How moms can maintain a healthy weight year round
For many moms, eating right and exercising comes easy in the summer months with light meals and so many opportunities to get outdoors. However when winter rolls around, it's a whole other story. We just want to curl up under a blanket or chow down on hearty stews and casseroles. Dr. Lisa Davis, author of Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Health, offers tips for moms to maintain a healthy weight throughout the seasons.
Contributed by Dr. Lisa Davis
Continuous daily nourishment will help you keep up with the kids and their activities. Beginning with breakfast, eat mini-meals consisting of lean protein and complex carbohydrates, five times per day. This will help keep your blood sugar on an even keel, so you won’t feel hungry and grouchy. You will be a better parent because you won’t snap at the kids. Another bonus is that frequent eating ensures a higher metabolism. For healthy snacks between meals, consider adding protein bars like Medifast Crunch Bars.
Break up your workout
Exercise for busy moms is not impossible, especially if you break up your workout into multiple, short stints. In fact, you may be at an advantage: According to the American College of Sports Medicine, more calories are burned by performing short, high intensity exercises. By targeting larger muscle groups while weight training, like back, chest, and quadriceps, you can burn more calories in a shorter period of time. For ultimate fat-burning, minimize the amount of time between sets. If you need to rest muscle groups, flip back and forth between arm sets and leg sets.
Eat like it is summer
While savory winter fare is all around, don’t forget to eat on the light side and emphasize your fruits and veggies. All varieties of apples, root vegetables and winter squashes are festive fall and winter fare. For cozy comfort food, make a pot of homemade vegetable soup or spice up your diet with warm drinks like coffees and teas — especially green tea — which can help burn a few extra calories.
Put your bathing suit on during the winter and check the fit. Better yet, get your swimsuit on and head for the gym. Swimming and water aerobics are great winter indoor activities. A 175-pound person who swims moderately to vigorously can burn in the range of 500 to 775 calories per hour. Water aerobics is less vigorous, but the same person can still burn 315 calories per hour. If you can’t get to a pool, keep your bathing suit hanging in full view.
Sleet and NEAT
Cold weather brings sleet and NEAT — Nonexercise Activity Thermogenesis. NEAT refers to non-exercise ways of burning calories, like shivering. You can burn up to 400 calories per hour by shivering this winter. If you shovel snow in addition, you can add an additional 300 calories to your calorie burn.
Dr. Lisa Davis holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University with a focus in Obesity Research, and she is the author of the book, Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Health.