Most people would agree that winter is not the best time to lose weight. Why? Well, there are a number of reasons. The cold weather serves as a massive temptation to keep indulging in piping hot unhealthy snacks and liquids. Winter clothing gives us an added advantage of hiding fat and unsightly areas of the body.
In fact, most people tend to put on a few extra kilos during this season. However, health experts believe in just the opposite! In fact, they say that winter months are possibly the best time to try to shed a few excess kilos. After all, a hot summer beach body is made in winter!
So if you target the real reasons behind gaining extra weight during this season such as increased consumption of carbohydrate and lower activity levels, losing fat will be much easier!
People tend to consumer more carbohydrates during the winter months due to a psychophysiological factor. Since days get shorter, the body produces less serotonin, a hormone that influences our moods. Lower levels of serotonin float around body and foods comprising of sugar become the sole relieving factor for most people. In fact, it serves as a pleasure giving drug that focuses on the inclination center of brain to make them feel happy.
Experts suggest that it makes sense to start a weight loss program. One of the major reasons is the motivation to look good in summer.
If you are seriously looking forward to lose weight this winter, here are some real smart ways to lose those extra pounds get in shape for summer:
1. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
These are excellent sources of fiber and phytonutrients to keep you feel fuller and more satisfied for a long time. So add broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, cauliflower, and sweet potato in your diet. One of the best ways to have these is in the form of soup. Increased water content will help you feel full for a long time and break-down of food you consume.
2. Soup over Salad
Try choosing soup over salad as a starter. Soups taste yummy in winter, are healthy and fill you up. This means you would end up eating fewer calories overall.
3. Focus on Protein Intake
As a general rule, protein takes longer to break down into energy as compared to simple carbohydrates like rice, pasta etc. Hence, protein has the ability to keep you full for longer. It will also keep your metabolism work faster and better. So try combining vegetables and meat into stews (avoid potatoes) to keep you warm during cold winter months. The concoction will also provide you with enough energy to keep you going for several hours together.
Cold weather makes you shiver. But did you know shivering will help you lose calories? Yes, shiver for 10 to 15 minutes and you will burn calories that you would after an hour’s worth of moderate exercise. This is revealed by a study published in Cell Metabolism, a journal in the year 2014. The act of shivering is precisely muscle contractions, something similar to cranking out bicep curls (an involuntary set) with no concrete effort at all.
This is important. Walk for 30 minutes every day. It burns calories and produces happy hormones, endorphins. These are excellent mood boosters and make up for lack of serotonin in winter. If going outdoors is a problem, adopt the treadmill method.
6. Amino Acids and B-Group Vitamins
The metabolism of energy from fat requires a ready supply of biotin, thiamin and l-carnitine. Whilst these nutrients can be found in a wide variety of foods they are not stored within your body. In order to release the energy from your natural fat stores and kick start your metabolism, make sure your keep your levels of these nutrients topped up regularly.
7. Green Tea and Green Coffee
The antioxidants present in these drinks fight free radicals that weaken your spirits and enhance your weight loss efforts. Catchetins in green tea tend to inhibit pancreatic lipase (PL), an enzyme secreted into the intestine to support dietary fat digestion. It reduces fat intake and boosts thermogenesis or fat metabolism. Green coffee bean extract will reduce uptake and maintenance of levels of blood sugar and carbohydrates respectively in the body. No wonder celebrities such as Demi Moore, J-lo, Katy Perry, and many others have been using green coffee to get in shape.