Break those winter habits
Keep these things in mind toward off the likelihood of weight gain in the cooler months
BEFORE the days of insulation and adequate heating, packing on a few extra kilos during winter was a smart way to ensure we didn’t freeze to death.
These days, however, putting on weight during the winter months can be a recipe for a health disaster.
“Most of the data tells us that the average Australian will put on about two kilos over winter,” said Ashy Bines, creator of Ashy Bines Bikini Body Challenge.
“The problem is, people don’t then lose that weight, or at least not all of it, so year after year that winter weight accumulates.”
Bines said there were many factors to winter weight gain:
Problem: “Chances are in winter there will be less sunshine, and there are studies that suggest that people with low levels of vitamin D store more fat, and that a lack of vitamin D reduces fat breakdown and triggers fat storage.”
Solution: “Boost your vitamin D levels by eating things like oily fish, milk and eggs.”
Problem: “The type of food we eat during winter has a lot to do with weight gain. People start looking for warmer comfort foods, rather than the crisp salads of summer.
“And people tend to snack more during winter as they generally spend more time indoors or doing sedentary activities.”
Solution: “Comfort food doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Choose your food wisely, and look for healthy soups and casseroles full of vegies and nutrition. And if you are snacking on the sofa, go for a healthy option such as warm popcorn.”
It’s a wrap
Problem: “Because we are wrapped up under layers of clothing during winter, it’s easier to hide a few extra kilos – even from yourself.”
Solution: “Stay on top of your weight maintenance and keep an eye on any weight gained.
“It is far easier to take care of half a kilo straight away than it is to ignore it and let the problem become larger.”
Problem: “Nothing will derail your fitness goals faster than a bug or virus that is so common in winter. If you are unwell, you are simply unable to train.”
Solution: “This one is a bit of a catch 22. To stay well and ward off bugs you need to be fit and healthy. Make sure you get good doses of vitamin C, and make daily exercise part of your rou- tine, all through the year.”
Bines said that while settling into the sofa under a blanket may seem like the most comforting option during winter, the opposite was actually true.
“There are many studies that support the theory of the ‘winter blues’,” she said.
“When people are indoors all the time, socialising less, they can become depressed and lethargic, and a cycle can begin where the person becomes stuck in a rut.
“This is when bad habits can really take hold.
“Getting out and exercising, eating well and taking care of yourself is a proven way to release endorphins and create mental wellbeing.”