Health & Diet

Three easy exercises to avoid winter weight gain

Rapid weight loss 'becoming much more accepted' says Mosley

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Winter is synonymous with shielding from the cold in the day and celebrating the festive season at night, not watching what you eat and hitting the gym. A fitness expert from TotalShape shared the best ways to avoid winter weight gain. 

According to the expert, comfort food is a big contender when it comes to gaining weight over the holidays.

They said: “There is nothing better on a cold day than a hearty hot meal.

“Pasta, stews, and roasts are popular comfort foods during the winter as our body craves something hot to warm itself up.

“Also, consuming food produces warmth through metabolism, and that is especially the case when the food is high in calories.”

It’s easy to tuck into bigger, heartier meals on cold winter’s nights, which may lead to an unnecessary increase in calories the body doesn’t need.

Coupled with a desire to eat more can be a lack of motivation to exercise.

The expert explained: “When it’s cold and dark outside, it is much more appealing to reach for the comfort foods than it is to go out for a run.

“Excuses to avoid exercise are much easier to find during the winter.”

Another factor that is difficult for us to control is the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter months.

Less availability means we are much more likely to reach for the packaged snacks and store-bought meals than raw ingredients, according to the expert.

“These are often full of processed foods and very poor in vitamins and minerals contained in fresh fruits and vegetables.”

So despite these factors, how can slimmers avoid packing on the pounds over winter – and particularly Christmas?

The expert advised that people be aware of their food intake even more so than usual at this time of year.

They advised: “Make sure all your meals are filled with protein, such as steak or chicken, and that there are plenty of vegetables on your plate.

“These types of meals keep you feeling full for longer, which means you are less likely to binge later or snack between meals. It is very important not to skip meals, as it can also lead to binging.”

Whilst filling up with nutritious ingredients, it is also important to limit sugar intake.

Sugar causes our insulin levels to spike, leading to an increase in appetite.

Next up, being mindful of boredom eating at home is key, as more cosy days on the sofa can lead to snacking.

The expert suggested implementing specific snack times and also considering portion control.

Watching your alcohol intake at this time of year is also important if you want to dodge empty calories, going for low-calorie options.

Lastly, TotalShape recommended getting mmoving: “Even though it’s difficult, try to stay active during the winter.” This might mean hitting the gym rather than partaking in outdoor sports.

For some festive fun, you could dabble in winter sports such as ice skating or indoor skiing.

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