Do you know that winter is the best and easiest season to lose weight? But in experience, the season makes most of us a couch potato with no motivation for weight loss. Know what happens in your body during this season and how you can make it your special season with winter weight loss tips that really work.

Why winter is the best time to lose weight

1. Supportive body environment

Your body naturally supports weight loss during winters through a phenomenon called homeostasis. It is the body’s tendency to maintain a stable internal environment. During winters, the body works hard to keep the core temperature up and hence, keep the internal temperature stable. To do this, a lot of calories are burnt by the body.

2. Quality sleep

Due to reduced daylight hours, most of us sleep more during winter. This is great news if you don’t clock in 8 hours of quality sleep during other seasons. Lack of sleep slows metabolism and increases cortisol which leads to weight gain. So, focus on quality sleep during winter. But don’t sleep too much as that can lead to putting on more kilos.

Losing weight in winter is hard when

But, then why do most people find it hard to lose weight during winters? Because the weight loss goddess overhears you every time you say:

1. ‘5 minutes more of sleep, please’

Do you become super resistant to the sound of your alarm clock during winter? Do you become a couch potato during the season and secretly enjoy being one?

Well, you could be suffering from SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Symptoms of SAD include oversleeping, sugar cravings, weight gain and fatigue. It is the result of lack of sunlight during winters which has a significant effect on your mood and overall health. Wake up early to offshoot its symptoms or consult a professional if symptoms persist.

Pro tip: Sleep early so that you can wake early. Winter cold nights are a great time to unwind with a book and herbal tea before bed. Some delicious Ayurvedic tea recipes for you in the video below. Also, start your day with yoga and meditation to feel energized throughout the day. 

2. ‘One more packet of chips, please?’

As the metabolism speeds up during winters, we burn more calories during activity and rest. This spikes up your hunger pangs and cravings during which we reach out for comfort and snackable food items.

Pro Tip: Go for healthy home-made snacks instead of excessive oily and deep fried food items when you are hungry. Head to this recipe playlist below for some guilt-free pleasures.

3. ‘Don’t really feel like drinking water’

In cold weather, the body’s thirst response is diminished (by up to 40 percent even when dehydrated). The body is most often fooled into thinking it’s properly hydrated. As dehydration continues, the tissues of the body begin to dry out. Thirst signals from the brain are mistaken for hunger, making you binge on more comfort food.

Pro tip: Drink 8-10 cups of water daily during winters. Water helps break down fat and burn calories. Drink warm water if you can as that helps the body get rid of toxins. Ayurveda considers warm water as an elixir.

4. ‘Who has got time for sunbathing with this crazy workload’

Did you know that sunbathing can actually help you maintain a healthy weight? Vitamin D deficiency leads to weight gain and makes it difficult to lose weight.

Pro tip: Ditch Instagram. Use your office and work breaks to walk in the winter sun. Allot yourself fixed time periods when you can do sunbathing. Do at least for 30 min every day.

5. `Weight loss diet routines sound tiring’

A weight loss diet is unique to a person as everybody is different. Here are some quick tips if you don’t want to follow an extensive diet plan.

  • Have seasonal food: Having seasonal food during winter increases metabolism and strengthens the body.
  • Eat delicious: Ayurveda divides food into six categories as per taste – sweet, sour, pungent, astringent, bitter, and salty. Including all tastes in your meals keeps the body’s elements in balance and prevents weight gain. Excessive sweet and salty food items lead to weight gain.
  • Tap herb power: Include herbs like turmeric, ginger, ashwagandha, guggul, and Triphala in your diet. Using them in your meals every day promotes weight loss.

6. ‘Yoga and meditation are ineffective in shedding kilos’

Yoga and meditation can have a major role in your winter weight loss journey. Both are great tools to overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder, facilitate a sound sleep cycle and make you more mindful of your eating choices. There are, in fact, specific yoga poses that you can do every day to lose weight.

Based on inputs by Ila Pulekar, Wellness Coach, CST Practitioner, Meru and Marma Chikitsak, Sri Sri Yoga and Happiness Teacher.