8 winter fat burning tips
Don’t let the winter gloom make you lose all of your training motivation, burn fat in the cold with these 8 tips
1. Seek out some sunshine
"Sunlight can prevent dips in serotonin, a mood-boosting brain chemical that is also partly responsible for feelings of fullness," says Norman E. Rosenthal, MD, author of Winter Blues (Guilford Press, 2005). Even a heavy dose of artificial light, especially in the morning, may help suppress food cravings and the urge to overeat. Artificial light bulbs/lamps are great at tricking your body into thinking it’s actually seeing some sunshine in the British winter.
2. Keep your head warm
Get used to wearing a warm beanie during your outdoor workouts. By doing so you’ll prevent 50% of your body heat escaping from your head, which, as a result, causes the blood vessels in your extremities to constrict. So your toes won’t end up like little icicles during a run, which can offer hamper performance and just make you want to stop.
3. Don’t get too comfortable
Try to keep your diet as clean as you would in summer. Don’t let the cold convince you to comfort eat too often as it’s easily done. This way, you’ll find yourself in far better shape come the summer rush for a beach body. Try investing in a juicer and blending combinations of vegetables together for added nutrients.
4. Watch what you wear
Try not to wear too much cotton if you’re running in low temperatures. Most decent running kit offers wicking technology that will help to soak up that sweat so your body temperature doesn’t drop too low.
5. Stock up on protein
By boosting your intake from the typical 15 percent of total calories to 30 percent, you may be able to cut your daily calorie intake by 440 — enough to lose almost half a kg per week without hunger, according to a recent University of Washington study. "A high-protein diet appears to fool the brain into thinking you've eaten more than you have," says the study's lead author, Scott Weigle, MD, a professor of endocrinology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
6. Controlled breathing
Cold air is a nightmare on the airwaves, drying them out and slowing down your muscles. When you’re out of breath, don’t start with the dog-style ragged panting, control your breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. That way the smaller blood vessels will start to warm up and moisturize the air on its way to your lungs. This helps you to burn fat and not your lungs.
7. Heat up
As well as warming up your muscles in the traditional sense, by stretching, try actually warming up by a heater before your run. Cold weather is not friendly to your joints, so warming them up before you train in the cold is recommended as good circulation will lubricate your hinges a lot better than standing and stretching for 10 minutes.
8. Watery food
Foods with high water content include soups (80 to 95 percent water), fruits and veggies (80 to 95 percent), and hot cereal (85 percent). "Water adds weight and volume without adding calories," says Barbara Rolls, PhD, a nutrition professor at Pennsylvania State University and author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan (HarperCollins, 2005).
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