Cold, miserable days can have a significant impact on weight loss, as calorie intake tends to increase when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
A survey by calorie counter App, Nutracheck, has revealed that 69% of members said they ate more in the winter months.
Nutracheck nutritionist, Emma Brown says: “Our members are not alone; studies show that seasonal weight gain can kick in with people consuming around 200 calories a day more as the days shorten. Keep that up and when spring comes around, you could find yourself carrying an extra half a stone.
“Winter belly fat and weight gain is largely the result of reduced exercise, interruptions to workout routines, party food and drink and a greater desire for comfort foods. So this year, be prepared for the season with our five-point plan to beat winter weight gain.”
Comforting food doesn’t have to be calorific
Stews and soups are great warming meal choices when made with chicken and lean beef with plenty of fresh seasonal veggies. These have a high water content and are low in energy density, which means they provide plenty of volume to fill you up, but without the calories.
Exercise where – and when – you can
It’s hard to drag yourself out when it’s dark and cold, so try to get your exercise in during the day and make the most of the weekends. Take a walk in the morning or at lunchtime: just 30 minutes a day at a moderate pace is enough to burn an extra 100 calories.
Learn ‘calorie damage limitation’
If you do overeat one day, it’s not a reason to keep overdoing it for the next few days. The quicker you draw a line, the faster you’ll minimise the chance for weight gain.
As the party season approaches… don’t go out hungry
When we eat outside the home, studies suggest that we eat 40% more calories than we would otherwise. An environment with lots of food and alcohol choices is very tempting – so be on guard and have a high protein snack before you leave. Peanut butter on a slice of wholemeal toast is a great choice – low in calories but full of protein to keep hunger at bay.
Don’t forget alcohol calories!
Alcohol is loaded with calories – empty ones at that (no nutritional benefit). And since seasonal celebrations involve drinking, it’s easy to consume a lot of calories than usual. Drink a glass of water or a diet soda before and after each alcoholic drink to help pace yourself and reduce calories.
The survey said:
I eat more in winter – 69%
I eat less in winter – 1%
My appetite is always the same – 24%
Not sure – 6%
About Nutracheck: www.nutracheck.co.uk