This post was originally written during my 2 1/2 year tenure as a blogger for Health Goes Strong. The site was deactivated on July 1, 2013, but you can read the blog here.
The cold and dark winter months make it easy to gain unwanted weight. We’re less likely to be active outdoors and find ourselves tempted by all the leftovers from those food-filled winter holidays when stuck indoors. Use these 8 ways to lose weight with the start of spring so you can be back in shape by summer.
Plant a Garden
Planting your own vegetables and herbs in a small garden plot or individual containers helps you shed your winter weight in two ways. First you’ll get the exercise of tilling the soil and pulling the weeds, then you’ll reap the benefits of your harvest – nutritious, low calorie plants you can enjoy all summer long.See related story: Health Benefits of Starting a Garden
Clean the Cupboards
Losing the weight you’ve gained over the winter months is easier when your cupboards are free of the “high calorie clutter” still on the shelves. Be sure to remove anything that remains from your secret stash of Halloween candy, Christmas cookies and Valentine’s chocolates to begin your spring cleaning. See related story: Kitchen Makeover Means a Healthier Diet in the New Year
Buy More Berries
Spring is the start of berry season, and with it the chance to load up on these delicious little fruits that have so many benefits in very few calories. Their high fiber content helps keep you satisfied longer while their phytonutrients lower the risk for cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Use Paper Plates
Switching to a 9 inch paper plate for dinner is a great way to reduce the portion sizes you eat. Try it for a month to retrain your eye to recognize more appropriate serving sizes. You can also use an 8 ounce paper cup and 12 ounces bowl to replace the bigger cups and bowls you normally use. See related story: Serving Size, Portion Size, and Body Size Are All Connected
Start a Diary
Keeping a record of everything you eat and drink, and how much, is a tried and true method to control overeating. It makes you pay attention to each bite you take when you know you have to write it in your diary. See related story: Keeping Track of Food, Calories & Fitness Just Got Easier!
Specialize in Salads
If all you think of when you hear the word salad is a boring toss of iceberg lettuce and tasteless tomatoes, think again. There are endless combinations of colorful and crunchy vegetables that can be combined with lean protein sources and topped with flavorful dressings to make satisfying entrée salads that are anything but boring. See related story: Celebrate National Salad Month With Easy, Healthy, Delicious, Salads
Practice Good Posture
A much overlooked way to burn more calories is to stand instead of sit. Every minute you spend standing uses more energy than sitting, so take advantage of this practical way to lose excess weight. By adjusting your posture when you stand you can also improve your muscle tone and balance. See related story: Sitting Too Much Raises the Risk of Dying Sooner
Sleep Like a Baby
Research has shown that people who do not get enough sleep consume more calories than they need and have slower metabolisms. There are no short cuts to a good night’s sleep. It’s essential to good health and maintaining a healthy weight. See related story: Tired All the Time? 11 reasons Why (Besides Lack of Sleep)