Kale & Co. Nutritionist Julie Meek gives us 4 tips on how to keep winter weight at bay.-----
Last weekend I found myself drawn to a glossy cooking magazine bursting with delicious pies, slow cooked casseroles and soups. After flicking through the pages and gazing hungrily at the larger than life images, I realized that what I was actually looking for was something to warm me up. With winter on the horizon, temperatures dropping and the rain becoming a more regular feature, it is almost a natural instinct to look for food that is going to going to be both comforting and warming. The downside of this slippery slide over winter is the tendency to eat not just more food but food that has a higher energy or calorie content. This often comes from creamy sauces, gravies, pastry and pie fillings and stodgier types of food. And then the result is the 2-3 kg of extra weight that gets us over the colder months!
Good news ahead though, there is a way to make winter a time to reset your body and emerge with one that screams summer here I am!
So how can we do it?
1. Eat a warming breakfast – eating breakfast will not only get your metabolism buzzing on cold mornings and keep you fuller for longer but will ensure your brain is raring to go when you arrive at work. Our picks are; Sweet Potato Hash Brown with poached eggs, warmed Turmeric Blueberry Breakfast Muffin and Banana Tahini Nut Butter Toast, because that is what we are whipping up right now!
2. Despite the fact that it is getting cold outside, at this time of year we are more prone to becoming dehydrated either from not drinking enough water or drinking too much of the caffeinated kind and sitting in air-conditioned environments. End result of this is a lack of energy and fatigue, dry and dull skin, headache and loss of focus and concentration. Ways that you can bump up the liquids include:
Drink hot water with a slice of lemon or lime instead of cold
Add some herbal teas like lemon and ginger, fruit salad, green and chamomile into your drinking repertoire for a change from regular tea and coffee
Add some hydrating juices like beet and ginger, all things green or basil, spinach and apple into your day – it is often easier to drink more fluid with flavour variation
Swap in some soup for lunch instead of sandwiches – they are a great way to bump up fluid and squeeze in a ton of vegetables at the same time
3. Embrace the cold - Shivering can burn around 100 calories in 15 minutes. Those cool winter morning exercise sessions might seem hard to get started but are all worth it! Your muscles secrete a hormone called irisin that stimulates heat production from white and brown fat cells stored in the body, so when you shiver, you burn extra carbohydrates and fats.
4. Phone a friend - I love to exercise and while I invest time to do this on a daily basis, I also know that I am not great left to my own devices. I know that for my exercise routine to run smoothly and without incident, I need to have a weekly schedule of exercise sessions locked in and matched up with a buddy. Rachel, Belinda, Karin and Dave all have a special place in my week and they enable me to improve my fitness (hopefully I am doing the same for them too). Having an exercise buddy means increased motivation, faster progression (especially if they are faster or fitter than you), increased experimentation and knowledge, new and enhanced friendships and a good dose of fun.
The best bodies are made in winter – are you ready to get cracking?