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5 Time-Tested Rules for Losing Weight in the Winter

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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 January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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