How to avoid gaining weight in winter

Do you always feel hungry in winter or feel that you get hungry faster? Do you feel like the only way to keep warm is to eat more warm food? Or do you talk yourself out of going outside for a walk or some exercise because it’s just too cold?

These are three very common thought processes we have that affect the way we eat and stay active throughout winter. Needless to say, these may be the reasons we put on weight more easily during the colder months. Here’s how to talk yourself out of these winter traps, writes Debby Liu.

I always feel hungry

Start your day with a healthy breakfast. People who eat a good, healthy breakfast are more likely to be within a healthy weight range compared to non-breakfast eaters.  Not only this, but you’ll find that you won’t get hungry as quickly throughout the rest of the day. And really there’s no better way get yourself out of your warm bed than warming yourself with a delicious warm breakfast.

Preparing a hot breakfast might just take a couple more minutes than a summer breakfast, but it sure is worth every minute. Some hot winter breakfast ideas include poached or boiled eggs on wholegrain or wholemeal toast; an omelette with added vegetables such as onion, mushrooms, spinach or tomato; pancakes topped with fruit and yoghurt. If you’re too busy to prepare any of this in the morning, make some small preparations the night before, such as setting the table or getting out the ingredients you need.

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I need to eat more to stay warm

Eating more doesn’t necessarily help you stay warm.  Ironically, we should actually be eating less as generally we expend less energy in winter due to decreased physical activity. One great way to help control your portion sizes is to control your plate size. So take this opportunity to treat yourself to some new plates and bowls! But make sure they’re smaller than the ones you already have.

Choose healthy hot foods and drinks to help keep yourself warm, but keep an eye out on the sugar and fat content. Whilst this hot food itself might make you feel temporarily warmer there are better ways to stay warm for longer, such as keeping active.

It’s too cold to go outside

Exercise is a great way to get your heart pumping, and needless to say, exercise keeps you warm and fit throughout winter. If you really can’t get yourself out into the chilly winter morning for a jog, clear some space in the living room and exercise in the warmth of your house. Don’t just fall into the trap of watching TV.

Last but not least, celebrate every one of your successes with non-food rewards such as a massage or a long soak in the bath.

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