Are you sick of making New Year’s resolutions to lose weight? Do you hate having to spend spring dieting so that you have a nice beach body for the summer? Wouldn’t it be great if you could stay in shape all year round?
This article was written by James Harper on behalf of Slimming.com, healthy living experts.
Sticking to your diet and exercise regimen over the winter can be difficult. As the days get shorter, and the nights get colder, the last thing you want to do is head to the gym after work. If your usual exercise routine involves running or cycling each morning, then it’s pretty likely that by November that routine will fall by the wayside in favour of more time under the duvet. It’s only natural to lose motivation when it’s dark, cold, and damp outside.
Exercise isn’t the only thing to get forgotten over the winter, though. Many supermarkets suddenly stop stocking nutritious whole foods (or so it feels), and instead fill shelf after shelf with sweets, candy, puddings and party snacks. If your weekly shopping basket is full of 1,000 calorie chocolate bombs, how can you avoid piling on the pounds?
You Don’t Have to Be Perfect All The time
The first thing you need to remember is that healthy living isn’t a short term thing, it’s a lifestyle choice. If you end up having Stollen for breakfast and snacking on a tin of Celebrations in the office for lunch, then that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your “diet” until January. With so many calorie dense foods around, there will be moments when you over-indulge. When it happens, simply have a smaller evening meal, or drink water instead of fruit juice for the rest of the day. Don’t beat yourself up, and don’t turn a sweet treat into a massive binge, just acknowledge that it happened and move on.
You can prevent the likelihood of bingeing if you try to eat filling, nutritious foods most of the time. Load up on green, leafy vegetables and lean meats, and if you eat breakfast, make it something filling and high in fibre so that you’re less likely to want to snack before lunch.
Do Something To Burn Off Some Energy
Try to find some way to stay motivated when it comes to exercise. Take up a martial art, or sign up to a club or a class so that you have a reason to head to the gym at a certain time. For some people, having a routine makes a big difference and makes it easier to stick to a healthy living regimen.
If you don’t have room in your budget to fit in classes at the gym, try training in the house. Tabata workouts are a quick and convenient way to fit exercise in to a busy schedule. Each workout takes just four minutes, so you should be able to fit it into even the busiest of schedules.
To do a tabata workout, make a list of eight exercises, start with the first exercise, do it for 20 seconds, working as fast and as hard as you can. When the 20 seconds are up, take a ten second break, then move on to the second exercise. Work down the list following that pattern (20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest) until you have done all eight exercises. By the end of the workout, you should be exhausted. The workout may only take four minutes, but it’s incredibly effective if you push yourself to do the exercises at full intensity.
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