If you are interested how to lose weight in winter, you may be among those 95% of people who actually tend to gain weight during the cold season. I am among them. We all spend a cosy winter and by April, we are desperate about the beach season we are totally “not ready” for! Right.
In winter cold, all that is needed is hot meal, hot tea with a cinnamon bun, and not going anywhere.
The very idea of going out to the gym, undress there (br-r-r-r-r!), try to warm up, and then go back home is terrifying. The idea of eating carrots and apples for the sake of weight loss just makes the stomach cower.
We blame our lack of willpower, but it has nothing to do with weight loss. There are reasons why the body tends to gain weight in cold season.
Why It Is Hard to Lose Weight in Winter
Because evolutionally, we are animals and we are programmed for surviving the winter in the first place. Nature doesn’t give a f**k about our beauty standards, it wants us to live and be comfortable. So if we do nothing and just follow our natural desires, we gain weight in winter by eating more, eating hot fatty and sweet foods, staying in warmth and moving less.
In a popular meme, a wolf watches a man jogging in the forest and thinks: “What are you doing, top predator? Are you chasing a prey? You must save energy!”
So, if we follow our instincts, we save energy and gain weight in winter by eating more and moving less.
Consequently, when we want to lose weight in winter (or at least prevent gaining it!), we think we have to move more and – oh no! – eat less.
Lose Weight in Winter or Prevent Weight Gain?
To make the task more comfortable psychologically, let’s agree that it is easier to prevent weight gain, than to lose weight in winter. If you do take the steps recommended, you are most likely not to gain excessive weight in winter; if you take things a bit further, you will lose weight in winter. But please do not be too hard on yourself immediately, because it will cause a lot of emotional discomfort.
Comfort during the weight loss is guarantee of success.
If you are not comfortable, you just won’t continue, full stop.
So, in any case, preventing weight gain during the winter is your goal #1, losing weight if things go smoothly – goal #2.
Goal #1: How Not To Gain Weight In the First Place
Remember, preventing weight gain is easy.
When you are looking forward to drinking a cup of hot something, examine yourself: are you drinking to warm up, or to have a snack? If you just want to warm up, drink a cup of hot tea, black or herbal or whatever, without milk, sugar, or honey, and without cookies. You will still feel more full, but prevent additional calories to enter the body. If you want to have a snack, either make a heartier drink without cookies, or add cookies to this plain tea. Cocoa with milk and sugar plus cookies with chocolate are not a path to success here.
Drink a cup of hot something either to warm up, or to have a snack; make difference between the two.
When you have a meal, cut on one type of products you feel more comfortable without: you can decrease either carbs, or fats. Different people prefer different options. Most people, let’s be honest, never follow neither low-carb high-fat diet, nor high-carb low-fat diet, they just keep their hand-to-mouth-activity all the time regardless of any dieting rules. So cut what you like less. I as a vegetarian find it easier to cut on fats, especially when cooking hot meals for myself. Some people believe carbs are harmful (they’re not!) and cut on carbs, mostly sweet things. Both ways work fine; you can also switch modes virtually whenever you like.
Cut either on fats or on carbs; both ways work fine. You can also switch modes.
Move during the day. I know how hard it is to force yourself to go to the gym. It is even harder to make yourself work out at home, because you still have to change clothes, try to warm up, and ignore this chocolate bar in the fridge (I keep mine in fridge! Where do you store your chocolate bars?). If you a working in the office, like 9-5 mode, you may lack time for workouts. Therefore, just move. Do anything.
Get up from your chair and go make yourself tea. Go to the restroom, walk along the corridor back and forth. Go for a short 5 minutes walk near the office. Move. Your task is to make the blood flowing a bit faster.
Move. Your task is to make the blood flowing a bit faster.
Breathe deeper. Remember – fats need oxygen to burn. If you spend your whole day in a warm office where 10 people breathe for 8 hours, then jump into the car and go home, you are not likely to get enough fresh air to burn the fats. A fast 15 minutes walk will make the blood flowing, and will bring you back to life. Make sure you breathe deep and steady, you can count steps when you inhale and exhale. My perfect rhythm is four steps inhale, four steps exhale, but this is pretty fast walking, so look for your own tempo. If it is very cold outside, wear a scarf over your mouth and nose.
Breathe deeper. Remember – fats need oxygen to burn.
Cutting on fats OR carbs, more movement and breathing will help you balance your calorie intake and burning, and you will not gain weight during winter.
Goal #2. How to Lose Weight In Winter
Basically, you need to do all the same things, but walk another mile (in all meanings) to start losing the accumulated fats.
Drink more often than eat. You have to stay warm, therefore, hot teas are obligatory. But do not chew on something every half an hour. Make eating and drinking for warmth two different activities. If you drink enough warm liquids, do not be afraid to tolerate some small hunger – it will make the body to burn accumulated fats for energy.
Drink more often than eat.
Cut on fats more than on carbs. Our body burns only a specific amount of fats during the day; make sure you provide part of this amount by eating healthy fats, and another part the body should take from its own barns.
Cut on fats more than on carbs
Move and Breathe. If you have an average health, do not be afraid of getting out and walking for about half an hour. Fast walking in winter has several benefits for weight loss. You have to warm your body up, so fats begin to burn faster. You stimulate your cardiovascular system and support functioning of the capillary vessels, which helps to burn fats from all parts of the body, not only legs or arms that move while you walk. Deep breathing brings oxygen to the bloodstream, increasing the speed of burning the fats. Cold air also improves complexion. So put on some warm clothes and go for a winter walk.
Move and Breathe
To lose weight in winter and at the same time keep warm, add spice to your food and drinking. All kinds of pepper and ginger are good in hot meals and will get your blood running faster. Add cinnamon to your coffee, or to your Sunday pies. Ginger tea is one of the best metabolism-stimulating products I have ever seen; if you try ginger tea, you will be 100% warm, and notice that you are becoming slimmer.
To lose weight in winter and stay warm, add spice to your food. Ginger tea is the best drink for winter.
Stimulate blood circulation in skin and underskin tissues. Brush yourself from feet all the way up, legs and thights, belly and back, breast, arms and shoulders with a rough towel, a natural brush, or a natural bath puff. This stimulates your nerves and makes the capillar vessels grow and provide blood to the surface of your skin. Therefore, you are feeling warmer. On the other hand, when you start moving, or working out, these capillar vessels start taking fats from everywhere in your body, not just around the muscles that work.
Stimulate blood circulation in skin and underskin tissues
Winter is coming, so make sure you know how to lose weight in winter, and how to prevent weight gain during the cold season.