During the winter months, packing on a few extra pounds is way too easy. The cold, dreary weather can make getting out for some exercise much less appealing, and those who catch the wintertime blues often resort to snacks and libations to keep the doldrums at bay. Of course, the fact that many holiday celebrations involve a deadly combination of sweet treats and booze doesn’t help.
If you’re sick of watching your weight creep up when the temperature falls, what can you do to stay slim during the winter?
Winterize Your Workout
It’s undeniable that brisk winter weather can throw cold water on your fitness regimen, but you don’t have to let that happen. In temperate parts of the country, continuing your outdoor workout routine is as simple as purchasing the right gear.
For example, if you love cycling during warmer months, just purchase some rain gear and keep pedaling through the winter. Well, maybe not all the way through winter. If you’ve ever tried riding a road bike through snow, you know that it’s not always cycling weather. But you could get one of those indoor trainer stands that allow you to use your existing bike as a stationary bike, and catch up on your favorite series while you pedal your way to winter fitness. Problem solved.
Even if you live in a part of the country where winter weather makes your usual workout routine impossible, you still have options. When the roads are frozen, ice skate to work. Snowed in? Take up cross-country skiing. Or join a gym, yoga class, or martial arts dojo.
Not only will exercising through the winter burn off those extra calories, it will also lift your spirits, so you’ll be less likely to end up crying into a half-empty gallon of candy cane ice cream.
Eat Hearty and Healthy
There’s nothing wrong with winter comfort food, as long as you don’t let it get out of hand. One way to keep winter calories down and still feel that stick-to-your-ribs satisfaction is to opt for healthier choices.
Instead of pasta, go for spaghetti squash. Switch out fatty casseroles for hearty, veggie-rich stews. Instead of buttery croissants, opt for whole-wheat English muffins. Instead of apple crisp, make yourself a baked apple with cinnamon.
Of course, there are times when no substitute for your holiday favorites will do. It’s okay to indulge a little bit, but watch those portions. Go for half a slice of grandma’s apple pie, and don’t beat yourself up over it. You can’t be like, “I had a piece of pie, so my winter diet is ruined! Screw it! I’m going to have another piece of pie.” Pie is a slippery slope. Try not to get caught in a downward spiral.
[Photo Credit: brookemarrone]