Do you notice that your weight tends to fluctuate with the seasons; that a few extra kilos creep in during the colder months? You’re definitely not alone!
It’s a trap so many of us fall into: in winter, we eat comforting, calorie-dense meals and feel a greater desire to cuddle up on the couch. This increased kilojoule intake combined with a decrease in exercise (who wants to spend hours at the gym when there’s hot chocolate at home?) all adds up to one thing: extra weight. Ugh!
If you know this seasonal cycle all too well, you’ll be relieved to know that you don’t have to go through it again this winter. There are actually a few very simple things you can do to break the winter weight-gain cycle and maintain your figure all year round.
5 proven ways to prevent winter weight gain
1.Stay fit at home
Don’t feel like hitting the gym or running in the rain? There are tons of ways to keep fit at home – and you can even do them while you’re watching TV!
Create a routine that works for you and includes push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, arm curls, planks, squats, calf raises and/or jumping jacks – the options are almost endless. Try to keep moving for 20 to 30 minutes at least 4 to 5 times a week – that’s less time than one episode of your favourite series!
2.Cut out sugar
Okay, we’ll admit it: this isn’t one of the more fun ways to keep extra weight at bay, but it is effective. If you want to indulge in all that hearty wintry goodness, something’s gotta give. So if you’re tucking into bolognaise for mains, skip dessert, or have fruit instead.
Avoid carb-laden hot drinks by opting for sugar-free options instead, like sugar-free hot chocolate, and wherever possible, cut out refined carbs like white bread and pasta.
3.App the ante
There’s no need for expensive Fitbits – there are loads of free mobile apps that will help you track your daily kilojoule intake and expenditure. They’re easy to use and will help you ensure that you don’t consume more than you’re burning, which is key to maintaining your current weight. They can also help you set and achieve weight-loss goals.
4.Watch what you drink
It’s not only the calories in food that count – it’s what you drink, too. Sweetened beverages like fizzy drinks and fruit juices are loaded with unnecessary amounts of sugar and kilojoules, and alcohol can pack a massive calorie punch too. If you’re serious about staying trim, stick to water, unsweetened beverages and low-fat or skim milk in your tea and coffee. And skip the sugar and alcohol altogether!
5.Don’t allow one bad day to turn into several: Remember the 80/20 rule
Slip ups are okay, and even pretty normal. It’s how you manage them that counts. As long as you’re sticking to your healthy habits 80% of the time, you’ll be fine.
That means that if you have a particularly calorie-heavy day today, you can make up for it tomorrow. Get straight back on the wagon and avoid negative or catastrophic thinking. Just because you consumed way more than you should’ve at a birthday party or office function doesn’t mean your diet is ruined. Simply stick to fruit, veggies and salad for most of the time, and the odd binge won’t derail you completely.
Need help finding and sticking to your ideal weight? We can help
Pop into your most convenient Marie Stopes centre for your annual women’s wellness check up, and we can help you work out your ideal weight, plus practical tips for achieving and maintaining it. We can also identify any issues that may be contributing to weight fluctuations, so you can get healthy and achieve optimal wellbeing.