7 Tips to Stop Sluggish Winter Weight Gain

January 14, 2015 Updated: March 8, 2016
Your body naturally craves more food in the winter. The problem is, we end up overeating by indulging in snacks between meals in an attempt to nourish our stressed bodies. Not to mention, when it’s cold out it’s harder to be physically active.

Adding Extra Food + Less Physical Activity = Health Challenges and Weight Gain

Many of us notice an increase in problems like dry skin, body pains, lethargy, coughs, flues and even depression. We need a seasonal way of looking after our bodies to maintain good health.

Winter makes our daily environment very dry and cold. We can counteract these qualities with specific foods and activities. Many of us aren’t used to this approach to health since they come from the Ayurveda and Chinese health systems. Remember though, that a major portion of the world’s population maintained high levels of health for thousands of years with the help of these principles.

7 Tips to Balance Out the Dry and Cold Winter

1. Include gluten-free grains in your diet regularly.
In the winter, we need sustained energy from the food we eat. Grains are a great way to get it. These ‘smart’ carbs and include quinoa, barley, buckwheat, and millet. They are full of nutrients and don’t clog your sensitive winter digestive system.

2. Include beans and legumes in your diet.
Beans provide sustained energy during winter. Beans are called a “poor man’s meat” because they provide the protein and strength of meat products at a fraction of the cost. But, they are really a healthy man’s meat since they are so nourishing. Health Magazine even calls lentils one of the healthiest foods.

Hot Pot (Shutterstock*)
Hot Pot (Shutterstock*)

 

3. Eat hot, moisture-rich meals
Eating a hot meal does wonders for your body during the winter months. Include homemade, nourishing soups and stews into your diet. Avoid raw foods during the winter as much as possible, since these tend to cool the body. You can still eat salads, but if you are like me, you will eat less of them now than you did during the summer.

4. Replace sugary food with fruit
Sugar depresses the immune system — so steer clear of sugar in winter. When you’re craving sugar, eat a piece of fresh fruit. Oranges, full of Vitamin C, are a good choice. It’s best to eat no more than 2-3 pieces of fruit a day since they can be cooling.

5. Take the time to eat
During the winter, it’s ultra important to get an abundance of nutrients. When we chew our food well, we will get more nutrition from that food, than when it is in chunks. The chunks of food create more work for your body at a time when it’s already taxed from the cold. People who eat fast are often heavier than slow eaters, according to research. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send a message to your brain that you have eaten enough. Slow down by chewing each bite at least 10–20 times.

(Shutterstock*)
(Shutterstock*)

6. Move that body
When it is colder outside it is easy to go into couch potato mode. To keep a body healthy and happy we need to move it. This is not about burning calories. Every day take a 15 minute walk outside even when it’s cold. Don’t make walking an option; make it a priority.

Good reasons to get Walking: Tips and Benefits

7. Get enough sleep
Winter tempts us to hibernate. Despite our nap time instincts, it’s healthiest to maintain a solid sleep routine. Your nighttime slumber is when your immune system gets nourished. In winter, this is crucial. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Try a routine, like getting to sleep by 10-11 p.m.

These tips are a simple way to keep healthy during this cold season.  Let’s enjoy the winter.  Sleep early, rest well, stay warm and use your energy before you lose it!

This article was originally published on www.Care2.com. Read the original here.
 
*Images of “tangerines“, “Hot Pot” and “runner” via Shutterstock