How to Avoid Winter Weight Gain! |

Weight gain in winter is not an uncommon phenomenon. Most people will gain 0.5-2 kilograms during the winter season and some of us don’t lose it afterwards. This can lead to gradual weight gain and obesity issues down the track, according to some recent research. Read this article on how to keep off the winter kilos and start spring with a strong, healthy body.When autumn rolls around and the bathers and shorts get put away until next year, some of us breathe a sign of relief. Glad to not have to show off our bodies during the next 6 months and be able to enjoy our favourite winter comfort foods. But spring comes sooner than we expect, as does warm weather and singlet tops. And we panic and hit the gym!But what if I told you that keeping the weight off should be easier in winter than in summer and it only takes a few simple strategies to achieve. It is true that in colder weather, our appetites are increased and in extremely cold weather, your body has to work harder to keep warm and therefore you do burn more calories (5-20%) however this is in extreme cold so not applicable to most of the world.Here are some suggestions for your diet and exercise suggestions for winter:Exercise:Exercise to keep warm. Better than hot showers and layers, getting your heart rate up makes you warmer than anything else.
Ask any runner if the cold weather makes them run faster and I bet that they would say it does! When it is so cold and you have adrenaline pumping around, you are likely to be more productive when you exercise. Just make sure you warm up properly!
Instead of exercising in the morning or in the evening when the temperatures are lower, try going for a walk or run at lunchtime. Rain? Then take out a three month membership at the gym closest to your work and do a session three times a week.
On weekends if the weather is dry, try to be as active as possible. Walk, cycle, join a winter team sport etc. Often in summer some of these activities are off limits in the middle of the day due to the heat, but in winter it is more achievable.
If the weather is not so good, make a “date” with your gym at a set time, three to four times per week. You wouldn’t break an appointment with your doctor or best friend so don’t break a date with the gym either. The results will be worth it.
Recruit a gym buddy: you are more likely to go if there is someone expecting you.
Work your legs: not only do your legs contain one of the biggest muscle groups in the body but by focussing on squats, lunges and other leg exercises, your legs will look great in your new pair of jeansDiet:- You might find yourself eating less “cold” foods like fresh fruit, yoghurt, cold meats etc and instead craving hot, heavy meals. Try to still get in your three serves of dairy and two serves of fruit however but stick to seasonable fruit (i.e oranges, kiwi fruit, pears). Here are some healthy snacks that are warming for the body:Low fat tinned soup (watch the sodium) or a cup of homemade soup
“lite” hot chocolate using real cocoa powder, ½ tsp of sugar and hot skim milk or a skim cappuccino.
Warmed low fat custard with stewed fruit
For your main meals, instead of heavy meat dishes or cream-based meals, try some of the following dishes:
Soup soup soup! And not just plain soups either. Homemade soup with vegetables plus any of the following additions: barley, chickpeas, lentils, chicken, ham, split peas. Season it with different spices i.e. try a Moroccan edge to your standard sweet potato soup by adding chickpeas and Moroccan spices
Use ricotta cheese instead of white sauce when make lasagna and always use lean mince
If you eat a lot of beef heavy dishes, like roasts, goulash, stroganoff etc make sure it is still a lean cut of meal or trim all visible fat off before cooking. With roast chicken, remove the skin then cover in spices and olive oil before wrapping it in metal foil and roasting it. You will still get juicy chicken without the fat from the skin having soaked through, adding extra calories
Instead of using mashed potato as a side dish, try boiled or roast jacket potato with some lite cream cheese to flavour. You generally eat more of something if it is blended up as not needing to chew something stops the signalling to the brain that you are full. Chew foods thoroughly to get the most flavour and fullness out of them.Other suggestions:- Take your holidays in the winter, finding warmer destinations overseas or in a tropical area so your body forgets it is winter.
– If budgets permit, try a skiing holiday! 1 hour of skiing burns about 500 calories so you might return from your holiday lighter than when you left!Most of these suggestions are not difficult to implement and maintain through a winter season and the result will be a beach ready body when the hot weather returns.