Many people lose weight in the summer and gain weight more easily in the winter. In the summer, we prefer foods richer in water and fewer calories (such as vegetables), are more active, and live more in the open air. Therefore we consume more calories.
In winter, on the contrary, the cold temperatures push many people to look for “warming” foods rich in calories, sugars, and fats. You go out less because of the cold, rain, etc., significantly reducing your physical activity levels. On the other hand, in both summer and winter, one should respect one’s energy balance, introducing only the calories consumed.
The Line During The Holidays
The holiday season always increases calories, but indulging in a Christmas Eve lunch or New Year’s Eve dinner won’t significantly affect your weight if you regularly follow a balanced diet and exercise. Small fluctuations in weight (plus or minus 1 kg) are not a cause for concern.
- On the other hand, all the winter holidays can be a cause for concern, especially the 15 days of the Christmas holidays.
- Eating, drinking wine and other alcohol in abundance can affect our weight, negatively affecting some aspects of our health and quality of life.
How To Stay Fit During The Holidays
Winter weight gain is mainly related to excessive consumption of calories, often from meals high in fat and sugar, which you unknowingly consume. On the other hand, it is very important to be more aware of food choices in everyday life, because this will help us stay fit during the holidays.
- The advice is a balanced diet; how many calories should you consume daily? Calculate it for free here.
- To help you eat healthy, respecting your needs, your body mass index (BMI), and your characteristics, you can subscribe to the Calories & Health Menu. The program is free: you will receive four personalized and well-balanced nutrient menus and a physical activity plan suited to your abilities and possibilities. Some studies show that prioritizing healthy food choices is associated with less weight gain during the winter.
Ten Tips To Not Gain Weight In Winter
The first and most important rule for keeping fit in the winter months is to eat five meals a day habitually: 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), plus two snacks, one mid-morning and one in the afternoon, which do not add more than 10% of total calories for the day. Even when we are busy, we must still try to respect meal times.
What Not To Do To Gain Weight In Winter
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should provide 20-25% of the calories needed for the whole day. A good breakfast gives you the energy you need to be active with your body and mind; it prevents you from feeling hungry between meals and looking for chocolate or sugar. You will show up hungry at lunch and supper and indulge when you skip it.
- At lunch and dinner, always eat raw or cooked vegetables: salad side dishes, celery, fennel, minestrone, soups, stewed vegetables in the oven, etc. They help to increase the volume of the meal without adding significant calories. Pay attention to seasonings and salt, to be added sparingly. You can give flavor with grated Grana Padano DOP added to pasta, rice, broth, and purées: it’s a good strategy to give taste and nutrients. Grana Padano DOP is a concentrate of milk nutrients but is naturally lactose-free. Don’t forget the precious vegetables of the winter season, such as broccoli, spinach, pumpkin, radicchio, cabbage, etc., excellent sources of vitamins and mineral salts, which help us to support the immune system and fight the cold.
- Alternate the dishes: fish, meat, eggs, legumes, milk, and cheeses must never be lacking, alternately during the week, at lunch and dinner, to guarantee protein requirements. Prefer lean meats (such as chicken, turkey, or veal), freedom with seasonal fish (salmon once a week is useful for the precious omega three fats contained in it), eggs (once a week, egg white is a protein with a high biological value), better-aged cheeses (easier to digest and rich in proteins) such as Grana Padano DOP, which you can also eat as second instead of meat, fish or eggs. This tasty cheese contains many high-biological value proteins, including the nine essential amino acids, important vitamins such as B2 and B12, and antioxidants such as vitamin A, zinc, and selenium. Don’t forget legumes for their vegetable proteins and fibers; you can prepare tasty, unique dishes, such as pasta and beans, rice and peas, pasta and chickpeas, legume soups, pea soups, or recipes typical of your region, such as one of the many typical recipes with legumes and pasta.
- Eat fruit 2-3 times a day, and prefer seasonal fruit, especially citrus fruits, apples, pears, and kiwis in winter, as they are rich in vitamins and fibers. The simple sugars of the day should be those of fresh and seasonal fruit, which you can also consume as a snack.
- Hydrate properly. Usually, we only worry about hydration in the summer, but even during the cold season, the body loses water which must be restored by drinking. Green light for water, herbal teas, infusions or teas, eat lots of vegetables and fruit and follow a more liquid diet (broths, soups, soups, velvety). But be careful with alcoholic beverages: they don’t hydrate, heat up, and bring a lot of calories.
- Eat whole grains: wholemeal bread and pasta help to satiate us better and contain calories. When you are hungry, prefer wholemeal bread and pasta. With these foods, the body will also take on the correct amount of fiber, which is useful for intestinal health.
- Makes healthy dots. Replace salty snacks, sweets, candy, or chocolate with a handful of oily nuts: walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds. Oilseeds are essential in a healthy diet, but they should always be consumed in moderation (15-20 g per day) both because they are caloric and to maintain the correct dietary balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6.
- Stay active even in winter. Sport, according to one’s physical condition and level of training, shouldn’t be an obligation but a pleasure. If you don’t play sports, you should regularly exercise even in winter: walking, cycling, dancing, going to the gym, yoga, pilates, exercise with light weights, and water aerobics are effective for maintaining healthy muscle mass. You don’t need to exaggerate the movement; let the body rest, recover, and alternate workouts.
- Treat yourself to something delicious. Occasionally, 1-2 times a week, you can treat yourself to a sweet, hot chocolate, dark chocolate, etc. because, if eaten infrequently, they will not affect the weight trend. What makes us fat are the “extras” taken systematically and daily.
- Don’t neglect rest. In winter, the days become shorter, and sunlight decreases in quantity and intensity, thus increasing the need for sleep. Sometimes even if you sleep more, you still feel tired. Please pay attention to the evening meal: a frugal and easy-to-digest dinner will help reconcile good sleep and keep us online. Avoid abundant saturated fats and overly elaborate cooking at dinner.
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