I never really understood the people that say they “looove winter”. Like man, it’s cold, dark, lack of natural sunlight inevitably takes a toll on your mood, everyone’s grumpy etc. Personally I prefer the sun, strawberries, actually being able to push back your hair without your gloves making it a static-y mess and having daylight past 3pm but you know, everyone their own. The only thing I think we can all agree on is that during winter, the motivation to stay fit and active and eat healthy literally dies. That whole “summer bodies are made in winter” thing probably had you motivated to stay on track initially, but early morning spin classes soon get traded in for long sleep ins, light lunch salads for hearty stews and cold-pressed juices for hot chocolate and wine. I get it. We’ve all been there. I’ve recently found the cold getting in the way of my health and fitness regime as well. Not so much gym-wise, but I’ve found it increasingly hard to stick to meal plan. It’s weird because I made this meal plan about 6 weeks ago and have been sticking to it to the dot without any problems (full meal plan here). It’s almost 1800 calories and full of filling, nutrient-dense dishes. Should be enough for a little 5 foot 4 girl like myself. Yet in the passed week or so I’ve just been so damn hungry. My dinner is basically a big bucket of lentils, chick peas and tofu, yet after I would still be hungry. With only a week and a half until I leave to Singapore, I decided to make little changes to curb my winter appetite without changing calorie intake or my macros. Here’s how.
- DRINK MORE. So I already drink a shhiiiiz ton of water a day, usually about 3-4L, yet lately I’ve been having headaches, temporary fatigue (which is really unusual for me) and a parched throat. We often forget that in winter, we’re often more dehydrated than in summer. Heaters dry out the air and tend to make us thirstier, while warm clothes make us sweat more, and can make us even more dehydrated. Thirst can easily be confused with hunger, so feeling snacky? Grab your water bottle or steep some tea.
- EAT YOUR WATER. Another way to make sure you get enough fluids and curb hunger is to eat more high-water foods. I’ve recently switched up my classic morning oatmeal for a big green smoothie. I load up on tons of extra nutrients, calorie content stays the same, but instead of getting a little bowl of fuel, I get a 1.5L jug. It may seem light, but after 3 cups of green, I swear you’ll be full.
- FILL UP ON FIBRE. Fibre-rich foods take up more space in your stomach on fewer calories, so you’re left feeling more full. Since they take longer to digest, you’ll feel satisfied for longer. I switched my usual lentil, chickpea dinner for a big bowl of veggie soup to hit two birds with one stone. Extra fibre, plus more liquid equals more full and less dehydrated. Win win.
These little changes have allowed me to increase the size of my portions while keeping calorie content and macros the same. So hangry Vic no more. And that’s really beneficial to everyone, cuz you don’t want to be round me when I’m hangry.