To maintain our weight we need to ensure the calories from the food we are consuming is the same as the calories we are burning off.
However, in winter two events may occur:
Yummy winter food can mean increased energy consumption
We often choose to eat heavier “comfort” foods during these colder periods. Although everything in moderation is OK - in winter we tend not to eat fresh salads and resort to heavy meat stews with large amounts of carbohydrates, for example, rice and potato.
Cold winter days can reduce your activity resulting in decreased energy output
Shorter days mean that it is often dark and colder in the mornings and late afternoon. When we are snug and warm under our blankets it is often difficult to remember why on earth we would choose to venture out into the cold and dark! We completely understand but remember that exercise will keep you motivated and energised all winter, and that summer is really only just around the corner.
Tips to get you up and out of bed on cold winter mornings
- Stretch in bed before you hop up to push some fresh blood through the arms and legs and joints. Stretch out into a star jump position with legs and arms extended hold for five seconds and repeat three times
- Bend knees and roll them side to side ten times
- Sit up on the edge of the bed and twist to each side for 5 seconds
- Avoid bending forward in the first 30 minutes of rising: the spine is not well lubricated upon getting up and needs this time to get fluid into the vertebrae
Light and water
Open the shades and let the light in or ensure a bright light comes on soon after waking. Splash some cold water straight from the tap onto your face to promote blood flow. This will kick-start your body's internal clock to allow your natural rhythms to start their upcycle for the day.
Dress in layers with some good quality gear as a base layer - not just a cotton t-shirt! There is some great quality training gear now available at most sports or outdoor stores. Get some good socks! Wear some gloves and a hat. You can take them off as you warm up but they will make it much more pleasant as you initially step outside.
A small increase of a quarter of a kilogramme may not seem like much over a week, but over four months that is a four-kilogramme increase (and a whole dress size).
Written by Annette Buckley