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5 Ways to Stay Sexy All Winter Long

To feel sexy is a state of mind. It doesn't have to do anything with pole dancing, Valentine's Day, or even another person. Feeling sexy is about exuding an aura of confidence and well-being.

It's normal to feel more sexy and alive in the summer when the days are longer, clothes are skimpier, and a vacation is right around the corner. But the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere can be a bit taxing on our minds and bodies, making us feel not quite so sexy.

Due to the shorter amounts of sunlight during the days in wintertime, we also may feel like we want to sleep more than usual, have a little less energy and may even feel sad here and there for no reason.

Many of us also will experience intense cravings for refined carbohydrates like pizza, pasta, and breads.  When we give in to these cravings, it can lead to a vicious cycle of craving more, holding onto more water weight, and ultimately increasing our waistlines, which is never a sexy feeling.

These symptoms can be labeled as Seasonal Affective Disorder. However, I'm not such a big fan of labels and feel that just like the earth has seasons, so do our bodies and minds. If these symptoms are debilitating then you may want to see a doctor or therapist. But, if you just have a case of the wintertime blahs then there are plenty of ways to shake yourself out of them.

Here Are 5 Ways to Stay Sexy in Wintertime:

1. Balance your blood sugar. This lesson can be the key to your success when it comes to controlling your cravings, managing your weight, and even your moods. Be sure that every meal contains a healthy fat like olive oil, avocado, nuts or seeds as well as a clean and lean protein like legumes, nuts, eggs, wild fish or organic poultry and meat. This will help lower the glycemic load of the entire meal to keep your blood sugar from spiking and then crashing, setting you up for more cravings. Keep your caffeine intake to a minimum and snack wisely on high fiber fruits and veggies in between meals.

2. Eat more chocolate. Chocolate comes from the cacao bean and in its purest form contains high levels of antioxidants, even more than red wine or green tea. It also contains the compound phenethylamine which stimulates our sense of excitement and well-being. Don't feel guilty splurging on an ounce of dark chocolate (70% cocoa and over) to boost your mood and even your libido. Yes, the cacao bean is considered an aphrodisiac.

3. Get some sunshine. Sun exposure affects our bodies’ levels of serotonin and melatonin, which both affect our mood. Decreased levels of these two hormones may make us feel down. Sun exposure also helps our bodies create Vitamin D. For those of us who shun the sun, there may be a chance we have a Vitamin D deficiency, which has been linked to low mood in scientific studies. To fix this, try and get out of the office for a quick walk outside at lunchtime, or at least get outside on the weekends. Bundle up, if you have to, but keep your face exposed to the sunlight, and go for a long walk.

4. Exercise every day. As tempting as it may be to hit the snooze button instead of getting to the gym because it's still dark out, be sure to keep fitness a top priority. Try a home workout DVD if leaving the house seems unrealistic. When I refuse to leave the house for my workout, I throw in an Insanity DVD, or do my own martial arts training in my living room. Do what you like that makes you sweat! Exercising for 20 to 30 minutes will allow your body to release endorphins that make you feel happy. You'll leave for work with a sense of accomplishment and swagger, which will make others wonder what you're up to.

5. Eat for happiness. Avoiding foods that are high in processed sugar or contain any high fructose corn syrup will help your gut (or second brain) be happy. Lay off soda and candy, and instead treat yourself to homemade sweets that you can limit the levels of sugar. Eat more whole foods that contain tryptophan (the pre-cursor to serotonin), such as halibut, wild salmon, organic turkey, asparagus, organic cheese, tofu, nuts, seeds and bananas. Be sure to eat your brain food in your wintertime diet as well. Foods containing omega 3 fatty acids are important to help ward off depression. Wild salmon, seaweed, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds are a great addition to your everyday diet. You can always take a fish oil, blue green algae or krill oil supplement, as well.

-Jennifer

Jennifer Cassetta is a third degree black belt, clinical nutritionist and personal trainer. She loves kale, chocolate and wine. She loves to punch, kick, lift weights, meditate, and dress up in stilettos. She empowers people to be strong, safe and sexy through nutrition, fitness and self-defense, and you can read more at www.jennifercassetta.com.

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>> Read more of Jennifer Cassetta's articles here! <<

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