Winter brings with it the holiday season being Christmas and new year and it's all to easy to over-indulge on those unhealthy processed treats and foodstuffs. At the same time the cold spell means you're reluctant to engage in physical activity as it's tough to find the motivation.
Of course this can lead to you packing on a few extra pounds which you're going to want to lose before spring arrives and the flowers start blossoming again.
So how can you shed those extra pounds before the warm weather returns?
Whilst it may be tempting to go with the latest fad diet if you plan ahead and make a few simple changes to your diet and lifestyle then there's really no need. If you allow enough time after the new year is over then you have ample time to implement a few simple strategies for losing weight naturally and safely.
The following are a few simple tips you can use to help you lose that winter weight gain and get back in shape for spring.
Managing Your Calorie Intake
Calories are the holy grail of weight loss. Burn more calories than you consume and you'll lose some of that excess weight. Strive to consume no more than 1,500 calories a day and burn excess calories through physical activity.
* Do a little extra research as your recommended calories intake will vary dependent on sex, age and even factors such as height.
Manage a Well-Balanced Diet
Incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet and switch white foods to whole grains. Refrain from eating processed, ready-made foods and strive to make your own meals and snacks from freshly sourced ingredients. Remember, always be mindful of calorie intake.
Consume Good Carbs NOT Bad Carbs
Carbohydrates are crucial for energy but there are simple carbs and complex carbs! Avoid simple carbs where possible (found in most processed and white foods) and strive to stock up on complex carbs (found in many fruits, veggies, legumes and grain foods).
Manage Portion Sizes
Managing portion sizes really is a simple and effective weight loss strategy. Don't pile food on the plate just because it's there, reduce your portion sizes and allow time for your food to digest. If you still do feel you need more food intake after then have another small serving.
Water is Your Best Friend
Cut out those sugary processed drinks altogether and drink LOTS of water. Water contains zero calories and is key to efficient cell functioning. Not only will it keep you properly hydrated but it will help you feel fuller without piling on the calories
* Before sitting to consume a meal try drinking a pint of refreshing ice-cold water as this will help you feel fuller and stop you from over-eating.
Get Regular Exercise
The winter months tend to mean we avoid going out. It's cold, miserable and less than inviting outside but that doesn't mean that you cannot engage in physical activity and get some daily exercise. Consider the following tips for staying active during the winter months.
Get Exercise Indoors
You don't need expensive equipment or a spare room to get some exercise at home. You could do a few simple cardio exercises for 15 minutes a day which will go a long way in helping you staying in shape but more importantly you'll be burning excess calories naturally.
* Struggling to find motivation? Consider investing in a few fitness DVD's so you can have your own personal mentor in the comfort of your own home.
Slow and Steady Wins The Race
If you've not been active for a while then warm yourself in slowly, there's really no need to go from one extreme to another in a frantic attempt to lose weight fast.Just 15 minutes a day of exercise is ample, walking alone or even just getting active and doing some chores at home constitutes exercise.
* Work to your own fitness levels and gradually build yourself up to more demanding physical activities and workouts.
Having an accountability partner is a great way to stop you from becoming unmotivated and falling off the bandwagon. This is especially true if you can enlist someone you know who is also driven to lose a few pounds and get in shape for the warm summer months. On those days where you feel like giving it a miss they will hold you accountable and the same is true in reverse.
Set Goals and Track Your Progress
Setting goals in stone is a great way to keep you on track and motivated to follow though on your targets. Don't set unrealistic targets but strive to set targets which mean stepping outside your comfort zone.
For example; losing 1 pound a week is very manageable with a little effort and commitment. Now that might not seem much but it'll be 3 months before the warmer seasons really come to blossom. So that means..
1 pound x 12 weeks = 12 pounds. That's nearly a stone in weight and easily accomplished.
It's likewise important to track your goals. How much weight are you losing day by day. Get a journal or even just a notepad and strive to monitor your progress. As you weigh yourself and note down little changes you'll be more driven and motivated to stay on track.
Wrapping It Up
Remember, everything in moderation - going from one extreme to another is a sure-fire way to fail and lose little weight if any at all. Incorporate a few simple dietary and lifestyle changes and you'll get the beach body you deserve in time for the warmer spring and summer months.
Struggling to lose weight and keep it off?
Learn how you can break through those stubborn diet plateaus and lose weight naturally and safely by applying these 14 simple yet powerful strategies.
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