A Post on How to Shake off the winter weight by Cape Town Personal Trainer JP Steyl
It’s a common problem—people tend to pack on a few pounds during the winter months.
But we want to fight back, and we hope you will join us. Let’s get after this now, while winter is already one month behind us and the sun is rising earlier with lovely sunny days makes it really sad to see so little people outside training!
The good, the bad…and the solution
Although winter weight gain varies from person to person, research shows the average gain to be two to five kilograms! Some people gain this extra weight because they have Seasonal Affective Disorder—a type of winter depression. But most of us can’t blame winter depression for our tendency to pick up extra weight during the winter months.
So, why does winter weight gain happen? According to Lawrence J. Cheskin, MD, founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, it happens because we eat more and move less during the winter months1.
This is bad news and good news. It is bad news because it would be kind of nice if we could blame our cold-weather corpulence on something exotic like the jet stream cycle and waddle off for another espresso.
But it is good news because we can do something about it. We don’t have to greet spring with softer middles and tighter clothes. So let’s celebrate Spring by tackling the winter weight gain with our weapon of choice here at ForeverStrong P.T: discipline.
Hour of decision
According to Merriam-Webster, discipline is a “rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity2.” This is perfect. In order to fight the winter weight gain, we have to discipline ourselves to follow some rules.
Here we go…
1. Banned language: For the next several weeks, do not allow yourself to say, “Just this once.” If you pay close attention, a ‘just this once’ situation comes up practically every day. You go to a retirement party. You take spouse out for a birthday dinner. Someone brings a meal by your house because you’ve been sick. Your co-worker brings in the leftover pizza from last night’s party. Your child has leftover Valentine’s Day chocolates. You have to say no every.single.time. Otherwise, you will never get ahead.
Just grit your teeth, resist what others are having and make good food choices. I’m not saying it is easy. I am saying it is necessary.
2. Plan your occasional splurge, and do not deviate from the plan. Unending deprivation is never a good idea, but you have to be intentional about the time, place and food that you let yourself splurge on.
Love the hot wings at your favorite restaurant? Then let’s make a deal. Eat clean for ten days. No cheating. And then at the end of those ten days, go have the wings. Guilt free. Just enjoy them. Then set the next goal. But you are not allowed to deviate from your plan in the meantime.
If you do, you lose the wings.
Don’t waste your fun calories on something that doesn’t compare to those wings!
3. Keep moving. Exercise is not an optional activity. Now more than ever you have to get your body in motion. Exercise is very effective at preventing weight gain—and that is what we’re after right now. Don’t even worry so much about losing kilograms; just take the first step of eating a healthier diet and start exercising. And to all of the Transformers who are already doing all of this, keep going and take your discipline to the next level!
Remember: Spring is here. Let’s be ready for it, and Shake off the winter weight!
GREATEST VICTORIES ARE BORN IN THE HEART
JP Steyl – Head Coach at ForeverStrong
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