Starting on New Year’s Day, most people go for it by selecting a new diet plan, regularly heading to the gym, and work on transforming their body. Whereas some stick to their diet, others, despite their best intentions, will have a hard time losing weight during the winter and keeping it off. What is helpful for many is going on a low carb diet because it reduces cravings and helps people, even during the winter, stick to their goals. Learn more about the ketogenic diet – a low carb, high-fat diet in the Body Reboot book. Even though it may seem impossible to follow through with health and weight loss goals during the winter doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. Here are some rules to follow to continue to lose weight and maintain positive habits throughout the colder season.
Focus on fats that trim
On the keto diet, you focus on eating fats, and Mind Body Green says that eating healthy fats can lead to losing weight! Even though some people may gain weight during the winter, you don’t have to be one of them. Eat the right fats and not only will your moods improve, but you’ll create healthy habits that’ll also help you lose weight.
Did you know your body needs the right kind of fats to help absorb important nutrients from food as well as lose weight? True story. Healthy fats help your body soak up vitamins A, D and E, and are necessary for a healthy nervous system. That also means when you eat the right fats, your mood is better.
Stock up on a variety of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and the right saturated fats this winter, but avoid hydrogenated and trans fats that lurk in processed foods. Try olives, olive oil, almonds, avocados, salmon, walnuts, anchovies, flax seeds, hemp seeds, grass-fed butter, organic clarified butter, and unrefined coconut oil.
In fact, studies show that eating two tablespoons of unrefined coconut oil, rich in medium-chain-fatty-acids, with meals can boost body temperature and metabolism, helping to avoid the metabolic slow-down associated with winter dieting.
Even though it’s easier said than done to avoid temptation (though, the keto diet can help with that!), Health mentions staying away from comfort foods and instead gravitating toward making healthy food choices. There are many low carb desserts to try, and dark chocolate is a great dessert to eat in moderation as well. If you’re craving something, there’s always a way to make it happen and keep it low carb!
Hot chocolate, creamy soups, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese—'tis the season for comfort foods, which can seem so unfair given you're doing your best to stay hyper-focused on what you “should” be eating. These circumstances can put you in a tough spot, says health and lifestyle coach Sheila Viers. If you're not careful, you may slip into the mindset that all indulgences are “bad,” she explains—and once you start labeling your food choices as “good” and “bad,” every decision becomes a loaded one.
Any time you stray from your rigid eating plan, you might experience guilt or shame, emotions that can trigger the body's stress response, says Viers. And stress only sets you up for more trouble: When you're not feeling your best, it's even harder to stay on track with your goals, she points out.
Instead of sweating over all the dietary “shoulds,” try making food choices that are right for you. “Maybe you plan ahead,” Viers suggests, so you are deciding in advance when you want to indulge (like at the Friday night potluck, for example). Or maybe you choose one small indulgence per day (say, a few squares of high-quality dark chocolate) to satisfy your sweet tooth. “The important thing is that the decision feels good to you.”
Try new activities
Shape recommends increasing your weight loss by trying new activities this winter. HIIT exercises are the best way to optimize your weight loss on keto, but there are other exercises to try as well such as the ones below:
Martial arts, indoor rock walls, and hot yoga are fun ways to move and stay warm. Also try POUND, PiYo, Barre, and other liberating new fitness trends we love!
Walking in the snow is okay too. Cosmopolitan says it’s a great way to burn calories and since it requires extra work that means you hopefully burn extra calories, right? We hope so too!
When you walk on snow (or sand, for that matter), you lose the bouncy boost you'd otherwise benefit from when stepping off a solid surface, which means your legs have to work harder. The deeper the snow, the more difficult it is to lift your legs and put one foot in front of the other. On top of that, there's also the instability of walking on shifty or slippery snow, which requires extra effort too. All of this results in a greater calorie burn than you'd experience on a stable surface, according to a 2007 study that compared the energy output of treadmill walking to treading on varying depths of snow.
Yes, this is also snow related, and even if you’re not in a climate that has snow doesn’t mean you can’t get outdoors too. Reader’s Digest says you should get enough and try winter hiking and other outdoor activities. Don’t let the winter keep you indoors when there’s so much to discover!
Pristine snow covered trees, mountains, and lakes are all good reasons to go for a hike during the winter (along with less-crowded trails and the absence of bugs). While hiking on soft or compact snow requires more effort, it’s also one of the quickest ways to lose weight in cold temperatures. “During winter, you may be hiking on snow or the same trails used by skiers,” says Mike Bracko, a sports physiologist and skating coach. “It’s like walking or running in sand, and it is more difficult, so you are automatically burning more calories.” Hiking on uneven terrain has been shown to burn more calories; add hiking poles and you can burn even more. “Hiking with poles helps with stability and you burn more calories because you are using your arms,” says Bracko. Hiking is also good for your brain, and it can help improve mood, creativity, and memory.
Maintenance is important
If you’re having a hard time losing weight during the winter don’t despair, Daily Burn recommends working on maintaining your weight loss efforts. The goal is to lose weight, but sometimes it can be challenging during the winter. A low carb diet can expedite weight loss, but if you’ve already lost the weight or are more focused on not gaining, here are a few ways to maintain your weight during the winter:
Research has shown that the average person only gains one to two pounds during the holiday season. But while a pound is about the average for his weight management clients, Stoke says, it’s not uncommon for people who are overweight or obese to gain a bit more. It may not seem like much, but once that pound is on your frame, there’s a good chance it stays there permanently, Stokes says. And if that happens every year, then 10 years later, you’re 10 pounds heavier. Stokes suggests creating a plan that you can manage and be happy with until eggnog season is over. If that means your goal is to maintain your weight, be OK with that! If you’re trying to lose weight, know you’ll have to be extra vigilant with your diet and exercise plan.
Don't be afraid of a cold house
What?! You must be thinking “Why on earth would I keep the heater off?” Well, if it’s a comfortable temperature in your home without turning on the heat, why not keep the thermostat at 60 degrees or slightly higher? The reason why it’s okay to keep your place a little bit cooler has its perks — ABC News says it can lead to more weight loss! Better turn off that heat ASAP.
Babies are born with vast amounts of brown fat distributed over their bodies that melts away as they grow, Chawla said. In response to cold, adults may make another kind of brown fat, known as “beige brown fat,” that has been shown to reverse obesity in mice.
“Most of us are not under much thermal stress, which means brown fat production has basically been turned off in our bodies,” he said.
Using the cold to lose weight without exercise is theoretically possible by ratcheting down the thermostat to the point where you feel chilly all the time, Chawla said.
A Japanese study published last year showed subjects who donned hospital gowns and spent several hours a day in a 61-degree room lost about a pound in six weeks. Keep up this routine over the course of the year and you would expect to drop about 15 pounds without setting foot in the gym, Chawla said.
The cold weather is no fun, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on losing weight! Kick the cold weather to the curb and come up with ways to stay active and stick to healthy eating habits. The Body Reboot book can help with this too; learn what can help you to lose weight, even during the winter. Right NOW you can get a copy of the Body Reboot book if you help us cover the cost of shipping! Check out this page to find out whether we still have any copies remaining.
Sources: Shape, Mind Body Green, Health, Cosmopolitan, Reader’s Digest, Daily Burn, ABC News
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