Tracking your calorie intake is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. Using a calorie counting app makes this simple by calculating your daily calorie needs and allowing you to log meals and snacks. The key benefits of using a calorie tracking app in the winter include:
Increased awareness of your calorie intake. Seeing your intake quantified helps you make better choices and recognize where excess calories may be sneaking in. This awareness alone can lead to eating fewer calories.
Accuracy in tracking calories. Estimating portion sizes of home-cooked meals can be tricky. Tracking apps have huge databases of foods with nutritional info, so you don’t have to guess calories and macros. You can even scan barcodes on packaged foods.
Accountability. Having all your meals and snacks logged in one place holds you accountable to your daily calorie goal. It’s much harder to underestimate that extra slice of pizza when it’s right there in the app.
Simplifies meal planning and prep. You can plan and prep meals/snacks in advance and log them before eating. This helps ensure you stay within your calorie target.
While tracking apps provide calorie estimates, it’s still helpful to have a general sense of portion sizes. One tip is to measure out typical portions of foods you eat often, like grains, meat, oils. Then use visual comparisons for estimating portions when dining out or eating home-cooked meals. Investing some time in learning proper portion sizes makes tracking quicker and more accurate over time.
Eat Nutrient Dense Foods
Eating nutrient dense foods is especially important during the winter when people tend to eat more comfort foods. Focus on incorporating fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains into your diet.
Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants to support your health. Aim for getting a rainbow of produce like berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, squash, and more. If fresh produce is limited in winter, opt for frozen, which still provides excellent nutrition.
Lean proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, beans, lentils, and tofu help you feel satiated while providing protein to retain muscle mass when losing weight.
Whole grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice, and barley contain fiber to keep you full. They have a lower glycemic index to help regulate blood sugar and appetite compared to refined grains.
When meal prepping, include lean proteins, ample vegetables, some fruit, and whole grains at each meal. Some easy and filling meals are omelets with vegetables, chicken salad with greens, and vegetable lentil soup with whole grain bread. Healthy snacking between meals is also important. Good options are Greek yogurt, nuts, hard boiled eggs, and apples with peanut butter.
Following a nutrient dense diet provides your body with the vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and healthy carbohydrates it needs for energy, satiety, and overall health while facilitating weight loss.
Staying hydrated is key for weight loss during the winter months. When it’s cold outside, it’s easy to forget to drink enough fluids. However, drinking plenty of water and other unsweetened beverages can provide some key weight loss benefits:
Drinking water helps boost your metabolism. Being even mildly dehydrated slows down metabolism. Drinking enough water helps your body efficiently burn calories. Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses per day.
Water helps control appetite. Thirst is sometimes mistaken for hunger. Drinking water prevents overeating by creating a feeling of fullness. A glass of water before meals can help you eat less.
Herbal teas support weight loss. Teas like green tea, oolong tea, and white tea contain compounds that may slightly boost metabolism. Sipping on hot herbal tea can help warm you up and keep hydrated.
Broths and infused waters add flavor. For variety, make healthy hot broths using vegetable or bone broths. You can also infuse your water with fruits, herbs, and spices. This adds flavor without extra calories or sweeteners.
Getting enough fluids from water, teas, broths, and infused waters is an easy way to support your winter weight loss efforts. Proper hydration provides the foundation for an efficient metabolism and appetite control.
Staying active in the winter can be challenging when it’s cold and icy outdoors. However, there are many effective ways to exercise inside your own home.
Focus on home workout routines that require little to no equipment. There are countless exercise videos available on YouTube which provide guided instruction. Investing in a few simple pieces of equipment like resistance bands, a yoga mat, and lightweight dumbbells can go a long way. Consider signing up for streaming workout classes through apps like Peloton which offer both live and on-demand options.
It’s important to stay motivated to exercise when the weather makes it difficult to be active outside. Try setting a schedule, recruiting a workout buddy, and setting small achievable goals. Workout first thing in the morning to check it off your to-do list. Play energizing music and make your workout space inspiring. Remember that even a short workout will make you feel better mentally and physically.
The key is to find indoor activities you genuinely enjoy. Switch up your routine frequently to prevent boredom. Be patient with yourself and don’t aim for maximum intensity every day. Some movement is better than none at all. Consistency is key, so focus on building sustainable workout habits over the winter season.