Arts & Culture

Tips for working off winter weight

Ready to shed those unwanted winter pounds but don’t want to battle the Eugene winter to get to the gym?@@what [email protected]@ Here are six tips to downsize your dinner plate and watch those numbers fall.

1. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner

Chantelle Russell, assistant director of fitness at the department of physical education and recreation, @@[email protected]@ said many students skip meals, which is actually counterproductive for weight loss goals and creates bad habits that are not sustainable.

“Each meal fires up your metabolism,” she said. “Without that fuel, your body will start to hold on to calories it receives rather than using them.”@@[email protected]@

She also said that skipping meals can lead to overeating or binging later on in the day and does not allow the body to function at maximum capacity. Students with health and weight loss goals should create a reasonable plan for healthier eating choices that include eating throughout the day.

2. Exercise at home

There are plenty of fun, at-home workout videos that can offer a well-balanced fitness plan. The website offers everything from an 11-minute chair-cardio workout to an eight-minute cardio-intervals workout.

“Many basic exercises can also be done at home with or without added weights,” Russell said. “Exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, dips, overhead press, sit-ups, core exercises and stretching.”

3. Avoid repetition in your physical activity

Doing the same thing over and over can get boring and may cause you to stop physical activity altogether. According to,@@ after doing the same routine for a while, muscles no longer respond to the stimuli because they are accustomed to it. Adding variety in to your routine improves your metabolism and, better yet, increases motivation.

4. Trade in those empty calories for healthy snacks

Russell said to always consider having meals and snacks that include a combination of proteins, carbohydrates and some healthy fats.

“I would recommend eating a very colorful diet and read or know the ingredient list for what you’re putting in your body,” she said.

Students are encouraged to choose whole foods such as whole grains, beans, fruit, vegetables and dairy products that will help provide a stream of energy. And for the typical college student who functions on little sleep and massive amounts of caffeine, Russell says to drink caffeine in moderation, relying on food and sleep for energy.

5. Start with realistic short-term and long-term goals

Write your goals down and share them with friends and family so they can motivate and support you along the way. Focus on what you enjoy about exercise and eating healthy. Make small changes and healthy choices on a daily basis.

“Avoid the ‘all-or-nothing’ mentality,” Russell said. “Set yourself up for potential breakdowns in your exercise and nutrition plan.”

6. Remember to always stay positive — losing weight doesn’t happen overnight

“Losing weight in a healthy and sustainable manner takes time, patience and effort that will create lifestyle change,” Russell said.

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