How To Prevent Winter Weight Gain

It’s something we spend plenty of time talking about. You gain weight during the winter, in part because outdoor exercise is not so available, and you gain weight. On top of that, you have Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other heavy eating occasions. Yes, there are plenty of people who like to blame a hibernation theory. You’re not a bear, or some other hibernating animal. It’s not the temperatures that lead to weight gain, it’s your habits.

Without question, some outside activities are more fun, and you can still go snowshoeing for example in the winter. In addition, if you’re used to running outside, there’s really no reason why you can’t also run on the treadmill. You don’t have to overeat, and frankly, that is a considerable part of the winter weight gain issue. It’s not about the season, it’s about your dietary and exercise changes. So what do you do?

  1. Focus on maintenance – It’s easy to focus on extreme dieting just for the winter season when it doesn’t have to be that hard. Instead of pigging out throughout the season, it’s better to try sticking to your summer diet as much as possible. Avoid the unnecessary changes you’re used to. It’s not uncommon for people, especially those who are already overweight, to go overboard over the season. Over time, these pounds can add up quickly, and if you simply maintain, you won’t have to deal with this.
  2. Each meal isn’t your last – This sounds dramatic, but it’s true. Especially with holiday and other family meals, we eat like there’s no tomorrow and we have to eat it all RIGHT NOW! You don’t have to, and that’s exactly the kind of eating that leads to weight gain in the first place. Try stopping when you’re full. Stop after one plate. Moderate your own eating.
  3. Learn to say no – You don’t have to eat another piece of cake. You won’t kill your mom if you don’t have another serving of her world famous stuffing. It’s okay to say I’ve had enough. You have the right to leave leftovers and eat it on other days or leave it for others. Have predetermined meals. Random snacking with calories you’re not officially counting as real meals can really do you a serious disservice.
  4. Don’t get stuck in your mistakes – We all make mistakes. We all eat an extra piece of cake on a special occasion. Get over it and move on. Tomorrow is another day. Lunch is another meal. Move on and do better rather than completely crashing and giving up. If you eat too much, consider exercising a little more intensely or longer that day. One meal or one treat is not going to make or break your diet or make you gain all that winter weight you’ll have to shed later on.
  5. Buffets and open bars are not your friend – Believe it or not, the open bar situation is not your friend, nor are buffets. Many of us lose track of how much we eat or drink when there are these open options right in front of us. If you are at a party with that kind of open table or bar, try limiting yourself. Get a smaller plate for food and keep track of your plates of food. Try counting your drinks a little bit more carefully.
  6. Think about why you’re eating – Are you actually hungry? Are you actually craving something? Are you just eating for the sake of eating to keep up with everyone else? Maybe you’re in an eating contest, and you have to win. Some reasons are perfectly valid while others should be avoided. Be conscious of the reasons why you may be eating right now. One of the easiest problems to fall into is emotional eating. The holidays can be a turbulent time, and emotional eating tends to throw healthy habits and better diet control out the window.
  7. Remember to get some sleep – Don’t forget to get your sleep. I know, it’s easy to get caught up in all the holiday fun and various events, both with friends and family. If you get less sleep, you are more likely to get more stressed, not exercise, eat when you don’t need to, and do things that may lead to that weight gain we all dread during the winter.

If you keep these basic factors in mind, you can maintain better control over your weight. You don’t have to be a slave to winter weight gain. Sometimes, it’s as easy as just remembering the habits you already maintain during the other 3 seasons.

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