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5 Time-Tested Rules for Losing Weight in the Winter

5 Time-Tested Rules for Losing Weight in the Winter

Winter can be a cold and miserable time for most people, when the ground outside is sludgy, wet or slippery and you feel damp and frozen to the bone every time you step outdoors. It makes getting exercise hard, and people are likely to retreat indoors for the season, hiding under blankets and waiting for the first signs of spring to arrive to venture outdoors again.

Since the holidays overlap with winter, many people associate the time period with seemingly inevitable weight gain. But winter doesn’t have to be a time to pack on the pounds—in fact, the cold weather may be an excellent tool to kickstart your weight-loss goals, since cold weather releases a hormone in our bodies that burns fat at an accelerated rate. Winter is a great time to try to drop the pounds. Get on your New Year’s resolutions with these five rules for losing weight in the winter.

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1. Take Advantage of Indoor Gyms

When the weather is miserable outside, you don’t have to cancel your workout for the day. Take it indoors with a local indoor gym. Many gyms are currently hosting New Year’s sales to entice new customers, and the middle of winter is a popular time for great deals. An indoor gym will give you a variety of equipment you probably don’t have available to you at home, and it’ll be heated for the winter, giving you a warm place to exercise without worrying about freezing in the snow or rain.

2. Don’t Binge on Comfort Foods

After the holiday season, many people fall into a short period when they are unable to resist cravings and urges for foods they may have consumed during the holidays. Or they may be more inclined to curl up with a hot bowl of mac and cheese, and sip creamy hot chocolate as they watch the snow fall. Unfortunately, most comfort foods that people like to turn to in the cold winter months are packed with calories and fat that you don’t need on a regular basis. Limit the consumption of these, and prioritize eating healthy, nutrient-filled foods on a daily basis.

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3. Track Your Diet and Activities

One of the best ways to ensure you know what you’re doing with your body is by tracking information diligently. This means using a pedometer to track your steps and activities, and a food diary to track how many calories you’re consuming, when, and what nutritional value they have. Luckily many restaurants these days are diet conscious and show their calorie content up front; which means you can dine out without feeling guilty. Tracking your diet like this can show you where you’re lacking, where you’re overrepresented, what your activity level is and how you can improve. Establish a baseline level—what your daily activity level is, what your typical calorie intake looks like—and then work on improving the content of your diet and attempting to improve your activity level.

4. Incorporate Daily Outdoor Time

Since cold weather is a natural fat-buster, the best way to take advantage of that is to spend time outdoors. It can’t just be a few minutes, either. Plan an outing, or a daily walk, or spend your lunchtime outside when possible.

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Just being in the cold can encourage fat-burning activity in brown fat cells, which burn white fat cells and help stimulate weight loss, making it a helpful resource to exploit in the colder months when you’re trying to maximize your weight loss efforts.

5. Drink Hot Green Tea

While the cold weather keeps you shivering, you’re probably going to want to turn to something hot to warm you up. Rather than drinking a latte or hot chocolate, however, you could brew a piping hot cup of green tea. The plant’s weight-loss benefits are well-documented, and can provide an extra kick to any weight-loss goal. As a bonus, the drink will also keep you warm and hydrated through the rest of the cold, dry winter, which is great for your skin as well as your weight.

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Winter doesn’t have to mean packing on the pounds. Take advantage of the cold weather and shake up your exercise routine to keep your body moving and the weight off.

Featured photo credit: Dan Zen via c1.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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