5 Ways to Get in Shape for Spring

Did you know that nearly half of Australians expect to gain up to two kilos during winter?girl-flowers

Some surveys suggest 90 per cent of people eat more fast and snack foods and takeaways because they make them feel warmer and happier; 36 per cent of Australians worry about weight gain during winter; and 59 per cent know that weight gain will be caused by exercising less and eating more fast and snack foods and takeaways.

The good news is, spring is almost here, so now is the perfect time to shed the kilos and get back in shape.

Here are our top five tips:

One: Plan ahead. Get organised in the kitchen and pre-make delicious and nutritious meals that freeze and reheat well. Embrace winter-warmer recipes like hearty veggie soup or casseroles – check out healthier.qld.gov.au for tantalising ideas that will keep you warm but without the weight.

Two: Maintain and train. The temperatures might be cool, but it’s important not to let your exercise regime hibernate. Regular exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight, improves energy levels and feelings of wellbeing and reduces risks of chronic disease. If you find it too cold to go for a morning run, consider joining the gym. Or try a yoga class, spin, or indoor sports.

Three: Avoid alcohol. It’s no secret that alcohol adds extra kilojoules to your daily energy intake. Even just one glass of wine contains about 520kj and takes a 20 minute walk to burn off. Stay hydrated with water and herbal teas and you’re guaranteed to enter the warmer months feeling fresh and invigorated. For an extra nutrition boost, try green drinking tea (rich in antioxidants), liquorice tea (to ward off sugar cravings), or cinnamon tea (which can help regulate blood sugar levels).

Four: Portion your plate. The colder weather can spark cravings for refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white pasta and rice – all of which can cause blood sugar levels to rise and contribute to over eating. Ultimately, the weight of our plate goes to our waistline. As a general rule, salads and veggies should make up the biggest proportion of your plate – aim for at least five serves of vegetables every day. Try to fill about a quarter of your plate with complex carbohydrates like wholegrain bread, sweet potato or quinoa, and the final quarter of your plate should be a source of protein – cooked lean meats, poultry, fish or eggs, lentils, chickpeas and nuts.

Five: Get seasonal. Winter is a great time to boost your fruit and veggie intake – we’re talking healthy stews, casseroles and stir fries. Seasonal vegetables include cabbage, brussel sprouts, winter squash, sweet potato, onions, beets, swiss chard, celeriac, carrots, turnips, radicchio and rhubarb. Eating foods that are high in vitamin C will also help keep your immune system strong, so include fruit and veggies such as lemons, kiwifruit, capsicum and broccoli in your weekly shop.

Use these five tips to keep healthy and happy, and get some spring back in your step!

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or call Cancer Council on 13 11 20.

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