As we ease into fall, the winter months and eventually the holidays, many will pack on the pounds. But, you don’t have to. Continue reading for tips on how to keep your waistline slim and trim for the coming months and beyond.
Under the Microscope
1. Are you more stressed during winter months? Stress can make you hungry. That’s not all, when stress is chronic, it produces high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). Cortisol triggers cravings for foods that are sweet, salty and fried. The more uncontrolled stress in your life, the more likely you are to turn to food as a coping mechanism or for emotional relief.
2. Noticing eating patterns can be easier than you think, this is where keeping a pen and paper comes into place. You’ll want to keep a food diary to jot down what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, how you are feeling when you eat and how hungry you are. You may discover patterns that reveal the link between your mood and food.
3. Do you snack between meals? If you do, opt for a healthy snack. Reach for fresh fruit, vegetables with low-fat dip, nuts or unbuttered popcorn. You can also try low-calorie versions of your favorite foods. Choosing low-calorie versions of those foods might just satisfy your craving for high-calorie foods.
Not a Waste of Time
Why take note of your waistline? According to WebMD, your waist circumference can provide insight as to whether you are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. Simply take a tape measure to measure your waist. For men, your waist should be less than 40 inches around. For women, the optimal number is less than 35 inches. If your waist is larger than the numbers mentioned, you may want to talk with your doctor about what your next steps are, which may include losing weight.
A Look Ahead
Now that you are armed with a few tips about how to keep your waistline trim, you can focus on other things. What other things? Glad you asked? You can concentrate on finding the perfect gift for that special someone on your Christmas list. Cheers!