Avoid Winter Weight Gain by Following These 6 Tips

Are you afraid of gaining a few pounds during the winter?

It is time for holidays with large quantities of tempting, fattening foods which usually results with gaining weight.

Besides the holidays, the cold weather can also interrupt your workout routine, make you more likely to reach for comfort foods and can even send you on a mood roller coaster that can lead to overeating. Although seasonal weight gain varies from person to person, there have been surveys that show an average of a five to seven pound gain in weight in winter. It is definitely much easier to not gain weight in the first place than it is to lose what you’ve put on. But it can be easily avoided if you learn how to resist eating all the food you are surrounded with. Be prepared for the upcoming season with our six-point plan to beat winter weight gain.

Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Everybody knows that eating fruits and veggies is a simple way to cut calories – by eating a lot of this kind of food we don’t get too many calories and we feel full and healthy in the same time. Sneaking veggies into our meals definitely helps – we are not able to eat that much of our main dish because we eat more veggies at the same time. Plus we get a healthy dose of feel-full fiber and we feel sat and satisfied.

Don’t Forget to Exercise Just Because It’s Cold

Cold weather shouldn’t be excuse for not doing exercises. If you eat more in winter and exercise less, you will easily gain weight. Make up for it by cutting your calories for a few days and adding extra exercise. If it’s cold outside for jogging, for example, you could get a gym membership or try a team sport. This is the key to stay away from weight gain in winter. Another ways to burn calories are so called “incidental exercises”.

Those are simple things like walking, using stairs rather than escalators and elevators, cleaning the house and similar. When you get just 100 fewer calories per day through dieting, exercise or both, that is the equivalent of 10 pounds per year.

Winter Weight Gain: Winter-Jog
Photo Credit: Hernán Piñera

Sleep Enough

Sleeping enough is good for your overall health and it helps you to avoid weight gain. What actually happens in case you don’t sleep enough? The prefrontal cortex (part of the brain responsible for self-control) is compromised by sleep loss. So, you are losing self-control, and are more prone to take junk food in order to compensate endangered prefrontal cortex. To sum up, lack of sleep (even if it’s just an hour less) usually leads to gaining a few pounds by altering hunger hormones.

Turn the TV and the Computer Off While Eating

You should enjoy your meal without any distractions. When you watch TV or do something on your computer it’s much easier to get out of control and overeat. Making an effort to be mindful and eat in peace, no matter what you’re eating, can help you feel more satisfied and to enjoy more in the food. Also, don’t be in a hurry – when you eat slowly, you will feel fuller with less food, and won’t be able to overeat.

Don’t Deprive Yourself

Feeling deprived even if we are consuming plenty of calories can easily lead to overeating. We need to try to moderate everything we do in our lives, including eating as well. When we make and serve food it should be in normal (or even small) quantities, in order to avoid temptation and uncontrolled eating, just because of its attraction and really good taste. For example, we can take a few squares of dark chocolate, or ½ cup of ice cream. In that way we will be satisfied without threat of overeating.

Choose Wisely When You Go to a Restaurant

When we eat outside, studies have shown that we may take in 40% more calories than we would otherwise. Just be yourself! Don’t let others to rule your way of life. Instead of having some junk food when you go out with friends, why hot initiate ordering something different, much healthier than before, like soup, salad, chicken, lean steak, fish or risotto? You don’t have to drink large amounts of alcohol, especially not beer, because you certainly don’t want to get a beer belly. Let smart choices be your lifestyle.

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