Warmth, joy, new beginnings and holidays are some words that describe the spirit of winter. But, like every good thing in life, the pleasant nip in the air comes at a price, too. Comfort food, winter blues, holiday treats are some such words that add a few too many kilos to our body weight.
With the wintery chill comes our tendency for gorging on yummy comfort food. Thanks to heavier meals, hard-to-resist hot halwas, skyrocketing alcohol intake from a full calendar of parties, and the cold that interrupts our workout routines, it's easy to fall victim to the dreaded winter weight gain.
Don't step on the weighing scale in the New Year to see five kg on top of the 10 you were planning to lose as your resolution. We list some easy steps to beat those weighty woes this winter season.
Nab the culprit
"One of the main reasons behind gaining weight during winter is because of the decrease in our daily movement. That, coupled with the replacement of summer salads and fruits with heavier food explains the weight gain trend," explains nutritionist Mona Goel. Another reason is the falling down of our BMR (basic metabolic rate) due to the low temperature. This leads to a craving for sugary energy-rich desserts. The endless cups of tea and coffee that replace water also send your weight-graph soaring. While upping your water intake is a must to combat dehydration, nutritionist Tripti Tondon also suggests this 'miracle water' recipe that promotes weight loss: Soak two cloves in two glasses of water overnight. Have the strained water first thing in the morning, empty stomach. "This will keep you warm, act as an antacid and flush out toxins from the body," she explains.
Cut the crap
Just because your body is covered up in winter layers doesn't give you the excuse to overeat. "Most of us use this time to skip all exercise and gorge on fatty treats, something we would never do when our bodies are on display," says Goel. Take your measurements every week to analyse changes, and remember, weight is much harder to take off than it is to put on.
Work out a smart plan
A simple mantra for losing weight is to move more and eat less. If you can't drag yourself out of bed for early-morning workouts, move your session to a time later in the day, and stick to it. Another option is to pair up or join a fitness group that makes it difficult for you to bail out. "Moreover, getting some sunlight is crucial to beat the winter gloom. So a lunchtime walk can do wonders to your energy levels and weight," says Goel. Fitness expert Prachi Agarwal dishes out easy-to-do fast-moving cardio exercises that increase your heart rate, raises your body temperature and improves fat burning. Perform the sequence thrice, taking a two-minute break between each rep.
Do a little lunchtime walk (Photo: Shutterstock)
Make the bulges budge
Quick Feet-Toe-Tap: Stand in front of a stepper, and touch the right toe on the platform. Jump up to switch feet mid-air, landing with your left toe on the step. Continue alternating taps as quickly as you can for 45-60 seconds.
Star Jump: Stand with knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms naturally bent on your sides. Bend your knees to get into a squat position and jump vertically as high as you can. Extend your legs and arms fully to your sides at the same time in mid-air to form a star shape. Your arms should point upward at a 45-degree angle away from your head. Bring your arms and legs inward, near your body, as you begin to descend from the jump. Land softly on the ground with your knees bent. Repeat 15-20 times for ­maximum results.
3 Heisman's Exercise: Stand with your feet together and your torso slightly forward. Raise your right knee above your navel. Imagine you are trying to hit your left shoulder with your right kneecap. Jump to your right and land on your right foot. Take two steps to the left. Take two steps to the right and raise your left knee. Jump to your left and land on your left foot. Continue the pattern for 15 reps each side.
Beat winter flab the smart way
* If you love jaggery, go for chana chikki instead of the peanut one
* Bran and Ragi paranthas must replace all that ghee dripping potato-filled stuff in your life
* Boil some homemade vegetable or chicken soup instead of the packed cornflour varieties
* Limit mindless alcohol consumption during winter
* Avoid high-calorie dry fruits like pistachios. Stick to almonds and walnuts
* Ditch the potatoes for mushrooms and beans
* Popcorn sans any butter makes for a healthy snack
* Switch over to antioxidant-rich green tea
* Munch high-fiber fruits like guava and pomegranate
* Pregame your meal with a glass of water, allowing your brain to register fullness
* Satisfy your sweet cravings with fruity rolled oats or baked apple with custard instead of cakes.
Don't let these calorie-high savories sabotage your diet plan and stop you from fitting into that sexy number
* Gajar Ka Halwa (100g) 500 cal
* Beer (350ml) 150 ca
* Mooli Parantha (medium size) 150 cal
* Pistachios (100g) 900 cal
* Peanut Chikki (100g) 300 cal
* Tea (1cup) 50 cal
* Potato Wedges (100g) 250 cal