7 ways to beat winter weight gain

Compiled list on how to make it this sardi without going up a pant size

Umnia Shahid December 05, 2015

Mom phalli, hot-chocolate lattes and mum’s gaajar ka halwa may well be all the rage this winter but that doesn’t mean you have to fall prey to the piling of the pounds. As compiled from Fox News and Shape magazine, fitness gurus and accredited nutritionists serve up some beef on how to make it this sardi without going up a pant size.

1  Keep nothing off limits

We do realise this rule is counter to most of the advice out there — but for the sensible and intuitive eating approach to work, you have to truly allow yourself to have whatever you want, minus the guilt pangs. “When a food is off-limits, it becomes much more tempting, and if guilt is involved and you do end up eating that food, the ‘whatever, I’ve already had a bite and ruined everything so I’m going to eat the entire party and have a thousand cakes’ mentality appears,” explains dietician Anne Mauney. So, give yourself permission to get pleasure from that comforting paratha roll. Just stop at one, please!

2  Drink hot beverages post-meal

Immediately after eating, follow your meal with garam chai, green tea or coffee (plain with no milk or sugar). Turns out, hot liquids right after meals are proven to prevent or slow fat from congealing in your stomach, making it easier to burn calories — you could use that considering everything is so much more palatable in winter. “The days following big meals are the most dangerous because everything tastes better the next day. Tea, naturally contains fat-fighting compounds that help suppress false appetite,” shares Jay D Dantzler, a trainer with the YG Studios.

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3 Give protein priority

Sodas, simple carb starters and mithaai can all increase your hunger — more so if you have them on an empty stomach. Caroline Cederquist, founder of national diet delivery programme bistro MD reassures, “The trick to still glide into your skinny jeans while still indulging in treats is to always pick on protein first. While dining out, think reshmi kebab instead of heading out to a pizza joint. And aim to have three to four ounces of protein at all meals.” Protein not only fires up your metabolism while helping you build muscle, it also satiates you, making sure you won’t crave your friends’ fries as much!

4 Crush your workout in the mornings

With all those chilly lazy days, winter pounds might creep up and hit you quicker than Mayweather did Pacquiao. So its best to pre-plan our workouts and get done with them earlier in the day. Around winter vacay time, it’s best to move away from traditional strength and conditioning workouts and instead, focus more on high-intensity workouts. It’s a super calorie-burner; gets your heart rate up and raise metabolism drastically — elevating your metabolic rate is the key to burning body fat. “And if you get those workouts in as early as possible, you’ll continue to burn fat far into your day,” claims fitness trainer Troy Brooks.

5  Its cold, you skipped the gym — but do something

When it comes to working out when its cold, a lot of us simply lose motivation. And, that’s okay. But that doesn’t mean you befriend the couch till the heat wave returns. Just be active in whatever miniscule way you can. There may not be a gym. You may not have a car. You may be out of city for the weekend. There are a thousand excuses during this season but know that none of these excuses will change your body. So, ditch the excuses and go for push-ups right before breakfast, sit-ups during advertisements, squats, lunges — all of these things you can almost anywhere and you only need your body. Derek DeGrazio, celebrity trainer and managing partner of Barry’s Bootcamp Miami Beach suggests you incorporate full body movements such as the plank and push-ups daily — which in fact would take you less than seven minutes. A fat-scorching routine that takes seven minutes — I’m game.

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6  Pop something minty

One no-fail go-to trick is to keep gum or mints in your pocket whether you’re heading to a holiday get-together that will have lots of indulgent hors d’oeuvres or to grandma’s larger-than-life meal. “Popping something minty into your mouth will alleviate the urge for second helpings and will keep you from mindless munching,” explains Joey Gonzalez, celebrity trainer and CEO of Barry’s Bootcamp.

7  Show gratitude

Before you eat really take a look at the meal in front of you and give thanks. Be grateful. This peaceful practice will help keep you aware of what you choose to eat, or not to eat, while blessing your food with motivation. If you feel guilty, stressed or anxious about eating a piece of barfi, you are feeding your body with that negative energy. “Stop counting calories and simply practice mindfulness; this will lead to more intuitive eating alongside keeping you motivated and on track,” asserts yoga guru Sharon Aluma, creator of Organic Vinyasa Yoga.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2015.

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