Fall is here in the Midwest and I’ll admit, I’m not as careful with my eating and exercise habits when the weather gets colder. My healthy, fresh from the garden fruits, vegetables, herbs and grilled dinners are replaced with hot out of the oven, baked goods, casseroles, cookies and biscuits. I’ll find myself steadily creeping towards a heavier winter weight, peak in February, and then refocus my eating and exercise habits so that I feel more “in shape” by Spring Vacation. Each Spring I ask myself, “What if I didn’t gain that winter weight? What if I maintained a reasonable eating and exercise baseline throughout the tailgate, holiday, dinner party season?”
While a 5-10 pound winter weight gain may not seem that significant, each year it becomes increasingly difficult, and takes a couple of weeks longer to regain my desired level of fitness. In my college years I could meet my fitness goals by the spring break deadline. Once kids arrived, I succeeded in achieving a “before school is out” deadline, and now that they’re teens , July 4th has become more realistic.
What if I halted the fall weight gain cycle? This year I vow to retain my summer eating and exercise habits all winter long. Here are my 3 SMART goals to help me be successful.
- Drink 1 cup of water with and between meals. This will keep me energized and hydrated and prevent me from mistaking thirst for hunger.
- I will bring 2 servings of fresh fruit with me to work everyday. Fruit is my downfall in the winter, often replaced by baked goods. The fiber in fresh fruits will keep me feeling fuller longer, and the Vitamins and phytochemicals including antioxidants will improve my immunity against the impending flu season.
- I will get an hour of activity most days of the week. I know that I tend to become less active, and the lean muscle mass I developed over the summer, returns to fat (adipose) tissue, slowing my metabolism and accelerating weight gain.
Are you the willing victim of a fall weight gain cycle? What are your 3 SMART goals?
Categories: Nutrition & Wellness