Winter Survival Plan
Many of us tend to gain weight during the winter months. We can compare winter to preparing for hibernation as in eating and sleeping more to get through the blistery winter weather. We aren’t bears and don’t get to crawl into a warm hiding place and sleep the fat away. LOL! It doesn’t work that way for us.
In our sedentary society today, more than half of all adults are overweight with factors that accelerate weight gain (or regain) is a common concern. Extra pounds acquired over the winter months may stay on year after year with a few bonus pounds added each year. This gained weight can contribute to health issues such as becoming overweight, morbid obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease among others.
People gain weight during the winter for various reasons. If you have a propensity to gain weight during the winter (and holidays), then it is important for you to figure out what factors play into this tendency, and plan by becoming proactive. Simple and small changes in your behavior can have enormous health benefits. Become aware and develop a plan of action to combat winter weight gain.
The holidays and cold winter weather can mean less time and opportunity to exercise, more treats, and alcohol and stress that trigger overeating. Among the holiday recipes, this combination of factors is a definite recipe for weight gain. If your weight gain tends to come during the holiday season, consider making a holiday survival plan.
Be proactive by creating a plan for staying active. Think about factors that have made exercise during the holiday season difficult in the past. Try to come up with some creative solutions to these barriers, then schedule them into your calendar the same way you schedule parties, meetings and family gatherings.
Second, if the holidays create excess stress for you, think of ways to reduce it. Exercise is the best stress-reducer around, and stress reduction is one of the best reasons to stay active, no matter what the season may be. Also important are getting enough sleep, focusing on your priorities and eliminating low-priority activities if you are too busy. Make time for those activities that give the holidays meaning, and that provide pleasure and opportunities to be with people you enjoy.
Third, eat defensively. You’ve heard of defensive driving? Eat defensively as well. Include occasional small portions of holiday treats that you really love, but balance this by eating healthfully and on track at other meals. Avoid grazing just because “it’s there.”
Winter can cause a decline in physical activity, as shorter days and inclement weather can limit exercise options. If winter weather creates exercise barriers for you, take a closer look at those barriers and come up with some creative solutions. If early darkness forces you off the streets, how about some indoor options? Check out fitness centers and community recreation programs in your area or purchase exercise dvds and move your exercise program indoors.
Are you uncomfortable in cold weather? Buy some warmer clothes and learn how to dress for cold weather. If it snows where you live, learn a winter sport. Cross-country skiing, ice skating and snowshoeing are terrific calorie-burners.
You are worth creating your own winter survival plan. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Don’t hibernate but participate in all that winter has to offer. Create your own way and in the Spring, you’ll be springing with joy and very glad you did. Hibernation is for bears, not us.
Believe In Yourself,
Certified Life Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Coach
Certified Back On Track Facilitator