One of the difficulties with post-holiday weight gain is that it happens to come about in the middle of winter. This is not an inspiring time to get out and move. The weather is often cold and wet, and the mornings and evenings are dark. It’s tempting just to hibernate and wait until spring to get in shape.
The trouble is that excess weight may get harder to lose the longer it’s on, and you might get used to it. So take advantage of the timing – it may be the middle of winter, but it’s a new year, and that’s a good time for a healthy weight loss program. Here are some tips for burning off that holiday weight.
Choose Your Exercise
During the winter, you may have to be more deliberate about exercising, but that doesn’t make it less important. If you can’t get outside for your usual walk or jog, try some of these options instead:
* Use a mini-trampoline, the sort that is only about three feet across, to jog in place. It’s easy on the joints, and the mini trampoline can be stored fairly easily. Some of these trampolines come with upper-body workout attachments and timers to track your progress.
* Take to the stairs! If you live in a ranch-style house, this may not be practical. But for those who have access to indoor stairs, you can design a workout around running up and down them. If you don’t have stairs, you can use blocks to mimic steps and do your workout accordingly. In fact, you can find videos online and in stores to help you design a stair-based workout.
* Spice up your meals with low-calorie, high-flavor foods. Think salsas and spicy peppers, and condiments like Dijon mustard and horseradish. Use these flavorful condiments as replacements for higher-calorie, higher-fat items like mayonnaise or cheese. Also, spicy foods may mean you’ll eat less, and studies have shown that some piquant condiments – mustard in particular – actually boost metabolism.
* Freeze leftovers, preferably in the basement in a deep freezer. No one likes to be tempted, but if you put all that holiday candy, fudge, cake, pie, casseroles, etc. in the freezer, it might well be out of sight and out of mind. And if you have to go down into a basement or out to the garage to get it, you may think twice before indulging that craving.
Another perk of freezing your leftovers is that you can dip into them slowly and carefully over the following months, making sure to share with friends and family. They can also make great “emergency meals” months down the road, when one fattening meal won’t set you back from your main goals. Speaking of goals…
* Sources say that making lots of little resolutions instead of one big one are best for weight loss goals. See if you can put together weekly goals that challenge you, but that still are reachable. You don’t want to get discouraged.