Calorie Count. The January & February urge to eat has never been stronger. We’re feeling a bit rubbish. Locked up for so long, missing; friends, families, our sports, the pub and is that wasn’t enough we’re struggling with the stress of kids home learning on top of work or worse still, furlough and no work. So right now the jungle drums calling us to the fridge and cupboard to relieve the monotony has never been louder.
Studies have shown too that evolution has developed a stronger subconscious urges to eat and hence store more fat during winter. I guess that make sense as food has really only been so readily available in the last 50 years, not long in our evolution. And with some ‘influencers’ and government officials telling us not to worry about our eating and drinking habits this winter many of us have doubled down on our exercise we’ve doubled up on our eating and drinking.
So our net calories burned = 😱😱😱.
With no end date in site to the lock down we thought we’d share some simple ideas to try and reduce the impact and be a bit ‘fitter to fight it’ and closer to match fitness when we can finally get back together and start playing again.
Warm up yourself without calories. When it’s colder our internal body temperature drops too, the body burns more calories to fight the cold. Our heads are telling us to throw on an extra layer on, grab a calorie loaded hot food or double hot chocolate mochas. Conscious eating goes right out the window to keep warm.
What to do? Warm up without consuming calories, drink warm drinks, hot water, teas and bean / vegetable soups. Coffee (without cream and sugar) works too. Caffeine naturally boosts metabolism too and warms the body from the inside out.
Don’t eat your time away. Without a good reason to get outsidethere is a tendencyto try to avoid the wintery outdoors. And with lock down we can’t maintain an exercise routine and our general movement has decreased as we’re just not doing even ‘normal’ stuff. Being less active and having less distance from the kitchen means we are more likely fill that gap in time with eating.
What to do? Keep active when you can, make yourself get out and do something when the conditions allow it. Take advantage of the windows in the weather, use those sunny days as much as you can. It sounds daft but put some signs in those key places to remind you that you are ‘unconsciously eating’ and remind yourself to think, ‘are you really hungry?’. Open the cupboard, see the sign and try a drink instead.
Minimise the winter blues. It’s not just Chelsea fans, many of us are feeling more down at the moment. Even in a normal year January and February are harder. Christmas is in the past, we’re getting less sunlight, spring feels a long way away. When we feel down we reach for the calorie dense comfort food.
What to do ? Get as active as we can, think of a hobbies or activity that keeps us moving. Get some of those DIY jobs done, wrap up, forget the rain and go on that long walk anyway. If we are going to watch TV, (and we know we are), have the phone on too with a Joe Wicks or similar on and do something active while watching TV. Of course we prefer playing football, but while we can’t try the distraction of TV to relieve the boredom of a Youtube workout.
Drink more, not alcoholic 😁. We actually sweat as much in winter as we do the rest of the year. With modern day heating and overdressing,our bodies become dehydrated. We mix up a need to eat when really we need a drink.
What to do? When you are about to reach for the crisps, reach for the kettle instead, have a mug of warm water and wait 30 minutes, see if it fixes the urge to eat. Try and remember to drink a minimum of eight cups of water each day.
We mentally accept we’ll gain weight in winter 🤔. If we go into winter believing we will gain weight, guess what is going to happen? We’ve set ourselves up for failure, we’re accepting we will overeat and it will dictate the types of food we choose.
What to do? Positive thinking has the opposite effect, tell yourself your not going to get fatter this winter despite the lockdown. Be conscious of the impact our body calendars have on on us and fight the instinct to load up on calories. Plan your meals and exercise you can do, reduce the scenarios that would lead to overeating. Self-motivation is key to everything.
DADS v DADS normally advocates a good balanced life of food, beers with friends and exercise 👍🍺⚽. As 3 of the 4 have been taken away we know how tough things are, hence this article. And if you have put some weight on through lock down, don’t worry we’ll get the games back on and as many as we can as soon as we can and get us all playing again.