Why is it that weight gain and winter seem to go hand in hand? Well, they don’t have to! We have a few tips for avoiding that winter weight gain.
These colder, shorter days seem to drain our energy, leave us reaching for comfort foods and losing the motivation to exercise. Although weight gain during winter seems inevitable, it doesn’t have to be! Try out these few tips to keep those sneaky kilos away over the colder months!
Mindful eating and portion size
Over the winter months, the cold temps tend to make us feel hungrier and therefore our portion sizes can easily sneak up. Enjoy your favourite meals but use some mindful eating techniques, as discussed in our previous article.
Portion size is always important! Always aim for half a plate filled with non-starchy veges. This ensures that you are satisfied and less likely to fill up on snacks after meals. Include some lean protein at lunch and dinner meals e.g. eggs, meat, chicken, fish, legumes, and some sustaining carbohydrates such as brown rice.
Turning people’s favourite treat dishes into everyday favourites is something we do a lot at Studio Rubix. By all means, enjoy your cheese on toast or mac n cheese. But if these meals are popping up numerous times throughout your week then you would more than likely benefit from a recipe makeover!
- Cheesy pasta bake or mac n cheese: Add protein! Adding protein will bulk up the meal and keep you fuller for longer. The other missing ingredient is of course colour! Colour is especially important over the cooler months when our immune systems are weaker and we are more exposed to colds and flu.
- Lasagne: Go easy on the cheese and include some veges like spinach and mushrooms. Try replacing the cheese sauce with cottage cheese and adding a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top of your lasagne. Parmesan cheese has a strong flavour so we don’t need to use as much of it as edam or colby.
- Cooked breakfast: Big breakfasts are great to set us up for a cold day, but we don’t have to include only bacon, hash browns, and sausages. Try something along these lines for a more nutrient-dense choice: Poached egg on grainy toast with avocado, spinach, baked beans, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
Not only is exercise great for weight loss, it is also important for our immunity, mood, energy levels, and muscle maintenance. We all know this but during the colder months, it can be really hard to motivate ourselves to get into our sports gear and exercise!
- Choose a time of day that you are most likely to exercise. I like working out in the morning as soon as I wake up because there is no time to talk myself out of it I just get dressed and go! If you know you struggle to put the gym gear on after work then try going in the morning or during your lunch break instead.
- Exercise with other people! If you know that you are meeting someone or attending a class at a certain time then it is easier to get motivated than encouraging ourselves to exercise alone.
- Try an exercise that you enjoy! Dancing, aqua Zumba, indoor netball, and squash all count as exercise and might be more fun than your current gym routine! Google what is available in your area and sign up for something new.
If you really struggle to exercise in the winter- ask one of our Personal Trainers to help you out with a plan for gym or home. Having a plan to follow is good to keep things interesting and takes the guesswork out of what you should be doing at the gym.
Movie and dessert nights are a common occurrence in winter- we feel more like staying warm at home than heading out for other social activities. If you are enjoying some snacks and treats, make sure that you have some nutritious and satisfying options up your sleeve to prevent an out of control binge!
- Prepare vege sticks alongside any other snacks e.g. chippies and crackers. These can be eaten on their own or with dips and hummus.
- Make sure that you are hydrated: Often people mistake thirst for hunger and end up eating unnecessarily. Hot drinks like herbal tea are great for winter.
- Bake your own kumara chippies by slicing thin rounds of potato or kumara, spraying with oil spray and baking in the oven.
- Try out our falafel recipe as an addition to a snack platter- make into smaller balls and serve with the yoghurt mint dressing.
- Air-popped popcorn: Use corn kernels and add your own herbs and spices for flavour instead of traditional butter and icing sugar.
Be sensible with you eating over winter and make sure that you keep exercising! That way you avoid the pre-summer stress to quickly lose those kilos and maintain a healthy body, immune system, and mind frame.