(and even lose fat fast!)
1. Shiver â€“
Single-digit snowstorms probably arenâ€™t your favorite weather, but knowing youâ€™re burning fat might make them a little more tolerable. When you shiver, your muscles involuntarily clench to generate heat. As a result, you burn up to four times as many calories as your cold-weather escaping friends lying on a breezy beach in Honolulu. Rubbing your hands together and shifting feet to stay warm steps up calorie burning another notch.
2. Sleep longer â€“
Turn off your TV, stop wasting hours on Facebook, and use darker winter hours to get more zzzâ€™s. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine compared two groups of overweight, healthy participants on calorie-restricted diets who slept either 8.5 or 5.5 hours each night for two weeks. What a difference those three hours made: the 8.5-hour group burned 400 more calories every night, lost more fat, preserved more muscle, and woke up less hungry than the 5.5-hour group.
3. Warm up with soup â€“
Make soup a cold-weather staple and bypass the winter weight gain. A study in Obesity Research showed people who ate two servings of lower-calorie soup lost 50% more weight than people who ate the same amount of calories in higher-calorie snack foods. Soup makes it easy to combine hunger-busting protein, veggies, and fibrous starches like lentils and beans in a chicken or vegetable broth. Hot liquid-based foods like soup also force you to slow down so you eat less and get full faster.
4. Hot green tea â€“
Skip the sugar-loaded Starbucks latte for a calming cup of naturally sweet hot green tea. Green tea curbs your appetite so youâ€™re less tempted to order that 480-calorie cinnamon chip scone. Sipping green tea throughout the day also generates body heat so you stay warm and burn more fat. A study in Physiology & Behavior, for instance, concluded that green tea helps improves energy expenditure and fat oxidation.
5. Try a new sport â€“
Running isnâ€™t an option with the sleet and wind, your gymâ€™s become packed with hibernators hogging machines, and the dark hours inspire you to hide under the covers rather than move. Look at cold weather not as a limitation, but an opportunity to discover a new, exciting sport that helps you to get off the couch, into a groove, and fight off the winter blahs. Indoor rock climbing(burst training to the extreme), a Zumba class, or snow-skiing all make fun, challenging, fast fat loss cold-weather exercise options.
Author:Â JJ Virgin:
- Auvichayapat P, et al. Effectiveness of green tea on weight reduction in obese Thais: A randomized, controlled trial. Physiol Behav. 2008 Feb 27;93(3):486-91.
- Nedeltcheva AV, et al. Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity. Annals of Internal Medicine October 5, 2010. Vol. 153, no. 7. 435-441.
- Rolls BJ, et al. Provision of foods differing in energy density affects long-term weight loss. Obes Res. 2005 Jun;13(6):1052-60.