As summer waves us goodbye, many of us find we also wave goodbye to our healthy living methods too. As the cold approaches we are tempted to be less active, eat more energy dense foods and conserve energy like our ancestors of the Stone Age would. Yet, don’t be tempted to fall into the traps our biology sets, to go into hibernation mode. There are methods to fight against our natural hibernation instincts.
Cheat Your Brain
The use of protein can help prevent us from food cravings by increasing our satiety levels, making us feel fuller for longer. This is useful as many of us are tempted to eat calorific comfort foods as the colder days creep towards us. Similarly increasing fibre intake can be beneficial for digestive health as it is not absorbed by the body. There are 2 types of fibre; soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre absorbs water and forms a gel (hence why satiety is increased) whereas insoluble fibre passed through the body.
Add variety into your diet by eating fresh fruit and vegetables seasonally. Eating seasonally supports your local community, provides fresh produce, provides a whole load of nutrients and saves money compared to buying off season. Additionally, you are also provided with a broader range of nutrients in your diet.
When it’s cold and dark the idea of going out for a run, getting ready to go gym or the thought of any form of physical activity can be unappealing. Try and keep yourself motivated to continue the exercise; it will help keep you warm on a cold winter’s day and will get you in shape for spring/summer. If your energy levels are low try taking a multivitamin or pre-workout to get you through the slouchy season.
Avoid Extra Calories
If you drink hot drinks as most people tend to in the winter, avoid added sugars. Replace with alternatives such as xylitol or stevia. Use sweet fruits in cooking instead of sugar such as pineapple. Replace saturated fats with healthier alternatives such as coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil and fish oils. When attending parties remember, everything in moderation!
Make It Fun
Lastly, and most importantly whatever you do whether it is cooking or exercising make it fun for you, if you enjoy what you do you are more likely to continue with it.