Surprising Tips to Have a Happy and Healthy Winter
Once the temperature drops, salads and other light and healthy meals become tremendously less desirable. The cold weather increases our cravings for comfort foods and it can be easy to turn away from healthy whole foods and plant-based meals to indulge in heavier and richer foods. This leads to weight gain, fatigue, immune health problems and the urge to crash diet in spring once the singlets come out.
Interview with Stephen Eddey, Nutritionist and Naturopath
Question: Why do we tend to gain weight in Winter?
Stephen Eddey: Winter is a problem period for some. In winter, we wear more clothes, which sometimes mean we are less conscious of how much extra weight we have put on. Also, in winter, the weather is darker and colder, which makes the thoughts of a brisk, morning walk less appealing.
As for our diet, we tend to seek the fattier and carbohydrate rich meals that can increase weight gain. Salads aren't appealing when the weather is cold outside.
Question: How can we avoid Winter weight gain?
Stephen Eddey: Be conscious of your body, despite the pressures of hitting the beach not being there. We can wear the big, baggy clothes with the promise of losing the weight once it warms up. And forgo the morning walks for the morning exercise class. It is weather proof and negates the needs to walk the streets pre-dawn. It is not healthy to put the weight on and take it off. Keep yourself lean year-round.
Question: What healthy foods should we incorporate into our diets to avoid Winter weight gain?
Stephen Eddey: Salads don't cut it in winter, along with the before mentioned exercise, eat hearty and healthy meals. Roast potatoes with steamed greens with lean protein rich meats make for an ideal dinner. For breakfast, try an omelette. Lunch still could be a salad but change it up by adding nuts and roasted sweet potato.
Question: Can you share some healthy meals alternatives to salad?
Stephen Eddey: If you don't want a salad, that is fine. Taking a bunch of left over veggies from last night's dinner is a great food to take to work, bung in the microwave and enjoy. If you eat out, you could try a kebab on a plate, where you get warm meat with a salad or, simply order a half or quarter chicken and have some fruit with it for lunch.
Question: How can we beat the Winter blues without turning to food?
Stephen Eddey: One of the best treatments for depression is exercise. Thus, trying a new group exercise may be the ticket not only to a bit of fun, but a bit of fitness thrown in. There are plenty of personal trainers doing exercises in your local park which is a great way to get fit and have a bit of fun. You could also sneak out for lunch and hit the nearest heated pool for some laps at lunch time. You may return to work smelling of a bit of chlorine but the sweet smell of fitness success should over power that! Supplementing breakfast with energy supplements such as Ubiquinol should help you get through the laps.
Question: Are you able to share your top tips to having a happy and healthy Winter?
Stephen Eddey: I make exercise a priority and actually use winter to do a little more exercise. After all, I live in Queensland and it becomes easier to run when it is cool. Also, as I do swim at lunch times sometimes, the winter sun won't cook you as much as the summer sun. Also, the small amount of UV light one gets in winter is beneficial for the immune system. I also find the stinky hot gym refreshingly cool in winter. Again, I use this to work out a little harder. Ensure you take your supplements even through winter!
Question: How can we fuel our winter workouts?
Stephen Eddey: This time of year, we can fuel our workouts with two sources of fuel and the choice is yours. Firstly, you can fuel the workouts with your stored body fat. All you need to do is workout before you eat, first thing in the morning. Sure, this may mean a pre-dawn start but it will set you up nicely for the entire day to thrive through winter. The second option you have is to workout straight after work. Being winter, the heat won't be oppressive so that evening walk could be an evening jog, which means you can get more workout done, without the heatstroke. Having one of the hearty lunches mentioned earlier with an energy supplement such as ubiquinol should provide enough fuel to get through the workouts. If not, have an apple (rich in energy producing sugars and mallic acid) an our before you workout should ensure you get through your workout with ease.
For more information, visit https://www.ubiquinol.net.au/
Interview by Brooke Hunter