The Carousel chatted to Alexa Towersey, who is an athlete, celebrity trainer and founder of Creating Curves, about her exclusive secret hacks for keeping the pounds off during those hibernation months.
Why do you think people gain weight during winter?
Winter months are notorious for increasing our appetite as well as providing extra excuses to avoid training. It’s really hard work to get your bum into gear, when a warm comfortable bed or snuggled up on the couch at night seems far more appealing.
What are some warming and hearty foods that are healthy?
I am all about breakfast. Bubble and squeak is definitely a favourite as it is quick and easy to make, and you can use dinner leftovers as a base. (For those who don’t know, bubble and squeak is made from frying leftovers in potato). I also really enjoy poached chicken or salmon with broccoli, corn and carrots. Lean red meat seasoned with herbs and veges are also great as they’re healthy, warming and hearty in the winter months.
What are your personal fitness philosophies?
Remember, you are an individual! Everyone responds differently to training and nutrition. What works for your best mate, won’t necessarily work for you. Learn to listen to your body. Set a goal. Look at a “realistic” time-frame. Train for YOUR objective, and support your time and effort in the gym with food that nourishes and satisfies YOU. It’s all about creating a lifestyle, and not a fad.
What are the most common barriers to losing weight for women?
Women traditionally store fat around their hips and thighs which can be associated with ineffective blood sugar management. Targeted weight training can help this and improve the way your body responds to and processes sugar and carbohydrates. The best way to target the fat is to use moderate weights with higher total volume. When you train with higher volume weights, you have the ability to burn fat and gain lean muscle as women release a higher level of HGH (Human Growth Hormone). In addition if you specifically want to lose fat on your legs, weight training is great because the muscles are large and demand more from you metabolically.
How do you stay swimsuit ready all year round?
As a general rule, healthy gut = healthy EVERYTHING!
Support your digestive system. You need it working efficiently to not only to be able to breakdown and utilise the nutrients from your food, but to effectively “clean out” your body. Invest in a good quality probiotic and broad spectrum digestive enzymes, such as sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir, and learn to love your cruciferous veges (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage and bok choy).
Try starting the day with a glass of warm water with raw apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice and L-glutamine – an essential amino acid that supports the digestive and immune system.
How do the seasons affect your exercise routine?
You don’t need to change your training on a seasonal basis – however it really comes down to individual preference. I find a lot of people struggle with the motivational aspect when it comes to training in the colder months, especially if their training is predominantly outside.
How can you exercise when the weather is cold?
A lot of people are deterred from doing hot yoga as they are unable to handle training in heat, however during the winter months, it’s the perfect time to get warm and supple at the same time. And just think of how much more flexible you’ll be once summer rolls around again!
Alexa’s top tips to avoid winter weight gain:
- Preparation is the key. Some people like to organise their food each night, others on a Sunday afternoon. Precook your protein. Chop up your vegetables and portion them out in containers. Then when you need a meal all you need to do is chuck the vegetables in a pot or stir-fry them.
- Make sure you have healthy snacks on hand – in your bag, your car, your office. Worst case scenario a good quality greens drink that you can mix with water or coconut water in a shaker is a quick, easy and nutritious snack on the run. It’s all about setting yourself up for success and not giving yourself any more excuses than you already have.
- In order to stay motivated to work out, be consistent and set up realistic goals. Schedule your workout for when you know you are most likely to do it, otherwise you’re just setting yourself up for failure. If you’re not a morning person, don’t arrange a morning run at sunrise. If you’re busy at work, don’t schedule it for lunch. And if you struggle with sleep or are always dead exhausted after a long day, night time sessions are not ideal.