(NewsUSA) – In winter, it seems like life slows down in a variety of ways. Maybe that’s because we need a break after the busy holiday season or because we have a natural urge to “hibernate” when the days are short and the weather outside is cold. But the truth is, the best time to get started on your weight loss goals is now so you stay on track all year round.
The good news: you can enjoy the comfort foods that make you feel cozy when the weather outside is frightful AND still lose weight. Courtney McCormick, MPH, RDN, LDN, Manager, Clinical Research & Nutrition at Nutrisystem, offers these tips to serve as a guide for winter weight loss.
Focus on Protein: Protein is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and a key to weight loss. “Protein helps with satiety and by including some protein at each meal and snack occasion, it can help you to stay full longer and may help prevent hunger and cravings,” says McCormick. Look for meals high in protein, which include up to 30 grams in each meal.
Fuel Your Winter Workouts: Exercising outdoors in winter can be invigorating and even fun. Brisk walking will warm you up quickly. Shoveling snow not only heats you up, but it also works your cardiovascular system (heart and lungs), tones your muscles and burns more than 200 calories in a half hour (average for a 155-pound person).
Don’t Go At It Alone: Achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself is so much easier when you have a support system. The best people to have on your team when you’re trying to lose excess weight are those who sit down at daily meals with you. Even better, your chances of reaching and maintaining your weight-loss goal increase dramatically if another person in your household joins you on the journey.
Power Up on Nutrients: Winter conditions can put extra stress on our bodies, so we need a steady supply of the essential nutrients to stay healthy and strong. Vitamin D plays a key role in metabolism, but we need exposure to sunlight for our bodies to produce it. Vitamin C gives our immune systems a potent boost, which is especially important during the cold and flu season. Look for foods that are rich in these vitamins such as salmon or milk for Vitamin D and broccoli, strawberries and kiwi for Vitamin C.
Remember, your weight loss goals are more than achievable this winter if you are geared with the right tips, tricks and tools.