9 Easy Ways to Beat Winter Weight Gain
25 April 2016
I get it! There is nothing better than comfort food in winter. That feeling of indulging in your favourite warming comforts on those chilly evenings is so utterly satisfying! But as we know, too much of anything is never a good idea! So before you go into hibernation mode and dive head first into all the heavy winter food, let’s work towards keeping things balanced and healthy. Instead of putting yourself in a position of having to “shed the winter weight”, rather, let’s work towards not putting it on at all!
First and foremost, the key lies in prevention. One of the main reasons we gain weight during winter is that we move less. That, coupled with an intake of heavier food compared to the salads and fruit-based meals we enjoy in summer, explains the trend towards weight gain. Maintaining your regular training schedule is crucial. If you cannot drag yourself out of bed for early-morning workouts, move your morning sessions to the afternoon or evening, or link in with a regular personal trainer or friend to train to give you some accountability.
Getting some sunlight is vital to optimise your mood on shorter days, so a brief lunchtime walk can work wonders for both energy levels and weight. Your body might be more covered up in winter but this does not mean you have an excuse to overeat. Limit fatty treats such as puddings, quiches, pies and chocolate to just once or twice a week.
Bulk your meals up with lots of filling vegetables and remember your low-kilojoule, warming treats such as low-fat hot chocolate drinks, soups, baked apples, mountain bread pizzas and diet desserts. Another trick you can try is to add a vegetable-based soup to your evening meal. Studies have shown that individuals eat up to 20 per cent less in a meal when they have had a soup first. Add bulk with barley and lentils to help keep you fuller for longer.
Most importantly, do not give yourself psychological permission to gain weight during the cooler months. Many of us use winter as an excuse to bunker down, skip the gym and eat heavy foods: things we never do when our bodies are on display each day. Take your measurements now, and repeat them each week to make sure that the weight is not creeping on. And remember, weight is much harder to take off than it is to put on.
Beating the Winter bulge can be easy, just keep yourself in check by following the guidelines below:
Enjoy filling, low-kilojoule rolled oats for breakfast, or scrambled eggs and avocado
Enjoy a plain tomato or vegetable soup before dinner.
Exercise in the evening instead of the morning if you find it tough to get up early when it’s still dark out
Do not stop doing your regular exercise routine.
Bulk up dinners with vegetables.
Choose almond milk hot-drink options and use stevia / xylitol to sweeten
Keep most of your hot drinks to herbal teas – preferably drink unsweetened
Drink two to three green teas a day.
Limit comfort foods to one night a week
Yours in Health Always,