We all know that winter is a time when a lot of people pack on the pounds. It’s hard not to considering how cold and gloomy it can be for most of the season. In an effort to comfort ourselves from the cold weather and gloom people tend eat a little more of the heavier foods they enjoy. Instead of salads and fruits we’re reaching for creamy soups, thick stews, and delicious casseroles. Now, there is nothing wrong with enjoying these hearty meals, but enjoying them a little too much can lead to an expanded waistline, which can effect your health and future travel plans. Colder temperatures also put the kibosh on plans to run outside or even take a leisurely stroll. During the winter you have to be particularly intentional about working out. So, how can you live healthy in spite of the cold weather?
Eat in Season | Look for vegetables and fruits that are considered “in season”. This might include winter squash like spaghetti or butternut squash, apples, brussels sprouts, and beets. Eating in season not only saves money, but also gives you the chance to save money and try new recipes. Many of these vegetables and fruits are high in fiber and necessary vitamins.
Choose Soup | Eating soup before your actual meal, or turning it into a meal, has been proven to keep you from eating more of the heavier food at the table. Soup also keeps you full longer and, because it’s warm, tends to be particularly satisfying during the cold winter weather.
Eat Smaller Portions of Heavy Food | It’s not that heavy food shouldn’t be eaten. Rather, if you’re planning to eat a heavy meal choose small portions of items as opposed to heaping servings of each option before you. Choosing smaller portions allows you to have your cake and eat it too.
Move | The best form of moving is heading to the gym and engaging in at least 25-30 minutes of cardio, however, if you can’t make it to the gym try doing jumping jacks during commercial breaks or jumping rope. Some movement is better than no movement at all. The important thing is to make sure you’re working your muscles.
Don’t Skip Breakfast | You’ve heard it a thousand times. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast kick starts your metabolism and gives you energy for the day. In a sense it fuels your body’s furnace. If there’s one good habit you choose to establish, eating breakfast should be it. A healthy breakfast should include a combination of complex carbohydrates like oatmeal; fats like olive oil or avocado; and protein like eggs or low fat sausage.
Staying healthy and fit throughout the winter doesn’t have to involve a massive overhaul of your lifestyle. By making simple changes to your routine or eating habits you can live healthy and be ready to take on the travel season with confidence.
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Photo Credit: By Lionel Allorge (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons