article and reply. By the way do you know if the lemon juice and water is okay for night as well?
Rgds Kathy
by KAM57 (score: 1|68) 3342 days ago
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