Winter weight gain is a reality for many. As temperatures drop and the shorter days set in, weight gain can creep up on you, as you go into hibernation mode to compensate for the colder weather. The three main reasons for winter weight gain are comfort eating, lack of physical exercise and over-indulging during holiday celebrations. How can you combat winter weight gain and stay in tip-top condition?
Stock Your Cupboards Sensibly
Cupboards and fridges stocked with cake, trifle, biscuits, and chocolate will lead to a greater instance of comfort eating, which will contribute to winter weight gain. But one way to cut back on winter weight gain is to re-stock your cupboards and fridge with all the right foods.
Staples such as cans of tomatoes, beans, pulses, vegetables, wholewheat pasta, cereals, couscous and healthier snacks such as dried fruit will give you a lot of healthy options when you are hungry and can form the basis of warming, healthy stews, casseroles, and soups. Not only will you enjoy the health benefits of a home-cooked meal, but you will also save money on high-calorie takeaways from your local Chinese, or Indian.
Increase Physical Activity
Winter weight gain can creep up gradually. Before you know it you can no longer fit into your jeans and you feel sluggish and lethargic. But there is no reason why physical activity should level off as the snow starts to fall and you are huddled in your recliner sipping a cup of hot chocolate. Although you are less likely to be outside gardening and walking in the cold, frosty weather, there are still many ways to stay physically active during winter.
Consider joining a leisure centre where you can take a dip in the heated swimming pool or play tennis indoors with a group of friends. Even staying home does not have to prevent you from engaging in some form of physical activity. Watch a dance or fitness DVD and try to keep up!
Choose the Right Hot Beverages
A steaming hot beverage is comforting and soothing, but if you are not careful, your innocent looking latte or hot chocolate could be hiding hundreds of empty calories that you could do without. Avoid high-fat, syrupy drinks that are finished off with whipped cream and other fancy ingredients and stick to regular or “skinny” drinks if you are ordering a beverage from a coffee shop such as Starbuck’s.
Winter weight gain can happen to anyone if they ditch their sensible summer habits and go into hibernation mode. Start off by stocking your cupboards and fridge sensibly so that you can make nutritious, wholesome meals at home and snack on food that does not have a high fat, calorie and sugar content. Next, increase your physical activity levels. Get creative and think of alternative ways to keep fit, such as joining a leisure centre or watching a fitness DVD from the comfort of your home. Finally, choose the right hot beverages so that you can stave off the extra, hidden calories.
NHS Choices, Avoid winter weight gain.