Diet

5 Ways to Avoid the Winter Weight Gain Completely

How To Avoid All-Too-Common Winter Weight Gain Mistakes
Written by Isaac

Why do I gain weight in the winter?, seems like a all too common question people ask themselves.

When winter weather comes around, animals are sure to bulk up as much as possible as a means of survival, and we’re no different. We’ve got a natural urge to eat more once cold weather arrives.

Then come the holidays - Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day… And what do all these holidays have in common?

Food’s a centerpiece. And then there’s the bitter wind, crunching through snow, and slipping on ice. Staying inside seems a lot nicer in the wintertime, and exercise seems a lot harder.

5 Ways to avoid the winter weight gain

It’s no wonder we tend to gain weight during winter months. This doesn’t have to be you, though. Here are 5 tips for avoiding all-too-common winter weight gain this year.

5. Stay Active

People skating in the park at night

I'm not lazy. I'm just on my energy saving mode.

Find ways to stay active. If you typically walk, run, or bike outside during warmer months, hop on the machines at the gym for a change.

Instead of fighting the winter weather, consider taking on a new winter sport.

And remember: you can enjoy your vacation and relax without putting your exercise routine on pause.

4. Don’t Graze

Red and white Christmas table setup

Everything I ate this weekend... we will pretend that it didn't happen!

At holiday parties and family get-togethers or just inside all day when the kitchens ever-so-close, it’s tempting to graze throughout the day, even when you’re not hungry at all.

In order to avoid this, give yourself boundaries. Set certain times of the day for snacks and meals, and don’t go back for seconds.

At parties and fancy dinners, stick to one plate with servings no larger than what you’d typically eat. You don't have to fast (read all about it here) or stick it out when in a group.

3. Watch The Booze

People toasting with different drinks

Alcohol! Because no great story ever started with someone eating a salad.

It’s obvious that you should be spending as little time at the dessert table as possible, but it’s easy to forget just how terrible liquid calories can be.

Mixed drinks are the real killers, as they tend to be packed with carbs and sugars. We’re not saying you can’t have fun.

We’re just saying if you take it easy, you won’t be the relative who ends up dancing the tango by himself in the middle of the living room, and you also won’t be the one with the growing beer gut.

2. Find Balance

Golden retriever with a cookie on his nose

Some days you eat salad and go to the gym, some days you eat cupcakes and refuse to put on pants. It's called balance.

You don’t need to force yourself to avoid pumpkin pie or Christmas cookies altogether.

Let yourself have a little of the holiday foods you love most. Eat them slowly, enjoy them thoroughly, and then step away from the dessert table.

1. Stay Happy

Pretty little snowman made of Christmas decoration

Dear Santa, I've been good all year. Most of the time. Once in awhile. Never mind, I'll by my own stuff.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that hits a lot of us during winter months, even if it’s not a major problem.

You may feel a little low and less energetic, and you may even suffer from insomnia or fluctuations in appetite.

Not to mention, cortisol levels spike when you’re stressed over holiday finances, and cortisol loves to help you gain weight.

If this sounds like you, consider using a light box, going to therapy, or simply dragging yourself outside and into the sun more often. Your body will thank you.

Final thoughts on gaining weight in winter

Eat healthy instead of bulking up on sweets and fatty foods, stay active, and get as much sun as you can.

Baby polar bear enjoying in the snow

Finally my winter fat is gone. Now I have spring rolls.

When spring comes around, you’ll be ready to strip off your winter clothes and show off your physique in your summer swimsuit.

We’re not going to lie: staying active during the winter is hard. Do you have any creative tips on how to beat the cold and get moving?

About the author

Isaac

I’m a personal fitness trainer and nutritionist living in sunny Indianapolis, IN. I’ve spent the last 8 years staying at the forefront of the health and fitness industry. In that time, I’ve helped hundreds of people shed the excess weight and get into shape, maintaining their healthy new lifestyle through proper training and eating habits.