Ok. Let’s face it. We're in the twilight of Summer. Hell, some even say we're in Autumn. Your tan has faded into the sunset, there’s a Christmas Shop open in Dublin (seriously) and the kids are revving up for school.
To quote Game of Thrones - ‘Winter is coming’.
So does that mean that you have to say goodbye to your summer body? All the hard work leading up to the summer can’t just disappear with the inevitable change in weather? Fear not. We’ve come up with some solid tips to help you maintain your hard earned figure well into Winter and beyond.
1) Beat the Winter blues with consistent activity
Although step counts can be a little arbitrary and sometimes inaccurate, consistent ‘extra’ output is crucial. Is this going to be a major contributor to weight loss during the winter time? Maybe, maybe not. However, it’s a good bet that it will help you maintain all the good work you’ve built up over the summer.
Why do we need to keep activity consistent?
Shorter, not to mention, colder days means that there’s less chance of the same level of activity from the summer to continue. Our weather conditions can be pretty mood altering leaving us with little motivation to get up and get moving.
No more summer strolls late into the day.
No more late park runs.
You’ve got to find an alternative. One that’s manageable and easily repeatable. Check out our post on awesome team sports here to give you some inspiration.
2) Don’t settle for ‘the old Winter’ mindset but if you do…
Why not use the winter to test out some new phases of training. Particularly ones geared toward improving performance, getting stronger or adding a bit more muscle.
During the winter months, we often just drift toward the Christmas holidays without any real plans.
Why not change that this year and set some new goals?
This way, any changes in diet that inevitably happen can go towards something more positive and with more of a long term outcome in mind. Rather than just settling for the idea that the colder months are just for gaining unnecessary weight, make those pounds work to your advantage.
3) Keep on Truckin'
Why deviate too far from the dietary pattern that got you to your goals?
During Winter, we can be guilty of switching out a lot of what we’ve been eating in the previous months. Now, while a lot of this is indeed warranted, maintaining some level of consistency is a must.
The same approach still applies:
- Eat adequate amounts of protein from quality sources
- Still focus on plenty of plant based foods
- Choose carbohydrate sources that are a combination of satiating and enjoyable.
Now if your incorporating a lot more ‘hot meals’ to keep the chill at bay, think about keeping them high protein and nutrient dense.
4) Don’t skimp on sleep
It’s easy to let sleep slide a little during the brighter months of the year. It’s tough to sleep when there are still kids playing outside at 10pm.
However, we need to be careful that those habits don’t creep into the winter months. The National Sleep Foundation does recommend a 7-9 hour per night minimum for adults but that’s not always feasible.
Now, what role does sleep play in staying lean? As a direct cause and effect, probably not much. As a factor to reduce incidences of late night snacking due to perceived feeling of hunger masking fatigue, it can go a long way to staying on course with your goals.
It’s also a powerful recovery tool as well. This is a hugely underplayed aspect of being able to achieve your goals. If you can stay healthy and not pick up injuries or illnesses, you’ll be able to do more of what you want to and love to, more often.
There you have it. No grand gestures and no ideas that aren’t within your reach. Do what you’ve been doing already, stay consistent and reap the benefits.