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{ guest post } preventing winter weight gain

hi friends! while i'm traveling today, my sweet friend kristen of naturally free rd offered to stop by w/ a guest post. just in time for thanksgiving, she has a few fantastic tips for "preventing winter weight gain".  

preventing winter weight gain:

if you’re like me, the winter months may make you to want to stay inside under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa. now that daylight savings has hit and it gets darker earlier, i find myself coming home from work and wanting to sit on the couch with a good movie. my normal (and usually easier) plan is to head to the gym for a workout class or meet a friend to go walking. so, i completely understand how hard it is to get yourself to the gym in the winter rather than do what your body wants, which is hit the couch. but i promise you that once you complete that workout, your body will thank you for the extra energy and the mood-lifting endorphins.

{source: photo: b. gustafson/styling: c. stills johnson}

3 tips to prevent weight gain: 

  1. hit the gym at the right time: are you too exhausted after a long day at work to work out even though you know it will make you feel better? you may benefit from an early morning workout before you head to work. sure, you’ll have to get up earlier, but you will get a great workout in, and you won’t feel guilty for curling up on the couch to watch your favorite tv show after a long day on the job. not an early bird? keep gym clothes in your car, and head straight to the gym after work. do not go home first! once you make it home, there's always an excuse to stay in (especially when it's cold!). plan in advance to accomplish your workout goals. 

  2. get REAL FOOD conscious: during the winter, vitamin d levels drop because you're not exposed to the best source of vitamin d ... sunlight. this is one reason why it’s very important to get your vitamin d levels checked regularly. consider a vitamin d supplement during the winter months. low vitamin d levels are linked to depression, and many people struggle with SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder) caused by not being exposed to as much light/sunshine. and the winter blues could lead to comfort eating. instead turn to real foods. foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, folate, & b12 are especially important. this includes wild salmon, walnuts, eggs, dark green leafy veggies, sunflower seeds & organic/grass-fed meat products. when you’re focused on eating foods that grow from the earth and less processed foods, the weight will naturally come off. 

  3. don’t go overboard at holiday festivities: some people blame the winter pounds on the holidays. and if you’re someone that has multiple thanksgiving, Christmas, new years' parties to attend, you definitely have to work harder at preventing the weight gain than others. but it IS possible, and you CAN do it. the best way to not overeat at a holiday party is to eat a healthy snack right before the party. a handful of nuts is an easy snack to keep in your purse when you’re on the go. the healthy fats & protein in the nuts will keep your blood sugar from dipping and will give you a sense of being full so you’re not starving at the party. make sure you’re eating protein at every meal/snack to keep you feeling fuller longer also. most importantly ... when you’re at a party, don’t feel like you have to deprive yourself. enjoy the food, but just make sure you limit the items that are exceptionally high in calories/fat/sugar. load your plate up with veggies/fruit and protein first, then have a small portion of the higher carbohydrate items. did you know that sugar is just as addictive as cocaine? the more you eat it, the more your body wants it. focus on your veggies & protein during the winter months, and this will help you not go back for seconds and thirds on all those holiday desserts. 
enjoy this holiday season and remember the reason for it all! don’t stress over the little things, because we all know what stress does to our body too. have fun with all your loved ones, and safe travels to you all!

Naturally Yours,
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

about kristen & naturally free rd:

over a year and a half ago, kristen's health started falling apart. having always been healthy, she began dealing with extreme joint pain, swelling, tingling/numbness in her hands and twitching throughout her body. doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong, so she took matters into her own hands eliminating gluten from her diet & switching to organic foods & products throughout her home.  feeling 100% better today, kristen launched naturally free rd with the hope of helping others heal themselves as well.


thank you so much, kristen! i personally am sp incredibly thankful for you and our friendship as i've transitioned to a gfree lifestyle. have questions about your weight or other nutrition issues in your life? feel free to reach out to kristen (kristenmpardue[at]gmail.com).


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