Why do we allow ourselves to over indulge over holiday times and how can we reverse this extras weight we have put on?
Some people are particularly susceptible to light deprivation, caused by the decrease in daylight hours during the winter. This affects the neurochemical serotonin, responsible for your mood and appetite, prompting increased food cravings and winter weight gain.
When it’s cold outside, we’re less physically active and cut back on subtle calorie-burning activities such as short walks and light outdoor chores. These caloric expenditures may only add up to about 100 calories per day, but this translates into a 3-4 pound weight gain (or more) during the winter months.
What to do to both improve your mood and curb your cravings?
Increase exposure to sunlight
Get some extra layers on and get outside to reverse the symptoms of light deprivation. You’ll feel refreshed and less bored, and your appetite should be more controllable. The amount of needed daylight varies for each individual. In general, the more the better.
One hour daily in the morning, ideally at sunrise, is most helpful. If you’re not an early bird, several hours on the weekends may help make up for a lack of sun during the week.
Up your Physical Activity level
During exercise your brain releases feel-good chemicals, called endorphins into your body. These chemicals reduce pain, increase feelings of well-being and elevate your mood. If you’re regularly active, these benefits multiply.
A good training session with your trainer (like me J ) or even something as simple as a brisk 30-minute walk just three to four times a week relieves major depression just as effectively as an antidepressant in most people.
Increase your intake of a colourful array of fruits and vegetables
These low-Cal but filling fibrous carbohydrates increase serotonin production, helping to regulate mood and appetite. They also help you to feel more satisfied for fewer calories, adding them to a meal could save you at least 100 calories (translating to 4 – 5 pounds during the colder months
Try to sleep at an appropriate time
Going to bed between 10 – 11pm will allow your body to recover from the days stresses you’ve had but also it starts to do something amazing!
It starts to release a Hormone called Growth Hormone which is responsible for increasing healthy youthful muscle and keeping your body fat low, not getting enough sleep can stress out your body and actually add fat onto you!!
As stress is a prime source of fat storage keeping the body as stress free as possible can help keep you both mentally and physically healthy.
Add Extra Vitamins to your daily diet
As we all know Sunlight is our big source of Vit D intake, Vit d differs from other essential vitamins because our own bodies can manufacture it with sunlight exposure.
The main function of vitamin D is to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our bones and aid in cell to cell communication throughout the body, it also aids the immune system and also great for asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, conditions that flair up over the Winter months!
Be wary of “open bar” situations
Drinking alcohol packs a triple punch when it comes to interfering with weight loss. Besides having empty calories, alcohol can stimulate appetite and lowers inhibition so you’re more likely to eat fried, fatty, salty foods you normally wouldn’t touch.
I normally recommend my clients to try to avoid alcohol at parties if they can, or, if they know they’re going to have a drink or two, not to do it on an empty stomach.
When we’re super-hungry it’s hard to think clearly and forgo indulgent foods and high calorie drinks. Skipping meals throughout the day to save yourself calories for drinking usually backfires and leads to overeating, so pre-plan the number of drinks you’ll have and deduct those calories from your daily total.
Recommit to your initial goals
Passing on treats day in and day out gets old (and exhausting). To stay motivated, remind yourself of why you wanted to follow a healthy eating plan in the in the first place, for my clients it’s usually connected to wanting to feel better, improve confidence, reverse health problems, and more.
“A lot of clients I see have motivation-related issues. Write those reasons you started this healthy initiative down and carry them with you on a sticky note or put them in a digital calendar with a daily pop-up message that says something like, ‘I’m eating this way because I want to feel better and lose weight.’”
Seeing reminders daily helps motivation!!
Try to leave your main indulging to 1 day during the weekend if possible. Eating lean and healthy during the week has many health benefits BUT leaving your naughty meal until the end of the week can be quite beneficial..
Eating a heavier meal with loads of calories and sugars can shock your system and your body goes into over drive to burn it off, releasing more Growth hormone to burn off!! So… Leaving it to once per week will not really have the detrimental effect on your system and total body composition..