12 Easy Slim-Down Tips for Every Season
It’s easy to blame winter for weight gain. The darkness, cold, and holiday treats aren’t exactly the best recipe for staying slim. However, between week-long vacations, Easter candy, and pumpkin lattes, the other three seasons aren’t without their challenges to weight control either. Here’s a breakdown of seasonal weight roadblocks to losing or maintaining your weight and how to push them out of the way.
Fall: Avoiding weight gains
With pumpkin everything available (with very few being healthy) and chilly days, it’s easy to let your weight loss routine slack slightly in the fall.
What to do:
Seize the season for structure: Following the carefree days of summer, vacations, and long weekends, you’re probably craving a regular routine. Make a calendar and map out the days you’ll go to Curves. In between, take walks and enjoy the crisp, energizing fall air.
Harvest some healthful fall meals: Some of the tastiest, most vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables grow in the fall. Roast some root veggies, such as sweet potatoes, turnips, and squash, toss some fresh apples into a fall salad, or whip up a healthy pumpkin protein smoothie.
Ease into winter: Fall is the perfect time to bank a few months of eating well and exercising before the most challenging weight control season sets in. Keep in mind, the more healthful your routine in the fall, the easier it will be to stick to good habits during the holidays.
Remember, if you embrace all that each season has to offer to offer to support weight loss and you’ll never have to make up for lost time.
Winter: Preventing holiday weight gain
We admit it, winter is the worst season when it comes to weight control. Between the holidays and the cold, it’s easy to let your health routine slide. Plus, there are some physiological factors we must contend with to boot. As winter approaches, our brains tell our bodies to increase insulin resistance, so our livers can increase fat production. This worked great when we needed to store fat to survive the winter, but in our modern society, not so much. Today, it means we must work that much harder to keep weight off than we do in the summer or spring.
What to do:
Change the game: Colder weather and shorter days typically mean you may have to make some adjustments to your workout regimen. Of course, one of the best things about Curves Circuits is you can do them in any weather, any time. But if you like to mix Curves with outside activities like bike rides through the park or walks through your neighborhood, you’re going to have to get creative if you don’t want to lose these extra calorie burns. Instead of skipping these warm-weather exercises, go for them while bundled up. Try to add a few more minutes to these outdoor exercises to combat changes in your body chemistry that encourage weight gain.
Don’t get too comfy: In your baggy clothes or with comfort foods. Winter weather makes us want to curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and a juicy book…in sweatpants or jammies. Not the most conducive scenario for weight control. Although they may make you crave mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, blustery, gray days are no excuse to give in to high calorie foods. Instead, make a cup of tea, hearty vegetable chili or black bean soup.
Prepare for the long-haul: You may be tempted to loosen up on your fitness and diet goals during the holidays, all with the end goal of a “New Year’s Resolution” to undue all the giving in. But don’t forget about the second half of winter: wings on Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day chocolates, and St. Patrick’s Day stout. Remember, if you don’t veer too far off course, you won’t have to work as hard to get back on track.
Spring: The best time of the year to lose weight
Spring is a hopeful season, including weight loss goals. Aside from Easter chocolate, Spring is perhaps the most conducive for weight loss, with bathing suit season looming and fresh fruits and vegetables abound.
What to do:
Make fresh your forte: Have a fresh spring mix salad for dinner, topped with some ripe in-season fruits. These fresh foods1 have a high fiber content. A study2 published in the Journal of Nutrition found people who consumed eight extra grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories per day lost about four and a half pounds over the course of the study (which was just under two years).
Get out and about: At the end of a long winter, our bodies crave warm, fresh air. According to a study3 published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health that looked at exercise habits of nearly 12,000 people, those who exercise outdoors at least some of the time are more active than those who always work out indoors. In fact, those who incorporated some outside activity logged more than two times as much exercise than those who always exercised inside. The moral: don’t leave your Curves circuits in the gym. Take what you’ve learned and recreate your own outdoor circuit to maximize your workout and elevate your mood. If you’re ever in the need for inspiration, check Move section on our blog for monthly exercise suggestions.
Switch from sweet coffee drinks to iced tea: Springtime beverages like freshly brewed unsweetened ice tea are naturally lighter and lower in calories than heavy winter drinks. As the weather warms, be conscious of the calories in the things you drink.
Summer: Get the summer body of your dreams
With the dog days of summer come lounging sessions by the pool, umbrella-clad drinks, and week-long vacations where our workout routines take a break, too.
What to do:
Water you going to do today: With the sun shining (and sunblock on, of course!) there are so many water activities to take advantage of in summer. Being outdoors will make you more energized, and it’s a great opportunity to try new activities with the family. In addition to your Curves circuit, get fit while cooling off with activities like swimming laps at the local pool, surfing at the beach or even kayaking down a river. Challenge yourself and you may even find a new hobby too!
Beat the binge: Seasonal affective disorder (aka SAD) is a real thing. A study4 done at the University of Pittsburgh on people with winter affective disorder found that 27 percent reported binge eating during the darkest months of the year. Of them, 90 percent said they craved carbs more than normal during the cold winter months. In summer, it’s easier to kick carb cravings with refreshing seasonal produce. Focus your menu on no-cook, light meals like crunchy salads, fresh seafood and fruity smoothies – your taste buds and your body will thank you for it!
Exercise on vacation: It’s tempting to let your activity level slide during your long-awaited week away, but sticking to a routine can be good for your body and mind. Plan your exercise ahead of time and seek out a Curves at your vacation destination. With a Curves membership that includes travel privileges, you can access thousands of locations worldwide, and fit in your Curves Circuit wherever you go. By talking to your Curves Coach and making your workout a priority, you will feel better and be less likely to pack on vacation pounds.