Your carb cravings skyrocket when the days get short.
Fix-it trick: Munch on healthy carbs in the afternoon before the sun goes down to stave off a splurge. Winter can trigger cravings for comforting, sweet carbs because diminished sunlight during the season makes serotonin in the brain less active. Too little of this mood-lifting chemical leaves you feeling tired and hungry. Your brain is making you desire carbs because after you eat them, your serotonin level will rise. Put yourself in a good mood during winter's dark days by instead eating low-fat, healthy carbs, such as sweet potatoes, oatmeal with a sprinkle of brown sugar, and cinnamon toast. Because cravings tend to grow stronger as the day goes on, try to eat protein, dairy products, and vegetables for breakfast and lunch. Then have a low-fat carb snack with protein, such as popcorn, soy crackers, or cereal, along with a protein shake in the afternoon. Another slimming strategy that may help put the brakes on binges is to spend at least 20 minutes a day outside or near a bright window to amp up your serotonin,
You're too comfy on the couch to break a sweat.
Fix-it trick: Don't settle on your sofa until you've completed your workout for the day. "It's a motivation killer," Baumgartner says. Change from your work clothes directly into workout wear — skip the pj's! — when you get home. Still can't peel yourself off the cushions? Stash resistance bands under the seat to remind yourself to get moving during commercial breaks. Or try the at-home, no-equipment routine that follows. Do these moves during commercials rather than fast-forwarding and repeat the circuit until your show starts up again.
— 15 squats
— 15 push-ups
— 15 crunches
— 15 seconds of high knees
Your body's chemical switch has flipped to storing more fat.
Fix-it trick: Get your motor running. In cold months your production of ATLPL, a chemical that promotes fat storage, can almost double . But you're not doomed to don fat pants all season Exercise may increase SMLPL, the muscle enzyme that promotes the burning of fat, to offset the pudge-promoting effects of ATLPL. People who are normally physically active are more protected from weight gain. Get in at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days, whether it's Spinning, snowshoeing, or building a snowman.
'Tis the season for big sweaters -- the better to hide your bulges with.
Fix-it trick: Chooser layers that leave a little bit of your silhouette intact. It's no surprise that your comfy cardigan may stealthily up the odds you'll skip your workout, since it keeps soft spots under wraps. The first thing I tell people who are trying to lose weight is to avoid baggy clothing, since you won't be able to see the positive changes in your body. There's also a subconscious association between baggy clothes and lounging. To help break the lazy spell, pick sweaters in bright colours. Mood research suggests that these colors jolt your senses and help energize you.
A snowfall derails your usual outdoor workout.
Fix-it trick: Let it snow! The white stuff increases the calorie burn of each step. For example, a 30-minute moderate walk on an even surface burns 106 calories for the average 140-pound woman. Snowshoeing for the same amount of time more than doubles the burn, to 256 calories. Runners, meanwhile, can safely jog through the season by stealing these get-a-grip strategies from the pros up north, who regularly brave the flakes.
1. Invest in a trail-running shoe for its deeper treads, which provide better traction or a set of winter cleats, such as Yaktrax which slip on over your running sneakers.
2. Listen to your body: Run slower than usual and take shorter strides. If you continue your normal stride length, your calves will be sore the next day, because you tend to claw the ground with your toes to keep your footing.
3. Skip the hills. More falls happen on downhills, because you naturally tend to pick up your pace, making it harder to stop when you hit an icy patch.
Cool Ways to Torch Calories
Try these activities for a half hour of sizzling power.