Wi n t e r WEIGHT GAIN

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - Nutrition -

with Susie Bur­rell

Even though we are aware of the risks, each and ev­ery year too many of us fall vic­tim to win­ter weight gain. That ex­tra three to five ki­los seem­ingly springs out of nowhere and needs to be shifted again be­fore the warmer months ar­rive. Win­ter weight gain is com­mon, but it need not hap­pen, par­tic­u­larly in Aus­tralia where our win­ters are rel­a­tively mild.

The key lies in preven­tion. One of the main rea­sons we gain weight dur­ing win­ter is that we move less. That, cou­pled with an in­take of heav­ier food com­pared to the sal­ads and fruit-based meals we en­joy in sum­mer, ex­plains the trend to­wards weight gain.

Main­tain­ing your reg­u­lar train­ing sched­ule is cru­cial. If you can­not drag your­self out of bed for early-morn­ing work­outs, move your morn­ing ses­sions to the af­ter­noon or evening, or link in with a reg­u­lar per­sonal trainer or friend to train to give you some ac­count­abil­ity.

Get­ting some sun­light is vi­tal to op­ti­mise your mood on shorter days, so a brief lunchtime walk can work won­ders for both en­ergy lev­els and weight.

IT’S ALL TOO EASY TO PILE ON THE KI­LOS ALONG WITH THE WIN­TER WOOL­LIES. BUT THERE ARE WAYS TO PRE­VENT IT.

Your body might be more cov­ered up in win­ter but this does not mean you have an ex­cuse to overeat. Limit fatty treats such as pud­dings, quiches, pies and chocolate to just once or twice a week.

Bulk your meals up with lots of fill­ing veg­eta­bles and re­mem­ber your low-kilo­joule, warm­ing treats such as lowfat hot chocolate drinks, soups, baked ap­ples, moun­tain bread piz­zas and diet desserts. An­other trick you can try is to add a veg­etable-based soup to your evening meal. Stud­ies have shown that in­di­vid­u­als eat up to 20 per cent less in a meal when they have had a soup first. Add bulk with bar­ley and lentils to help keep you fuller for longer.

Most im­por­tantly, do not give your­self psy­cho­log­i­cal per­mis­sion to gain weight dur­ing the cooler months. Many of us use win­ter as an ex­cuse to bunker down, skip the gym and eat heavy foods: things we never do when our bodies are on dis­play each day. Take your mea­sure­ments now, and re­peat them each week to make sure that the weight is not creep­ing on.

And re­mem­ber, weight is much harder to take off than it is to put on.

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