Top Tips To Avoid Winter Weight Gain

Winter is all about warm, comforting foods, hot chocolate, red wine and gooey desserts. But all those delicious treats also mean the kilos pile on quicker than we would like. Stick to these tips to avoid the dreaded winter weight gain.

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Get up and get moving! Exercising is the only way to burn unwanted calories. We’re pretty lucky that there are so many workout options available in South Africa to choose from: walking, running, boxercise, weight training, Pilates, dancing, boot camp, cycling, swimming, yoga… the list goes on. The key is to find something that you love – there really is no point in forcing yourself to do something that you know will make you cry afterwards. Finding an exercise you enjoy means you will want to do it every day.

Be Mindful Of What You Eat…

There really is no way around this: watch what you consume, because calories are calories and they add up. We’re not talking about never indulging in your favourite Sunday roast with all the trimmings ever again. What we mean is being mindful of what you put into your body about 80–90% percent of the time. Always prefer whole, natural produce over processed foods, opt for lean meats and whole grains, and avoid sugar (yes, this includes fizzy drinks, sweets, pastries, etc.).

If it makes it easier for you, follow an eating plan. There are loads you can find online, but please don’t try any fad diets – those do more harm than good. If you really have no clue where to start, then we recommend you see a professional. Check out the Association for Dietetics in South Africa to find a dietician near you.

…And Be Mindful Of What You Drink

We’ve all heard that a glass of red wine is good for your heart because of the antioxidants it contains. But that doesn’t give you licence to overindulge. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram of alcohol.

So, if you’re having a 375ml beer, there’s 135 calories in that one drink. A 200ml glass of sweet white wine totals 189 calories, and 200ml of red wine is 133 calories. That’s a lot of extra exercising to burn those empty calories…

Don’t Skip Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as it kickstarts your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day. It also gives you energy to perform – both physically and mentally. It’s best to opt for meals with protein (eggs, yoghurt, almond butter), fibre (oats – though we have to recommend natural, rolled oats over instant varieties) and fruit (grapefruit, bananas, blueberries, etc).

Manage Stress

Chronic stress – which we all suffer from these days – causes elevated cortisol levels. Cortisol, aka the stress hormone, can mean that your healthy eating goes out the window and you turn to overeating to help you cope. Exercising, getting enough sleep and following a healthy eating plan will help to lower those cortisol levels. It’s all about good habits and following a routine.

How do you avoid picking up unwanted kilos during winter? Share your secrets in the comments below!

Disclaimer: Always consult your physician before starting an eating and/or training plan.

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