Take it from me, it’s easier to bulk up in the winter than to get slimmer. I used to gain 10 or so pounds every winter, fret over them at Easter, and have 8 or so of them gone by Memorial Day. Yes, so each year my weight was creeping up by roughly 2 pounds.s
It only took ten years for the 2 pounds per year to add up to an unacceptable 20 pounds overweight.Ten years after that it was 40 pounds. 20 was unacceptable, but I didn’t get serious about getting rid of the weight until it reached excess 40 pounds.
In the process of losing 40 pounds with Weight Watchers, I learned it was easier to make a few changes to my lifestyle to end the winter weight gain. Here are my winter slimming (or staying slim) strategies.
- Stay active. As much as it seems our natural and mammal instincts tell us to snooze, sleep, and limit entertainment to sedentary activities, it’s important to override the urge.
- There are lots of ways to stay active and have fun outdoors in Maine.
- If you don’t like the cold there are plenty of fun indoor sports, such as pickle ball, basketball, tennis, and the like can be fun when you play with a group of friends whose proficiency is about the same as yours.
- Zumba, yoga and other exercise classes can also be fun.
- If you have a dog consider training and competing in obedience or agility classes.
- Go bowling or dancing or even mall walking.
- Do what you like to reduce the time you spend sitting.
- Eat fruit and vegetables. This bit of advice is tough in the northeast because the fruit and vegetables come from far away. They’re picked before they’re ripe, and much of the time they never do ripen or ripen poorly. Who wants to eat produce that neither has the proper taste, or no taste at all, nor the proper texture?
- The Sunrise Guide is a service of The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA). They compiled a comprehensive list, helping Mainers to eat locally in season. In addition to the seasonal recommendations, be sure to check out the side bar list of 20 Maine-grown and Maine-produced foods that are available year-round.
- Frozen fruit and vegetables are okay, especially when they are processed with no added sugar, salt or fat.
- Set yourself a minimum/ideal daily goal. At least 5 servings of produce and ideally 9 servings. If you want more than 9 servings, that’s okay too. There is no better food to get carried away by eating to much than produce.
- Eat what you love in reduced portions slowly and mindfully.
- Eat meatloaf and mashed potatoes or baked mac and cheese if you love it or pizza or whatever you love.
- Balance fat and calories over the course of several days.
- Reduce your serving sizes and eat it slowly savoring every bite.
- Eat meals at the table without the distraction of TVs or mobile devices.
- Stay hydrated.
- Heated buildings dry you out. Sip water preferably or a low-calorie beverage to stay hydrated. It helps fight fluid retention so you feel less bloaty and fat. Feeling fat can lead to acting fat. Acting fat leads to gaining weight and yeah, getting fat.
- Stash your sweat pants out of reach and wear jeans instead.
- It’s a lot harder to get too big for your jeans if you’re wearing them. Stretchy sweats, on the other hand, don’t let you recognize that you’re gaining inches until you’ve gained enough to stop your jeans from zipping and buttoning.