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7 Tips to Stay Slim Through Winter

Dr Sreedevi Yadavalli

Studies establish that winter weight gain is no myth. Fuelled by our mood to stay indoors, gorge on comfort foods and remain inactive, the body’s metabolism slows down.

We could gain 2-3 kilos of weight in the winter months, throwing our very first New Year resolution out of the window, and then begin the year on a depressing note.

Here’s how you can beat biology and low moods by remaining slim through winter.


1. Get some sun in your workouts

Cold wintry mornings are an excuse to stay in bed longer. But no, get out of bed and catch the morning rays on your body as you workout. Daylight is nature’s best energizer, and what better way to start your day than to catch some sunshine?


2. Lighten up your home

Phototherapy is a good way to combat lethargy and that almost overpowering urge to transform into a couch potato. Bright lights trigger messages to a part of your brain called the hypothalamus, which controls sleep, mood and appetite, and is the best anti-depressant.


3. Keep a food diary

Rather than indulge in comfort food as you snuggle up in front of your television set, prepare a Food Diary especially meant for the winter month. Remember, this is also party time. And coming in the wake of the festival season with the Dussera and Diwali sweets still sitting around your middle, this is certainly nor the best time to gorge on food. So, cut down on overall calorie intake to prepare for the partying.
4. Enjoy soups and salads

Enjoy a hot cup of low cal soup before a meal. Include salads and fruit in your meal, and generally save calories so you can accommodate some of the gooey cake and creamy dessert. Whenever possible, avoid high fat, calorific carbs in favour of low cal, low-GI alternatives including wholegrains, legumes, fruit and vegetables.


5. Drink water
You tend to drink less water in the cold weather. But actually, the extra warm clothing, conditioned office environments and the dry weather can cause some amount of dehydration. Even mild dehydration can slow down body metabolism by as much as 3 %, and this can trigger fatigue. The problem is, our body’s thirst mechanism is so weak that we often mistake thirst for hunger. So, make a conscious effort to drink up, as frequently as you can, and especially whenever you think you are hungry.
6. Sip your hot cuppa sugarless
Swap that hot chocolate for plain tea or coffee without sugar, and preferably without milk too. The cold weather provokes an urge to drink something hot, and not necessarily something sweet or high cal. So satisfy that urge, minus the calories, and you could save up to 400 calories a day that way.
7. Get enough sleep
Studies show that people who get their quota of seven hours of sleep are less likely to be obese than those who sleep for five or fewer hours. Apparently, sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone and decreases levels of a hormone that makes you feel full. The effects may lead to overeating and weight gain. So, the message is: Snooze to Be Lean.

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