Not surprisingly, weight gain during the winter months is a common issue for many people. What can start as a simple pound or two gained in October swiftly builds, especially as the holidays arrive, and there are more “treats” available and large dinners to attend.
Combine those extra calories in with the shorter days and less inclination to get out and exercise (even if it’s only a drive to the gym) and it’s easy to find the scale rising.
While it’s fine to indulge, not everyone is as excited about gaining some extra pounds. Especially those of us that are on a diet to lose weight, or are trying to simply maintain it.
The good news is that you don’t have to be discouraged or dread the cold because neither of those needs to mean that you still can’t beat the weight gain. It’s all merely a matter of balance, some guidance from your personal training program, and a few carefully applied weight-watching tips.
Six Tips To Beating Winter Weight Gain
One of the key ways to fight weight gain is to stay active. No, you don’t have to run a marathon or get involved in extreme sports, but it does help if you stay active.
One of the reasons why Bethany Athletic Club advocates for our members to utilize personal training is that during busy, hectic times (like the holidays), you are already in the habit of exercising onn a schedule.
If you need a little more free time during the holidays, it’s incredibly important that you remain mindful of your physical activity. It’s really difficult to make a new habit, but it’s incredibly easy to fall into old habits.
Something so simple as parking at the end of the parking lot to walk to the store or taking the stairs makes all the difference.
Eat in moderation
Yes, I’m sure that you’ve heard that before, but I’ll repeat it: everything in moderation.
As we grow older, our metabolism slows down, and we don’t require as much food to nourish our bodies and give us energy.
With all the holiday sweets, it can be tempting to gorge ourselves; however, you’ll only regret it.
Try taking a modest portion, and if you are still hungry 15-20 minutes later, return for more.
Another tip is to wait to eat until you are really hungry. Be aware of when your body is telling you that you actually need food, and when you are experiencing “head hunger.”
Your personal trainer can help you form a plan that you can stick to to avoid temptation and leave out guesswork. This can help you stay mindful of how your diet and physical activity work together.
Get involved with a cold-weather sport
Not everyone is into cold-weather actives, and that’s fine. But sometimes it’s a good idea to at least give them a try. You never know, skiing or snowshoeing may be just up your alley.
It can be hard to stay active if you live somewhere where it is extremely cold, or there is a lot of snow. One of the best ways to deal with this is, “If you can’t beat it, join it!”. If you can’t avoid the cold and snow, try getting into it.
If you find friends that share the same interests as you, it will help to increase your social life as well (something that can suffer during the winter months).
Beat the Winter Blues
Another reason that people gain weight in the wintertime is due to the “Winter Blues.” This is in reference to feeling a little down due to lack of sunshine, Vitamin D, and lack of socialization (people tend not to go out as much in the wintertime).
Make sure that you are staying active not only physically, but socially as well. If you feel down, it will result in feeling discouraged, lead to less movement, and perhaps even eating out of boredom.
Watch the calendar
Often with the busyness of the holidays, it can be easy to let time get away from you. When was the last time you went to the gym or took a walk? If you aren’t sure, then it’s been too long.
Try marking on the calendar to keep track of when you last worked out or went for a walk. It will not only keep you motivated but will also inspire you not to miss your scheduled workout days.
Keep yourself accountable
Lastly, yes, it can be easy to get too busy, or get sidetracked and forget about your resolutions-whether it’s to eat in moderation or exercise every day.
An excellent way to avoid that is to find yourself someone to join you in your goals. A partner is a great way to keep yourself accountable, and you’ll be returning the favor and doing the same for them.
Other ways to watch your weight gain in the wintertime is to stay hydrated, drink plenty of water, get plenty of sleep each night, and try to maintain good overall habits. Staying in shape and staying active will all help you to not only avoid winter weight gain but also to keep your mind alert and energized.