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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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