When one thinks of winter, countless comfort foods come to mind. Hot treats such as deep fried samosas, jalebis, pakoras and chai are all gladly welcome in the cold winter months. However, as soon as spring time arrives, our bodies take on an unflattering turn. There are many reasons that account for this involuntary weight gain in the winter. Here are a few tips to avoid gaining weight this winter.
Do Not Forget to Drink Water
One thing we all easily forget to do during the winter time is take adequate amounts of water. There are often days when we take hardly two or three glasses the entire day. This is because water gives a cooling effect, which is why we tend to avoid it in the cooler months. Furthermore, we urinate more often in the winters to excrete salts and toxins, since we don’t sweat. This adds to the list of reasons as to why we don’t feel like drinking more water. However, not only does drinking less water cause dehydration, it also makes you eat and drink other things in order to feel full. This excessive eating and drinking causes weight gain, since fats and sugars are being taken when they are not even needed.
Limit the Amounts of Whole Milk Beverages
Another reason why we neglect water in the winter is because we take other alternatives without keeping tabs on the quantities. These alternatives are usually fattening, such as hot chocolate, latte and cappuccino. In typical Pakistani fashion, it’s even doodh patti and kashmiri chai, made with whole full fat milk and cream. The fact that we take these beverages more than two to three times a day means that we take excessive amounts of fat from them. Therefore, it is important to keep a strict count on the number of hot beverages we take. Furthermore, it is a good idea to take herbal tea and green tea for warmth as well as detoxification, without the fat.
Get Out of Bed!
The hardest part about the winter is getting out of a perfectly warm and cozy bed. Additionally, the long winter break makes one even lazier. This is due to knowing that there is no need to get up for work, due to which one tends to remain in bed for hours on end. However, it is crucial for you not to neglect physical exercise, even in the severe winter months. Even if the outdoors seem excruciatingly cold, there is no reason why indoor exercise cannot be done. In fact, any form of exercise or physical activity helps keep the body warm. Therefore, do not keep sitting or lying in the same place. That won’t help the body or help the temperature go any higher.
Do Not Neglect Fruits and Vegetables
The warm and filling comfort food is so inviting that we often neglect the healthy snacks altogether. Winter time calls for hot stews, saalan, and halwas, which is why raw fruits and veggies can be easily forgotten. However, it is crucial not to forget about these essential vitamins and minerals. Neglecting fruits and vegetables completely does not let the body detox properly, resulting in fat and toxins to accumulate. A good idea is to put vegetables in soups, since this is a time when any soup can do you wonders. Furthermore, oranges are in season at this time, which is why it is a great time to stock up on that vitamin C.
Do Not Let Layers Fool You
Our eyes and hearts are often deceived by the multiple layers of clothing that we wear to keep warm. Because the sweaters, coats and jackets are thick and bulky, we often believe forget to maintain what is inside. Due to this reason, we sometimes eat in limitless quantities, since we cannot see what the food is doing to our bodies. It is when the season changes that we realize how our lighter clothing seems to have become tighter and more fitted. Therefore, be sure to weigh yourself every morning before layering up so that you do not lose track of your actual weight.
Keep Tabs on Deep Fried Snacks
As tempting as hot samosas and pakoras sound, it is best not to be lured into eating them all the time. Once in a few weeks is fine, but having deep fried snacks everyday is extremely dangerous. Not only are these snacks full of fat, they do not do anything for your health except damage. Due to being deep fried, the fat gets deposited in the adipose tissue and is not broken down to give energy. A good idea is to avoid food vendors that sell fries and samosas on food stalls. Furthermore, the recycled oil is extremely harmful and gets deposited as fat as soon as it enters the body. A better way to eat is to bake items at home to keep them warm, fresh and as fat free as possible.
Avoid Shaadi Food
The best and worst thing about the winter is that it is wedding season. Along with being Christmas and New Year’s time, the end of the year in Pakistan is chock full of weddings. With wedding comes wedding food. And that is the worst part. The famous ‘one course meal’ is recycled more often than not. When it isn’t, it is prepared in ridiculous amounts of ghee, oil and butter. Therefore, it is a good idea to avoid shaadi food completely. This is not just to avoid the inevitable weight gain, but also to avoid an upset stomach.
In conclusion, it is fair to say that food provides warmth, and undoubtedly, a lot of happiness as well. However, make sure you eat food that ensures both, quality and quantity of life.