How To Avoid Winter Weight Gain

Woman's feet in stripey socks with cup of coffee and macroons

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 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.

Pumpkin and carrot soup with cream and parsley

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.

Woman Walking Dog Outdoors In Autumn Park

Pic: iStockphoto

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 more 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.

Photograph of human hands holding two cocktail shakers and pouring orange color cocktail into two martini glasses

Pic: iStockphoto is the UK’s top rated diet website and the top selling diet App in the UK Apple store.



Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!