Make this Winter your healthiest and happiest yet with these easy tips on staying trim

When the days get shorter and the weather colder, it's no wonder we crave hot 'comforting' heavier foods to warm us up. Light refreshing summery salads just aren't enough and can even leave us feeling cold!

Not to mention the looming season of Christmas indulgence (that creates an annual fleet of newcomers joining our Boot Camp every January!)

Fortunately, there is a way to avoid the dreaded winter weight gain. And it doesn't involve depriving yourself!

Learn from last year

Think about what you did this time last year and how you felt. Did you over-indulge to the point of needing a new wardrobe? Or did you have a plan? We often reflect during significant times of the year, so trying to learn from past behaviour can only lead to a better outcome.

Understanding Why

The underlying reason behind these food cravings is that we were once preparing to hibernate. Dense foods kept us alive through harsh winters, while food sources were scarce. Although on cold winter mornings, many of us wish we were still hibernating (getting dressed under the covers anyone?) this leads to the next point:

Our choices

Start by reading food labels. It is not just about avoiding the usual culprits (refined sugar, wheat, dairy, chemicals...) but having alternatives ready in their place.

For example, winter vegetables roasted in coconut oil are an amazing alternative to white potatoes or dishes with heavy sauces. Check out my favourite easy winter soup also. The more your body gets used to receiving nutrient-dense foods, the less it craves unhealthy stuff!

A lack of raw fibrous vegetables can cause feelings of lethargy, congestion and even depression. I therefore recommend a mixed salad before your hot dinner. This will also aid digestion and stop you feeling bloated.

PT Gen Levrant Personal Trainer Southampton

Keep up your fibre throughout the winter

Warm yourself healthily

Using warming spices is a great way to heat up, as well as encourage your body to burn fat. A few of my favourite ingredients are Turmeric, Cinnamon, Cayenne Pepper and Curry powder. I also add Ginger to my green smoothie and drink at room temperature.

Lemon Water: PT Gen Personal Trainer Southampton

Morning Warm Lemon Water

If you're a tea drinker, warm lemon water cleanses your liver and perks you up in the morning, without the post-caffeine crash.

Warmed unsweetened almond milk with cinnamon is a delicious alternative to lattes. You could even add a teaspoon of raw cacao for a healthy hot chocolate!

So listen to your body and enjoy your seasonal adaptations!

Southampton Personal Trainer Gen Preece Boot camp

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