WW blog: Aneurin shares how to stay SmartPoints® savvy year-round in our #WWMindset special
Hi, I’m Aneurin aka @thepointedplate on Instagram, and I recently re-joined WW, losing 14.5lbs since 1 August.
As the seasons change, it can be difficult to stay mindful while eating, and bad weather can sometimes make it harder to remain active during this time of year.
Traditionally, winter is a time to slow down, and as animals prepare to stock up on food and hibernate, we humans aren’t so different! A cosy duvet day with our favourite comfort foods becomes particularly irresistible on the long, dark nights that will soon start drawing in.
I don’t know about you, but for me the craving for big bowls of homemade stews or casseroles with plenty of bread and butter becomes even stronger, and you’d be surprised how one bowl can turn into three at my house! You just can’t beat a hug in a bowl.
So, with autumnal surroundings somewhat against us, how can we fully utilise WW during the coming months so we can enjoy the magic of the season while smashing our goals?
Here are my 5 top tips:
1. Plan your plate
The opportunities for falling ‘off plan’ tend to rear their head during autumn and winter, as we crave comfort foods and the party season gets in full swing towards the end of the year.
Social events become more prevalent and equally, cosy nights on the sofa with our favourite snacks seem harder to resist. Planning is a fantastic tool we can use all year round, but during this time of year when we become more vulnerable to the elements, I find using the WW app to plan my week is especially important.
2. Eat the season
There are so many beautiful vegetables that come into season during the colder seasons. Potatoes, squash, onions, beets, cabbage, carrots, parsnips – the list goes on! It’s the perfect time of year to take full advantage of nature’s bounty and incorporate that into your WW plan.
You can still eat comforting stews or staple winter pies with a vast array of WW-friendly recipes. Now is the time to also eat more mood-boosting foods like bananas, spinach, oily fish and dark chocolate. This can help keep the winter blues at bay and make you less likely to overeat.
3. Let’s go outside
Winter is a time to slow down and turning inwards. It’s okay to stop, breathe and tune in to the stillness – but sometimes it’s too easy for us to hide away from the world.
Earning FitPoints® by going for a brisk walk and taking in the crisp air, meditating or even just taking a moment to observe the colours on the autumn trees are all simple ways we can stay connected with nature.
Making the effort to go outside and get some fresh air not only stops me from burrowing under my duvet and hibernating, but also releases the feel-good hormone, dopamine! Win-win!
RELATED: 8 meditation myths you should ignore
4. Creature comforts
The cold weather tends to ignite our cravings for more carbs and comfort foods. Why? After we consume starchy, stodgy treats, our serotonin levels rise, making our brains think we’re happier. And as the day wears on, your carb cravings get stronger and stronger.
If you’re someone who is prone to feeling down during the darker months, being mindful (although not restrictive!) of the types of foods you’re eating can be really helpful.
5. Take care
If the dark nights steer you in the direction of a takeaway and a Netflix marathon, remember to centre yourself – be mindful of your goals for that day/week, take your mind off your cravings by reading a new book or taking a candlelit bubble bath.
Another great tip is to pour a hot, comforting herbal tea. These days you can get salted caramel, chocolate and even gingerbread – yes, gingerbread! A calming cup of chamomile or warming mug of ginger tea while collecting your thoughts can be the perfect way to start the day or wind down during the evenings.