Spring has arrived and that means summer is not far behind. If you’re looking to shed a little winter weight, you’re not alone. Many people gain weight during the winter months due to increased calorie intake, especially over the holidays. Lower levels of physical activity, increased sedentary behavior, and changes in mental health can contribute to weight gain as well. So if you’re ready for your winter weight to go, we have 5 key strategies to help you spring into shape.
1. You are what you eat
Studies show that if you’re looking to lose weight, eating a balanced diet should be a key part of your program. A healthy diet provides the energy you need to stay active, gives your body the nutrients you need to stay strong and can even help prevent certain illnesses. There are a ton of weight loss diets to choose from, but at the core of most is eating nutrient-dense foods to help with weight loss. Because they are rich in vitamins with very little saturated fat, added sugars and sodium, they will fill you up faster than foods that are low in nutrients. A few nutrient-dense foods to try incorporating into your meals include:
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Whole Grains
- Fat-free milk products
- Lean meats
2. Hydration is key
Water is an easy way to boost your metabolism, so be sure to prioritize hydration. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women. Experts also believe drinking cold water after a good night’s sleep is critical to jumpstarting the body’s metabolic process.
3. How’s your sleep hygiene?
Making sure you get enough sleep is a relatively simple way to ensure you reach your weight loss goals. Lack of sleep is connected to an increase in appetite, metabolic dysregulation, and low energy which can make physical activity challenging. Pay attention to your body and how much sleep you need (everyone is different). Then implement some good sleep hygiene practices such as making sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature. Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, and avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. Many experts also recommend avoiding screen time for 1-2 hours before you plan to hit the hay.
4. Get a move on
Aside from dieting, exercising is one of the best ways to shed extra pounds. Incorporating exercise into your routine for weight loss burns calories, improves your mood, builds stronger bones, and reduces the risk of many chronic diseases. Walking, jogging, cycling, weight training, interval training and yoga are all great ways to make physical activity a part of your weight-loss plan.
5. Change your mind
Weight loss is more than a physical challenge, it’s a mental challenge. Start by setting realistic goals for weight loss. Be specific and break your goals down into actionable steps. You may even want to set smaller goals that will help you reach your ultimate goal. These smaller goals will help you monitor your progress and allow you to celebrate small wins. This is especially important if you are working towards a goal that will take some time. It’s also important to utilize mental strength to stay on track. This could include finding some inspirational quotes that resonate with you, journaling your progress or how good you feel after working out, and reminding yourself that real change takes time, and it doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you don’t stop.
In conclusion, getting back on track after gaining some winter weight can be daunting, but if you set realistic goals and stick with them, you can get there. By making changes, big or small, you will be on the right track to getting ready for summer. Don’t forget that the team at FITNESS PROJECT is always here to encourage, coach and motivate you. Also, track your progress with regular 3D Body Scans and Personal Assessments. You’ve got this!