Avoiding winter weight gain

Some people love winter and have no problem going out rain, hail or sunshine. Others find it a bit harder to stick to the healthy habits they built up over summer. But as much as you might want to hibernate for three months every year, sedentary behaviour and overeating throughout winter can have a big impact on your weight and wellbeing. Here are four easy ways to stay on track and avoid unnecessary weight gain.

1. Hearty can be healthy

It’s easy to turn to heavier, less healthy meals in winter (salad certainly doesn’t look as appetising). But there are plenty of healthy stews, soups and casseroles that can keep you feeling warm and full! Feature seasonal produce in your meals, such as apples, mandarins, oranges, pears, pumpkin, beetroot, cauliflower, leeks and broccoli.

Looking for inspiration? Try this Turkey Roulade or Chicken Curry recipe for a warm, satisfying and healthy dinner.

2. Turn to tea

As well as what you eat, it’s important to watch how much you’re eating over winter. People often turn to hot food when they’re feeling cold, even if they’re not hungry. At the same time, now that summer’s over people forget to drink water. The brain can mistake dehydration with hunger, leading to overeating.

Take care of two problems with one solution: a cup of tea. A hot cuppa will keep you warm and hydrated, and your hunger cues will be more accurate. There are hundreds of different flavours, so you can mix it up over time. If tea isn’t your drink of choice don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your coffee – just watch the number of cups you have in a day.

3. Keep moving

It can be hard to stay motivated when it’s cold and dark outside, but the benefits are endless – improved mood, blood glucose levels and metabolism to name a few. Setting yourself a fitness goal can help keep you accountable, whether it’s counting your steps each day, mastering a new sport or signing up to an event.

4. Go to bed ready for the next day

The worst bit about winter has to be waking up to a cold, dark morning. It can be hard to get up and make breakfast or go out and exercise when you could snooze away the time in a warm bed instead. So make it as easy as possible get up and get going..

Before you go to bed, get everything ready for the next day. Lay out your exercise clothes so they’re the first thing you see and have healthy food ready in the fridge (overnight oats or yoghurt with fruit are two options that you can throw in your bag and take to work if you’re really not a morning person).

If you prefer to exercise in the evening, take your exercise gear to work and try to fit it in before you head home. Once you’re home chances of you leaving again are slim.

You don’t need to be an athlete, you just need to move a little more than you did yesterday.

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