The New Year is upon us and for some, new resolutions are made to lose those holiday pounds and to get in shape. During the winter months, however, many people have a pretty hard time keeping their weight under control. As the days get short and dark, many of us crave carbohydrate-rich foods. Breads, potatoes and pasta become irresistible, not to mention cookies, cake and donuts.

And carbohydrates beget more carbohydrates. One potato chip invites another. And who has ever been able to keep a resolution to eat just one oreo? All that delicious food combined with a low level of activity tends to make a person go into hibernation.

Hibernation leads to lots of excess weight, which of course needs to be dropped once again in time for warmer weather and bathing suit season.This winter, you can take charge of your waist line and your health by applying some of these common sense tips on how to never gain those extra pounds in the first place! 

First of all, don’t deny yourself all of the things you love. People who diet by refusing themselves treats (a candy bar here and there, a latte) tend to gain more weight than people who occasionally indulge themselves. It’s human nature not to be happy about removing something from your life that you want-so when you fail, you fail big. It’s OK to have a candy bar once in a while, or a latte. But do it in moderation. Don’t eat the second candy bar, or have the latte every day. If you give yourself a reward or two when you deserve it, weight loss won’t have to control your life, and you won’t annoy your friends and family by counting calories all the time! 

Take a walk and enjoy the winter wonders. Or take up that yoga class you’ve always wanted to take! Small choices like these are key to keeping the weight off. The more active you are every day, the less likely you are to pick up extra winter weight. Don’t give in to the temptation to just sit around and be a "couch potato" all weekend, you can find chores to do…even in the winter months! Clean out your closet, or your basement. Shovel the snow, do whatever is necessary to stay active. You’ll end up burning the winter calories, and end up feeling energized and happy that you’ve gotten so much accomplished! If you’re experiencing aches and pains that are preventing you from getting up and getting moving, visit your doctor of chiropractic. Gentle spinal manipulation can help you feel better and minimize the chance for injury when you’re working out. 

If you slipped up and gained some weight over the holidays, don’t go on crash diets. Lose weight fast diets don’t give you the nutrients you need or the discipline needed to keep the weight off when the diet is through. Stick to eating three healthy meals a day and avoid fast food. If you have a sweet tooth, don’t sit down and eat the entire chocolate cake, have an apple, or a banana instead. Get in some moderate exercise 3 to 4 times a week for at least a half hour. Do this and you’ll be much happier, and lose more winter weight faster than with the quick fix diets. You can also remove some of the “extras” from your routine. Drink your coffee black, cream and sugar add a ton of calories. Cut back on chocolate and other sweets unless it’s an occasional thing, skip the cheese and mayo on your sandwich at lunch, skip the soda in favor of some tea (but no sugar!), and look at your daily food choices and try to cut out the extra calories. In no time at all, you’ll shed those extra pounds and you’ll have more energy to do the things you love to do!