Winter Weight Gain
Winter weight gain seems to be a fact of life. Those insidious few pounds, that you worked so hard to eliminate in the summer months, seem to creep back on once winter rolls around.
Some of the reasons for winter weight gain could be:
- Colder weather makes it more difficult to
exercise, play outside, or go for a daily walk.
- The days are dark when you leave for work and
arrive home, so unless you join a gym, it might not be safe to exercise anyway.
- Clothes are layered and it is easy to hide those
- Dark days can lead to seasonal affect disorder
and comfort food eating.
- Winter food is heavier than summer food, and can
be more caloric.
- Winter social activities often center on meeting
friends for food or drinks and less active pursuits.
Tips to Avoid Winter Weight Gain
- Keep in the light as much as possible.
- Get out at your lunch break and walk. Don’t stay
cooped up in your dark office. Dress warmly.
- Consider buying a light that will help with
Seasonal Affect Disorder. Even Costco usually sells them.
- Get out and get active on the weekends. Don’t
hunker down in front of the television and just sit out winter.
- Join a gym, buy a piece of home equipment, swim,
dance, join a fun class like zumba, ski or snowboard, buy a Wii fit; just get
moving like you do in summer.
- Understand winter vegetables and eat them. They
are there, but you might not know what to do with them. Kale, Broccoli,
spinach, root vegetables, squash, and oranges are prevalent. Fill up your
shopping cart with them and try new healthy recipes.
- Practice Healthy Cooking. Get into Stir fries
and Soups that are broth based for filling, healthy lunch and dinner meals.
- Plan winter social activities that don’t involve
high calorie food. Start a soup book club where you serve healthy soup recipes and
share. Be purposeful on this and invite friends who will not be tempted to cave
and bring a dessert extravaganza. Set the ground rules upfront.
- Plan winter social activities that include activity.
- Understand food cravings and eat balanced meals to avoid them. Meal skippers have more cravings.
- Avoid all processed carbohydrates like chips, cookies, and crackers; anything that has a bar code. They are high glycemic foods and will cause your blood sugar to crash and cause cravings.
- Get rid of mindless eating and change your thinking. The easiest way is to keep a food journal. A few extra bites here and there that you don’t remember can be problematic. Take a photo of every piece of food that you eat. By the end of the day, you will be amazed how much you forgot.
- Automate your meal plan. Choose 3 or 4 breakfast, lunch, and snack choices, and fill your dinner meal full of vegetables. Fill out a meal planning chart to help.
- Don’t drink high calorie hot drinks. Those hot cocoa and tea drinks can be loaded with sugar, fat, and a meals worth of calories.
- Use your scale and weigh often. Keep your weight in check. If your clothes feel tight, you are gaining. The scale is not your only source of winter weight gain!
Winter weight gain happens. Understand why and make the
changes necessary to avoid it. A few well calculated strategies can help you to
stay out of your fat pants this winter!