Although Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on the 2nd and predicted six more weeks of winter, and it seems like this brutal winter will never end, I assure you, warmer weather WILL eventually arrive.
And you know what that means.
The re-emergence of T-shirts, shorts, sleeveless shirts, sundresses and the all-time most dreaded item of clothing known to mankind—bathing suits.
This is especially challenging because so many people pack on a few (or more) extra pounds over the winter, so the first time in those more “unforgiving” clothes isn’t necessarily a welcome sight!
If I’ve even remotely described you, then it’s time to take the bull by the horns and put an end to winter weight gain.
The good news is, it’s not hard to do!
Because there are some sneaky factors at work behind the scenes that have been helping to create more of you to love in those chilly months, and when you know about them, you can in turn DO something about them.
Here are the…
Eight Ways to Blast Winter Blubber
1- Location, location, location
Location may be everything when you’re looking for a house, but it also affects your intake of food.
When you’re eating somewhere other than a dining table and your mind is distracted with other things, it’s VERY easy to eat way too much and not realize it until you see the empty Doritos bag or you’ve polished off enough pasta for four people.
Avoid eating in places where your mind is usually occupied, such as in front of the TV, when you’re driving, when you’re working, when you’re studying, etc. Instead make the time to eat meals at the table with your loved ones as much as possible.
2- Slow down
It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get tipped off that you’ve had enough food.
So if you resemble a Dyson vacuum cleaner when you sit down to eat, chances are excellent that you are eating far more food than you actually need.
Slow down and chew each bite thoroughly. Have a conversation with someone at the table. And put your fork down after every couple of bites.
3- Get your protein
Protein helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied longer than starchy carbohydrates, thereby helping to reduce your likelihood of overeating.
If you don’t believe me, try this little experiment:
One morning have two or three eggs fried in butter for breakfast, and the next day have a bowl of cereal. Compare your level of hunger mid-morning between the two days—I think you’ll see a difference.
Plus protein foods such as red meat provide critical nutrients like iron and vitamin B12. Being low in either of these nutrients can zap your energy, which in turn will affect your motivation to do anything except be a couch potato.
And speaking of movement, that’s #4…
4- Don’t use cold weather as an excuse not to exercise
Never has there been a more extensive list of excuses as those associated with avoiding exercise.
I swear some people would rather eat used cat litter than to work up a sweat, so cold temperatures are commonly used as an exercise cop-out.
Sorry, that doesn’t fly. There are plenty of reasonably-priced gyms (some as low as $10 a month or less!) as well as exercise DVDs you can use in the privacy of your own living room.
Be creative to work in some extra (indoor) exercise. Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work, walk up and down the hallways of your local mall, or do some push-ups, squats or sit-ups when you’re watching TV.
5- Face the music
It’s easy for extra pounds to come creeping on when you’re avoiding the scale like the plague.
Face the music once a week and step on the scale to see where you stand.
If you don’t own a scale, at least slip into a test pair of tight jeans each week to see if you can still zip them without having to lie on the bed.
6- Choose smart comfort foods
Comfort foods like macaroni and cheese, meatloaf and gravy or fettuccini alfredo are OK once in a while, but when you’re craving comfort food, make up a nice soothing batch of soup instead.
Here’s a super easy, wonderfully delicious tomato soup recipe from Great Taste No Pain that’s always a huge hit when I serve it:
Tomato Soup with Basil Serves: 4
- 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried)
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese for garnish (optional)
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and red pepper; cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes or until all ingredients are soft. Add tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the broth, tomato paste, salt, pepper and sugar. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in basil and allow to cool slightly.
Process soup in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return the mixture to the pan and reheat over low heat. Top with fresh basil leaves and grated Parmesan or Romano cheese if desired.
And speaking of Great Taste No Pain, check out the new second edition here:
It’s loaded with new, updated information about eating smart for great health, plus some delicious new recipes for you to try!
In addition, Great Taste No Pain shows you how to pair foods together for more efficient digestion (known as food combining). Good digestion is the key to proper nutrient absorption and elimination of wastes, both of which are crucial in keeping your weight down.
Now, the other part of good digestion is to…
7- Make sure you have the enzymes for the job
Thanks to our typical processed food and fast food diets, many people have expended far more enzymes than Nature ever intended to break down their foods…and as a result, their bodies may eventually have trouble producing what they need.
In addition, using antacids and acid reducers is another enzyme waster. When you cripple your body’s ability to produce stomach acid, your pancreas has to “pick up the slack” and secrete even MORE digestive enzymes to try to compensate for what the stomach didn’t do.
Lastly, unfortunately as we age our body’s ability to produce enzymes diminishes.
But an enzyme supplement like Digestizol Max can also be a huge help with any deficiencies you may have going on.
Its super-potent blend of enzymes targets a broad range of foods, including proteins, carbohydrates, sugars, fats and fibers in your diet.
When you take Digestizol Max with meals, its 14 plant-derived enzymes help break down all of your foods completely, more like Nature intended.
8- Make lower calorie substitutions
Instead of a mug of hot cocoa in front of the fire every night, substitute herbal tea now and then.
At parties and get-togethers, substitute a club soda with lemon or lime for that extra glass of wine or beer.
Gravitate toward crudité platters and go easy on the dip, or choose shrimp with cocktail sauce over the taco dip with tortilla chips.
A little effort on your part can go a long way in keeping those pounds off.
Now that you know some of the behind-the-scenes factors that have been adding to YOUR winter widening, you can stop them dead in their tracks.
And chances are excellent you might not dread putting on that bathing suit this year!
To your health,
PS: Always be sure to let your doctor or healthcare provider know what supplements you are taking.