Torch your way to a fitter body!

woman running outside in winter

There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just come out and state it clearly: Winter is coming! Which means nasty temperatures, dark, cold mornings and evenings – not to mention a tendency to eat more (hello carbs!), move less - and feel downright miserable.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but the average person gains more than five pounds during winter, and quite frankly, this can’t (and shouldn’t be) your future!

To save yourself from joining the 5+ pound club, I’ve got five tips to keep you in tip-top shape. Follow these, and I guarantee you will not only skip over the winter slump, you’ll have a toned, fit physique you can feel proud of come spring and beyond.

couple snowshoeing winter exerciseShake Up Your Fitness Routine

The only way to change your body, is to change your workouts: Your muscles respond best to unpredictability. And by respond, I mean become stronger and more toned, which ultimately leads to easier fat loss. Do this: If running or spinning is your thing, try a TRX (suspension training) class once or twice a week instead. If you’ve never tried a pump class, do that too. The key is to get out of your comfort zone and let the sweat fall where it may!

Non-Food Rewards

A good friend of mine treats herself to a new pair of shoes each time she achieves a wellness milestone such as giving-up sugar for 14 days, or committing to a weekly circuit class for one month at her gym. I like this approach as it includes a measurable goal, plus it takes the spotlight off food as a reward. A post-workout bagel or donut may taste good at the time, but ultimately leaves you feeling guilty or reaching for more. Sound familiar? Try this: Pick something you consider a “treat” such as a massage or facial; set a new workout goal and timeline, and look forward to sharing (bragging!) about later on your social networks!

Go for Breathless

Time and time again I hear “I work out all the time, but I can’t lose weight or see results.” My first response is not asking how much you are working out, but how hard? To really get the most bang for your buck, you’ve got to shoot for breathless! Why? Because that’s when your muscles look for fast burning energy, namely stored calories (fat). Try this: On a treadmill, walk or run at a steady pace for five minutes, followed with one minute of fast, steep incline followed with another 3 minutes of steady running. Repeat this circuit for a minimum of 20 – 25 minutes.

Un-diet Your Food Choices

Over the years, we’ve been told calories-in vs calories-out is the golden rule when trying to lose weight when in fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, a handful of gummy bears yields approximately 250 calories and 0 grams of fat, whereas one medium avocado has 250 calories and 22 grams of fat. Choose the gummy bears, and choose an expanding mid-section (among other hormonal issues!) as that’s precisely where unused sugar calories go. The avocado provides a healthy source of monounsaturated fat, which helps lower cholesterol and provides a good source of long-lasting energy (not to mention healthier skin and hair). Do this: Skip the calorie counting and processed stuff, and opt for REAL food every time! If your grandmother didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t, either.

supplements healthy diet

Supplement Wisely

Along with un-dieting your diet, try adding a few supplements to your everyday regimen. Not only can they can help fill nutritional gaps, but also balance hormone levels, increase your metabolism, immunity, and weight loss, too. Science-backed formulas are best, from companies you trust. My top picks include: A daily multi-vitamin, a fish oil for healthy Omega-3s, protein (whey or sprouted vegan, rotated) added to smoothies, in yogurt, etc., along with vitamin D, magnesium and iron (if you’re low). TIP: For women’s health specifically, there’s no one I trust or can recommend more than Lorna Vanderhaeghe.

Until next time, wishing you a most active, healthy season ahead, complete with a toned, fit physique you can feel proud about – well past the winter season!