If you’re anything like most people, the winter signifies the start of a three-month hibernation period which inevitably leads to winter weight gain.
Just because the weather has become cold and the holidays are on the horizon doesn’t mean that you need to accept the problem of gaining weight this winter.
Instead, make it your mission to prevent winter weight gain and make this an opportunity to slim down, to get ahead of your resolutions and look your best come spring.
The key to prevent winter weight gain is to start slow, take it easy and don’t go to extremes (so that you can’t enjoy yourself).
10 Ways to Prevent Winter Weight Gain
1. Have a Strategy For Attending Events
“Failing to plan, is planning to fail”
If you give in and begin eating everything in sight or don’t create rules for yourself before attending events it will start to add up. Without a plan in place you may begin the new year quite unhappy with the way your cloths fit.
Here’s what to do:
Decide in advance that you are going to make healthy choices. If it’s not in your plan or you haven’t scheduled a “cheat meal” then don’t allow it to be an excuse.
Tips for staying on track:
- Focus on eating small, healthy whole food meals throughout the day. Meals that are full of proteins, vegetables and leafy greens. Healthy meals will help you stay full longer and minimize cravings.
- Make socializing about the socializing, not the food. Just because you are at the party, get-together or event doesn’t mean that you need to eat the food (Hint: Most people won’t even notice that you aren’t eating). I know it can be easier said than done so if you do decide to eat while at events try loading your plate up with veggies or walking around with a drink.
- If you decide to indulge, choose the healthier options first (Proteins, veggies, low calorie drinks). Be sure to get back on track as soon as possible.
2. Don’t Stop Moving
The cold months are not the time to slow down, stop moving or start skipping out on your workouts. In fact, it’s the opposite if you want to avoid winter weight gain and look amazing once the spring roles around.
Try lifting weights 3-4 times per week and add in some high intensity interval training (HIIT) to boost your metabolism and keep those calories burning.
3. Minimize Stress
Social events, the holidays, relatives and changes in the weather all add a significant amount of stress into our lives. As we become more stressed our bodies release more of the stress hormone “Cortisol” which leads to weight gain.
Don’t be tempted to miss out on your workouts or eat unhealthy feel-good-foods. Try being more mindful with what you eat and take up a practise like yoga or meditation to get your zen on. This will slower stress and in turn, help you shed a few extra pounds.
4. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting could be your best friend during the holidays and will help turn your body into a fat burning machine. Try moving your breakfast back until about noon each day and limit your eating period to 6-8 hours.
5. Start Your Day Healthy
A powerful morning sets the foundation for a powerful day. Starting your morning with a healthy boost of superfoods will kickstart your metabolism, load your body with nutrients and give you that can’t-wait-to-experience-the-joy-of-life energy! Starting your day off with the healthy choice of Limitless Greens will help you to continue making those healthy choices all day.
6. Stay Hydrated
Proper hydration will not only reduce winter weight gain, but it also provides countless other health benefits. Drinking enough water will help you stick to your diet plan by making you feel full longer. It also works to flush toxins from your body.
Staying hydrated can boost your metabolism by up to 30% – isn’t that crazy! So simple, yet so effective. Try carrying a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go and aim to drink around 90oz (3L) of water each day.
7. Schedule Something Important
Think about this… if you had a special party, photo shoot, wedding or event to attend in the spring wouldn’t that help you stay on track?
I know it does for me!
Plan a goal or event to attend and use it as your motivation to stay on track. By keeping this goal in front of you at all times you will notice that making those healthy choices becomes a lot easier.
8. Keep Yourself Accountable
Accountability is one of the most important aspects to reach any goal. Join friends, weight loss groups or an online community to keep yourself accountable. It becomes very hard to skip workouts or cheat yourself when you have other people on your side cheering you on.
Being around like-minded people is priceless. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “You are the average of the 5 closest people to you”. It’s true! When you are together with other people striving for the same goals you will all feed off each other and keep each other accountable.
For me, if I have someone to report to there is no way I’m going to let them down and embarrass myself by not following through with my workouts or nutrition plan.
9. Be Sure to Get Enough Sleep
While the holiday season brings on more joy and happiness, it also brings on more stress. One of the easiest ways to combat stress levels is to maintain a healthy sleep routine. Getting enough high-quality sleep is essential for your body to lower levels of cortisol (your bodies stress hormone). If you want to avoid the dreaded winter weight gain this holiday season you need to do everything in your power to keep cortisol low – that starts with good sleep!
10. Make It Fun
Winter doesn’t mean life has to become dull and boring. Find activities like skiing, skating, snowshoeing or indoor fitness groups that are fun and keep you moving. Use your imagination, find some friends to join you and make the best of these winter months.