Summer bodies start in winter
I REMEMBER vividly the day I was in an exercise class waiting for it to begin and a lady said to me she was cancelling her membership because it was winter.
Being born at the bottom of the South Island of NZ where it gets into the minuses Icouldn’t comprehend this at all. This was the Gold Coast, to me this wasn’t cold even in the winter ... (fast forward 20 years and I may have completely acclimatised now!)
However, to simply cancel a membership because it was winter just blew my mind! All the hard work over summer, you have to start again? Seriously what the?
Something weird happens to the brain chemistry during the cooler months signalling impulses to our bodies that don’t normally exist during the warmer months. We start to crave heavier foods, our bodies resist the urge to get up early because its dark and what happens when it dark ... we normally sleep.
My advice to you is to keep your summer routine going through winter – change nothing except wear more clothes! And be careful to have a more thorough warmup and cool down. Other helpful hints are:
Up your protein intake – in the cooler months we can tend to crave carb-dense foods. Now I am all for carbs, they give us energy, help our minds to function and are needed for for overall function. However too many carb-dense foods and no balance with other macronutrients such as protein and fats can throw things right out of whack. Eating protein at each meal helps to keep us fuller longer. Think chicken, fish, lean red meat, tofu, legumes, nuts.
A great meal I love is spaghetti bolognaise in winter, I have it with zucchini noodles instead of pasta though. I cooked them with some macadamia oil and add some chilli and add a heap of lean mince on top with parmesan cheese. I shouldn’t write this while I’m hungry!
Fats are also a great way to add satisfaction to your food. Think olive/macadamia oils, nuts, seeds, avocado.
Just as important is also fibre, many people miss this important dietary requirement. I aim for 25-30 grams of fibre a day in the form of veggies, fruit, nuts, whole grains and seeds. My fav go to for brekkie is oats, packed full of fibre.
I add a bit of flax meal, frozen blueberries and chocolate protein powder.
I actually think I have pretty much had this for almost five years straight. I am a creature of habit.
My second favourite would be oat pancakes. I gave this recipe to a client and her husband thought they were eating real pancakes.
Half cup oats, half cup creamed cottage cheese and 1/4 cup egg whites and a dash of baking powder. Blitz in the blender and cook in some spray oil. Top with sugar free maple syrup and frozen strawberries. Result….yum!
Make sure your food prep is done for the week ahead. This way when you are cold and starving your meal is ready waiting for you and you will be less likely to bolt through the nearest drive through. Also, don’t do your grocery shopping whilst hungry!
Be mindful when and what you eat. Pay attention to what is going in your mouth and how it tastes. My dad always used to say to me growing up "chew your food" and "slow down" Now in a fast-paced world with short lunch breaks this hard to do, however if you can, slowing down gives the body time to catch up with the brain. You can see how easy it is to over eat when there is a 20-minute lag between the two!
Also try to find the difference between your hunger signals and emotional signals i.e. stress, frustration or boredom are emotional triggers where as growling tummy and lack of energy would be hunger signals.
I say take the saying "Summer bodies are made in winter" and run with it!
Be mindful when and what you eat. Pay attention to what is going in your mouth and how it tastes.