Spring has definitely sprung here in Brisbane and across the country! While many of us feel happy about our beautiful sunny weather and longer days, there may remain a few extra kilos to contend with from winter. Winter weight gain is actually quite common, but Spring is a great time to nip bad habits in the bud and focus on your health if you’ve let that slide. Maybe your exercise routine went west with the winds? Or maybe it was more about the stodgy food on rotation in your winter menu? (We’re looking at you, pasta dishes!!) Whatever your reasons, how do you lose winter weight now, so that you can slide into summer feeling healthy, and being as active as possible?
Turning around a bit of weight gain doesn’t have to be a grueling task. It just takes your focus, and some simple, yet really important tweaks to your lifestyle. Press play on my video, or keep reading below, where I show you 5 easy changes that will help you start to shed the kilos, get active, and look and feel your best for Summer!.
Lose winter weight with these 5 healthy habits
Winter eating can be difficult and naturally our carbohydrate intake increases with warmer, comforting dishes becoming the norm. But now that the warmer weather is creeping back in it’s time to think about balance again. It’s a perfect time to put some healthier habits back into place.
The thing is, we can be quite brutal with ourselves when we think about unwanted weight gain, but this can often be the wrong approach. Sometimes, it can even be counter-productive. Rather than punishing ourselves, which sees us doing things like restrictive or crash dieting, or gruelling exercise routines, it’s best to start slowly, and focus on consistency. Otherwise, our health starts to become a battle. We can struggle to live up to our own high expectations on a day to day basis, and this rarely ends well. By making small, powerful changes and sticking to them, you should actually see more improvement over the long term. That’s because consistency leads to positive changes, and these will compound, and motivate you even further.
So with that in mind, here are my five best tips for losing post-winter weight.
1. Consider your carbs
So let’s start with talking about our carbohydrate intake, even the good types. If you’re looking to lose weight, it’s important to balance out your carbohydrate intake rather than restricting completely. After all, it is our main source of energy. So start with matching your carbohydrate intake based on when your body will be using it. For most of us, this means you’ll include a low GI carbohydrate source for breakfast and lunch, and then start to reduce those carbohydrates at dinner so our body doesn’t just hold onto it.
2. Incorporate more veggies.
It goes without saying that vegetables are some of the healthiest foods we can be eating, so it makes sense that in order to lose weight after winter, we should be eating more of them. Fortunately, the warmer months encourage us to have more salads and cold dishes, which naturally incorporate lots of good vegetables. So try to focus on protein and vegetable-based dinners and reduce the consumption of potato, sweet potato, rice, pasta, and bread at night, which are our main sources of carbohydrate.
3. Break up with sugar.
Winter often sees us letting those sugary foods creep in for comfort. But if we want to lose weight, it’s time to kick them to the curb! Start to swap some of those refined sugar snacks with a low GI snack such as fresh fruit, nuts, homemade energy balls, yoghurt and muesli, flavoured roasted chickpeas, or dark chocolate, just to name a few. We can still have that sweetness without all the refined sugar.
4. Try the Mediterranean Diet
If you are looking for a one-stop shop for all things healthy eating, visit (or revisit) the Mediterranean diet. This diet is just naturally so good for you, and it does not feel like hard work! The Mediterranean Diet will help you balance out your good and bad fats, increase your fibre, increase consumption of low GI carbohydrates, and reduce consumption of refined sugars.
It’s a great place to start and it’s all about balance. The great thing about this diet, as it will allow you to moderate your eating rather than feeling restricted, which we know won’t take you very far.
5. Stay hydrated, and get moving.
We consider hydration and exercise to be the other two legs on the three-legged stool that is a healthy diet. They are equally helpful for losing winter weight. When it comes to hydration, water is always best. Aim to drink a minimum 1.5 litres of water a day and get towards two litres per day as the warmer weather comes in. If you’re in Brisbane, no doubt you’ll need those two litres to stay adequately hydrated.
When it comes to exercise, choose something that you enjoy or grab a friend and schedule long walks. The sun will finally come up earlier and go down later, which provides us with more opportunity to get moving. Pick which point you would like to start with and make a goal. Don’t try to do everything at once to avoid being overwhelmed. It is good just to start somewhere and make some progress. I know I’ll be starting with trying to drink more water myself.
Looking for more post-winter weight loss ideas this Spring?
Following a Mediterranean Diet is a wonderful way to kickstart any health goals because it’s not just a diet – it’s a lifestyle! The best part about a Mediterranean Diet is that there is nothing off limits, and there’s no restriction. It’s all about an abundance of really good food for your general wellbeing, gut health, and waistline!
If the Med Diet is new to you, would you like a little taster of what it’s all about,? Try it out with our free recipe collection titled “A Taste of the Mediterranean Diet.”
You can also shop our cookbooks if you want the full experience! We have published two books dedicated to Mediterranean cooking, eating and living.
The content in this article is not intended as medical advice. It is also of a general nature and is not tailored to your individual circumstances. If you need specific help, especially around a condition or issue, a 1:1 consultation is always the best approach. Please contact our clinic to discuss your unique situation and receive a tailored and individualised solution.