Winter Weight Loss Plan That Works!!

16 Nov

Generally once autumn hits, so do the cravings! I want comforting hot chocolate, rich foods, more meat, and fewer salads. I tend to mostly want sweets though…chocolate, cookies, warm muffins or tarts..you name it and I crave it!

I also tend to want to bundle myself in blankets on the sofa upon waking and getting home from work. I have little desire to work up a sweat or go to any form of gym or health club.

So with these in mind, how would I go about still losing weight??

Well here are some things I have and will put into place.

Get excited about fall fruit!

Right now I am craving apples..crisp, juicy and delicious apples. I try to have one of these if I am wanting sweets like cookies after my meal or chocolate. It’s working now and may it continue!  I also eat grapes, tangerines, bananas, and more.

Warm veggies vs Cold Salads:

I love tomatoes and salads in the summer. But once the chill sets in,  I lose all desire. So I started making veggie stir fries instead. I saute bell peppers, shiitake mushrooms, onions, broccoli in olive oil and add a bit of salt and grated parmesan…YUM!!! My version of a winter salad and it’s delicious!  Since I have a deep love for parmesan and tended to have it on pasta, this makes a great alternative and satisfies without going way over the calories you would want.

Fresh Air Vs Stale Gym:

I have no urge by any means to work out in a gym and living in urban South Korea makes it tricky to find a nice nature path or bike trail. But I have found some places where I can walk. I need to get outside in order to keep my mood up…otherwise I feel blue. So walking outside is one of my favorite things to do. Although a natural environment is hard to find, I have settled on walking to the soccer stadium about 45 mins from my house. It’s not crowded, it’s fairly quiet and has a great sidewalk so I can bring my dog.  It gives me an hour and half walk in total and I feel great! I am outside, breathing in fresh air and feeling good. This beats a gym for me any day!

So, you have to find the kind of place and exercise you enjoy and will stick to. Mine is walking and it must be outside. It’s the outdoors that motivates me to do it. Find out what place motivates you and what exercise you enjoy and it will help you to stick to it.  I like walking in the cool, warm and cold weather. When it’s too hot or rainy, I do dance aerobics at home. I like the music and it’s fun!

I am not an over achiever when it comes to exercise as I am limited by bad knees and am quite uncoordinated. However, I have lost weight from walking more and adding low impact dance exercise. I do it maybe four times a week on a good week but it keeps the weight from coming back.  Do what you’ll stick with, that is key.

Get rid of your baggy, too big clothes:

Since I have lost 25lbs, I have a lot of jeans that have become too big. I have a tendency to want to hang on to them. I am in between the sizes of the jeans that I own and shopping for my size in Korea is hard. Most stores don’t carry sizes over a size 6 and the Big and Tall store that I have shopped at in the past carry sizes 16~unknown.  I am sitting at a size 14 I think and that makes getting the perfect size that fits me, next to impossible. So I hang on to my fat jeans and still wear some of them which are super baggy. My husband gets a kick out of this and thinks I look like I am in man-pants.

However, despite the convenience of having some pants, it is dangerous territory! Having big, baggy pants or any form of clothing that is big, allows us to fill them in our weaker moments. If you have a gained a few, putting on the fat jeans beats wearing the ones that have gotten too small and are cutting off your blood supply. When my pants feel loose, I can go into denial and think i haven’t gained anything. So get rid of the big pants!!! Keep only the pants that fit perfectly or are a bit tight.  If  I am in pants that fit just right, it makes it less tempting to stuff myself. I know it will get very uncomfortable and so I would be more prone to skip the second helping or dessert.

Since my clothes supply is limited, i have taken to going to a tailor and getting them sized perfectly for me.

Alter your comfort foods:

In the winter I get cravings for rich, chewy foods. I used to love having pasta or cheese or baked goods.  I actually still love them but I have had to alter them in order to keep losing weight. As I mentioned before, I love parmesan cheese and especially so on pasta. I love the chewiness of it and the rich flavor. So now to make it a lighter dish, I have substituted the pasta with mushrooms( still chewy) and veggies and sometimes add an egg for a better consistency. I top it with parmesan…and I don’t skimp on this! It’s so satisfying and gives me the texture I crave and the flavor I love.

I love bread! If I had to choose only one food to eat for the rest of my life, bread would be it! That said, I have, in the past, eaten way too much of it. So, I have found healthier breads  like full grain bread, sour dough, rye etc.. I keep it to a minimum and try to eat it only in the morning as toast or in a sandwich.  By cutting down my intake and keeping the bread healthy, I have gotten control over binging on it, as I did in the past.

Snacks:

Before I would snack on crackers or pita bread and hummus or cereal. Not any more! This would be the reason I wouldn’t see the scale budge or climb slowly.  I still have to have my hummus but instead I have it with veggies. I eat cereal but no longer granola or ones high in sugar. I have switched to muesli with added fresh fruit or hot oatmeal.  I have stopped the crackers because I would eat a sleeve instead of a few and they were just empty calories. I snack on apples, yogurt or a small bowl of muesli. Instead of hot chocolate, I have tumeric/cinnamon milk and honey…yummy, satisfying, warm and comforting drink.

Ingredients
2 cups organic milk
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. ginger powder
dash of cinnamon (optional)
honey or other sweetener (optional)

Directions
Place all ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat and bring to a boil. Simmer for five minutes, stirring frequently. It can be heated in microwave as well. Sweeten to taste, preferably with a healthy sweetener like honey or erythritol. Pour into a mug and enjoy!

Allow for treats and holiday meals:

I am not on a diet. I have said this all along, it is a new lifestyle and I love it. It means that I don’t deprive myself and cut out anything entirely. I do have treats still!  I eat cheese but not often, more as a treat. If  I have it in the house too often, I tend to pig out. I just buy it once in a while. I also never skimp on a holiday meal! If there is turkey, stuffing and gravy, I am gonna eat it! I allow for this and then try to do well over the next week.  I also try to be aware when I am full. Normally I would eat and eat and then just about die from being so stuffed! Now I will eat and even overeat but to a limit. The stuffed feeling is one of the worst feelings for me. So I try to be aware of my body and if I am full or satisfied. I also try to eat a bit slower..I have a tendency to inhale food if I love it! I also try to wait 10mins before I would go for a second helping…by then I know I have no room or just enough for some desert.

Winter weight gain doesn’t have to be a trend each year. I have learned that eating what  I love is something I don’t have to give up. I have learned to enjoy exercising  and wanting to continue it even in the winter. Depriving yourself will only set you up for failure. Find out what works for you and make small sustainable changes.

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2 Responses to “Winter Weight Loss Plan That Works!!”

  1. Marie November 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Thanks for the ideas, I will definately get into stirfry veggies since the hubby doesn’t like “leaves”. I find that in the winter I’m not into garden salads.

  2. radicallyauthentic March 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Thanks for your great ideas! They are helpful — especially in wintery Montana. I love the look of your blog — great job! Feel free to check out my new blog at http://100poundsin1year.wordpress.com. Thanks for sharing! Shelby

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