Gorging on mooli ka paranthas topped with butter, relishing aloo ki tikkis, hogging on paalak ke pakoras — winter delicacies are very hard to resist, but super fattening at the same time. To make things worse for you, the chill in the air makes your appetite work overtime, and you end up piling up unwanted fat. The cold outside also makes you lazy, you skip on your workout routine and stay indoors most of the time, which speeds up weight gain.
“There is endless partying, drinking and binging in winter. Plus, winter food by nature is heavier and loaded with calories. Also, you store more fat during winter because your body needs to maintain a steady temperature to function properly,” says Vesna Jacob, fitness expert. Here are some easy tips from fitness experts to shed all the winter fat without much sweat.
Don’t forget to have water
No matter what the season, your body needs water. We keep ourselves covered in layers of clothes and resort to heaters to maintain out body temperature. The artificial hot environment causes dehydration in our body. Drink eight glasses of water a day to help your body maintain its fluid balance and keep your skin rejuvenate tea-coffee intake.
Be wise, and don’t skimp on your exercise
“You don’t have to go outdoors and brave the cold. A quick workout at home will keep you warm and melt the instant fat that you have gained,” says Prachi Agarwal, nutritionist. Going out once in a while isn’t a bad idea either. “Go for a walk or a jog in the park. Do some yoga and stretching in the open to get some fresh air. Trekking is a good sport for winters. All this will burn extra calories,” says Vesna Jacob, fitness expert.
Never party hungry
We are Delhiites and we love to party, especially during the winters, with bonfire and hot finger-food. More often than not, we forget to eat properly which is not good for our body. “If you go to a party famished, you’re much more likely to pile up your plate. Eat well before partying, so that you don’t indulge in overeating. Hogging on party snacks, which are usually spicy and oily, is a complete no-no for a healthy body,” says Tripti.
Go for seasonal vegetables and fruits
“Winter is a season during which we can get some of the healthiest vegetables and yummiest fruits. Eating at least three helpings of fresh fruit will not only give you optimum nutrition but help you boost your immunity all through the season,” says Prachi. Not only is it a healthy option, it also comes cheap, is tastier and high on nutritional value.
Treat yourself once a week
Summer will be back in some time, making it impossible to hide the extra kilos you have piled on. Keeping yourself motivated to maintain your weight is very important. Stick to a healthy lifestyle and reward yourself with your favourite meal once a week. You can indulge in gajar ka halwa or a gulab-jamun once a week, but don’t do it everyday.
Rich isn't healthy
“We eat calorie-loaded food like naans, paranthas, jaggery, Indian sweets with seasame seeds etc. in winters to keep the body warm. It only makes you gain more weight than actually keeping you warm,” says Prachi Agarwal. “Have lean protein diet rather than high-fat products. For breakfast, go for low-fat milk instead of water in your oatmeal, and sprinkle nuts on top. Or make a vegetable omelette with one whole egg or two-three egg whites. Eat plenty of beans, fish and skinless chicken breasts,” says Tripti Tandon, nutritionist.
Go easy on alcohol
Beer lovers and rum fans need to take it slow. We drink more in winters to keep our body warm (of course, there are other reasons, too). Alcohol is one of the main contributing factors to the winter belly. “When you drink, your metabolism slows down. The body immediately puts its fat burning function on hold, and starts to metabolise alcohol to get rid of it from the body. So, take note and drink responsibly,” says Tripti.
Cook smart in winter
You can savour all the winter delicacies, but there’s a trick. Eat smartly. “We can avoid putting extra kilos by keeping a check on the ingredients we are using. Fulfill your love for paranthas by going for paalak or methi stuffing and use olive oil. It’s healthy and delicious, too. Also, instead of tawa paranthas, have tandoor parantha, which can be made on electric tandoors. Mix flour with besan or makki ka atta as it keeps a check on the calories consumed. Fried pakoras, though tastier, are definitely fattening. Try a healthier option — go for grilled or barbequed mushroom, paneer, soya, etc. In winters, you can relish food items like adraki shorba (Tangy Ginger Soup) over tea and coffee. It increases immunity and helps beat the winter chill,” says Chef Ram Sajwa, Hadippa.