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Staying Motivated When the Temperature Drops


Once cooler temperatures hit, it can be all to easy to cover up with cozy sweaters and sip on one too many delicious, calorie-laden drinks, including eggnog and lattes. Comfort foods such as cheesy casseroles and creamy soups are also front and center. Since we are not showing as much skin as in the summer months, we tend to relax a bit more and lose sight of our exercise and healthy food goals. Here are some tips for staying motivated when the temperature drops.

Revisit Short-Term Goals

It can be motivating and usually much easier to set a goal to get into that itty-bitty bikini, so adjustments might need to be made come fall and winter. Start by making small and attainable goals that you know you can stick with. Some examples include penciling in a date to attend a spin class three days a week, or aiming to eat a fruit or vegetable with every meal and snack. Although these goals seem easy to some, it is often times the smallest changes that have the biggest impact.

Sign Up for a Race

Colder temperatures make it more difficult to go outside and be active. In turn, it can also hinder our motivation. An outdoor race is a great opportunity to not only be active, but also have fun! Having a race on your calendar will help you stick to your weekly workouts since we often aim to get in a certain number of miles per week until race day. From the Turkey Trot to the Santa Run, there is a race that will fit every type of person's interest and level of fitness. You can take this tip a step further and ask family and friends to join you. Having a workout partner is a great way to stay on track.

Make Meal Planning a Priority

It is easy to be tempted by the many delicious treats that fill our grocery store shelves around the holidays. If you have a grocery list accompanied by a meal plan when you hit the store, it will make it that much easier to avoid temptation. When planning out your meals for the week, try searching for recipes that are still warm and comforting but will not blow your calorie intake for the day. For example, instead of potato soup that often has loads of cream, cheese and bacon, a healthier alternative would be a roasted tomato soup that combines oven-roasted tomatoes, garlic and broth.

Say No to Excuses

Making excuses often goes hand-in-hand when struggling with motivation. The best way to say no to excuses is to try to find ways to overcome them. Having trouble getting to the gym once you get home from work? Try packing a gym bag to bring with you so you can head straight to the gym from work. Not feeling like cooking dinner in the evening? Look into crockpot recipes that can be started in the morning and ready to eat when you arrive home. It is that easy!


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Kristen Bourque, RD, LD has been writing health-related articles since 2000. Her nutrition articles and recipes have been featured in "Today's Dietitian" as well as the Canadian magazine "Glow". Kristen combines her love of nutrition with cooking on her personal blog, Swanky Dietitian

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