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Winter binges out, fitness back in: How to get back in shape

The chilly season is on its way out, and hopefully, so are your winter-induced cravings. Here’s how to fight off those kilos you piled on.

health and fitness Updated: Feb 18, 2016 18:57 IST
Snigdha Ahuja
Snigdha Ahuja
Hindustan Times
The chilly season is on its way out, and hopefully, so are your winter-induced cravings. Here’s how to fight off those kilos you piled on.(iStock)

Hot chocolates, cheesy pizzas and all those calorie-laden, make-you-feel-so-good-inside indulgence — that’s what winters are all about, aren’t they? And now that the winters are nearly over save for that nip in the air, it’s time to reach for those summer jackets and tees.

But wait — what about all that weight you put on? We all hate that dreaded transition, don’t we?

Fear not, for it is possible to fight off those kilos and bring your old waistline back. Not to mention those mood shifts and skin ailments that come uninvited with festive sweets and the like.

Did the winter make you put on kilos?

A myth or a fact? Well, a bit of both. While it’s not true that all of us go into binge-eating mode during winter, many do face seasonal weight gain. While the body burns more calories to maintain an optimum temperature, resorting to comfort food to combat the winter blues is also common. Also, when you are feeling that extra pinch of cold, the sugar-laden steaming cuppa hot chocolate pretty much seduces your palate, that extra kick of sugar giving you a temporary heat-high and keeping you warm.

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No sweet thrills

If you are looking for a sweet escape so you can combat the winter weight, here’s a fix. “Sugar equals empty calories — there is no nutritional value you derive from it. Your winter favourite, gajar ka halwa, needs a healthy spin. Go for natural sweeteners like stevia or a paste made of dates. You can even add this to your milk or breakfast cereal,” says nutritionist Kanchan Patwardhan. While a lot of us put all our trust in honey, she suggests that if not consumed in optimum quantities, honey can also cause weight gain.

Attacking the skin

Not only your body, your skin can go for a toss too, thanks to the sugar indulgence. “Go for fresh fruit juices instead of the canned ones. Apart from that, an adequate amount of water and salads with no carbohydrates is also very helpful when it comes to fighting off sugar-borne acne and bloating,” says dermatologist Meghna Gupta.

Why do i feel so hungry? The mind and the body does go into sugar-high mode during the winter season, and binging on comfort food is very common. Many also believe that the body goes into a primitive mode of hybernation where the hunger pangs go up, and the urge to work out physically goes down.

Healthy switch

istock (iStock)

Can’t lose that sweet tooth that you nurtured happily during the winters? Well, there’s always a healthy way to cater to it. Apart from tapping into the goodness of figs and dates, switch your meethi chai with oxidant-rich green tea infused with honey. Also remember to always add fruits to your diet. Many also swear by coconut-derived sugar or organic agave nectar.

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First Published: Feb 18, 2016 11:10 IST