Even if I’m careful about what I eat and hit the gym regularly, I tend to pack on the pounds during the holidays? Why? There are a number of reasons. The most obvious reason is the heaviness of the foods I consume during the winter. Living in Minnesota, rich foods such as hash brown casserole, wild rice soup, and hot fudge sundae cake are regularly offered at office and family parties. Fruits and vegetables are more expensive and less abundant and it’s easy to sit inside and not get enough exercise.
We all know that somehow it is easier to lose or maintain your weight during the summer. After all, the warm weather makes us want to do more activities outside and it is easier to obtain fresh fruits and vegetables. After gaining five pounds last winter, I decided to try and trick my body into thinking it was summer. It took me two weeks to lose the weight, so what I did to lose the weight was by no means an easy fix, but it worked and helped me gain more energy.
The first thing I did was get a full spectrum table lamp that mimics the sun’s natural rays. The lamp cost me less than $50 and fit on the table next to the couch. Every morning, I sat under the lamp for around 30 minutes. The light seemed to give me the extra energy I needed to get through the day. These lamps are frequently used by people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. Even though I don’t suffer from SAD, I think sitting under the light each morning gave me more energy and made me want to exercise.
After sitting under the light, I exercised to a video called “Walk Away the Pounds.” The workout lasts for 60 minutes and includes low intensity aerobics that slightly raises your heartbeat.
In addition to sitting under the full spectrum lamp and exercising, I also tried to eat as if it were summer. What I mean is, although my body was craving heavy foods, I opted for light foods such as turkey sandwiches, chicken caesar salads, and fresh arugula with almonds, sun dried tomatoes, and walnuts with a vinaigrette dressing. I didn’t worry too much about eliminating carbs, but more about eating fresh, whole feeds.
I repeated this routine everyday for two weeks and lost some excess holiday weight. I don’t think it was the light that made me lose weight, but rather, it gave me more energy to work out. Working out contributed to me wanting to eat less and make more healthy choices. By tricking my body into thinking it was summertime, I was able to lose some extra holiday weight and feel great in the process.