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How not to bulk up over winter

Winter is just a month or two away and that means 'comfort' food. When it's cold we tend to crave hot, stodgy foods that make us feel full and warm, but unfortunately these foods are normally the ones that fill us up in other ways!

 

Drink plenty of water

During the colder months we tend to forgo a cold bottle of water and opt for warm drinks instead. As a healthier alternative, consider adding a slice of lemon to hot water for a drink that is refreshing and good for cleansing the system.

While it sounds like hearing a broken record over and over, drinking a minimum of 8 cups of water does allow your body to function at peak levels.

The polyphenols, specifically EGCG, in green tea have properties that rev up your metabolic rate. However, green tea takes dedication. You have to drink about 4-5 cups a day to see results.

Up your daily dose

If you don't already supplement with calcium and vitamin C - you should. Vitamin C is known for its benefits in boosting your body when colds and flu want to drive you to bed, and this vitamin assists in helping the body to absorb Calcium.

Current research shows that people who have a high calcium diet are less prone to weight problems. A dip in calcium levels in the body trigger the release of hormones that cause the body to hold onto fat.

Calcium from dairy products seems to have more of an impact than calcium from dietary supplements, so increase your calcium levels with low-fat dairy, cheese and yoghurt.

Fun in the sun

Brave the cold for a brisk walk around the block every day. Not only will your body benefit from soak up some sun, you'll be exercising at the same time. The colder it is the better because cardio exercise in the cold can increase the ability of brown adipose tissue (fat) in the body to work at maximum capacity. Recent findings indicate that brown fat steals calories from normal fat and burns it.

Sit and burn

We tend to become more sedentary during the winter months and hibernate in our warm homes and offices. But if you are one of those that does have a change of diet in the colder seasons, make a concerted effort to do more exercise.

Even sitting at your desk and doing a few shoulder rolls and leg lifts at intervals throughout the day will burn up unwanted calories.

While you're at it, did you know that stress raises the amount of cortisol in your body.

Cortisol supresses the immune system and too much cortisol in the system reduces fat and carbohydrate metabolism. So, if exercise is not your thing, try yoga or meditation as ways to lower stress levels and clear your mind.

Stay fit with DIY

You know I just had to squeeze this in somewhere! Taking up an active hobby or pastime during the winter months keeps you active and alert. Think of this as a great time to catch up on things that need to be fixed around the home, or the best time to try out your new tools.

Instead of bulking up with weights, grab a drill/driver or jigsaw and work out while you work.

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