June 22, 2016

It seems that the cold has really hit, and with it for many people comes the dreaded winter weight gain. If this strikes fear (or acceptance) into your heart, it’s important to know that you don’t have to be a victim this year.

Have you ever wondered why people tend to suffer winter weight gain? When it gets cold, our body needs to turn up its thermostat to keep us warm, and it does this by burning more calories. While this might sound like we should lose weight, we generally just eat more to compensate.

Winter comfort food can certainly help with warming us up. If we ate more home-made soups or stews – foods loaded with protein and vegies and fats – we may not gain weight at all. Unfortunately many people take winter as an opportunity to eat more pudding and hot chocolate and the like, with the excuse that they’re using comfort food to help them keep warm.

Most of us live in homes with perfectly good heating, and most of us have lovely warm jackets and pants and an understanding of how to layer our clothes for warmth, so the “keep warm” mentality is flawed. Perhaps it’s an excuse?

Warm clothes also tend to hide what’s happening underneath. In summer, shorts and sundresses don’t hide much. In winter, long pants and bulky jackets can hide a lot and this gives some people a sense of protection. When it’s cold, we tend to dry off after showering and get dressed very quickly, minimising the chance of catching a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror. Out of sight, out of mind.

If you find that your weight cycles with the seasons, take the opportunity this winter to do something different.

If you’re already following a program, continue with it as though it’s summer. Sure, it’s a bit harder to motivate yourself to get out for exercise, but you just need to find a way to do all your exercise indoors if the weather demands.

Eat with care, making food selections that help you move toward your summer goals rather than relaxing into a higher winter weight. As with every other year, you know that winter leads into spring and then summer.

Avoid yet another pre-summer panic. Get all your strategies in place this winter to make summer a breeze.