Resisting Winter Weight Gain

Winter brings shorter days and colder weather. It can also bring on unwanted weight gain. To escape the cold without picking up extra pounds, use these tips from Heather Foy, Wellness Coordinator at Norton King’s Daughters’ Health.

Track your poundage

If you typically avoid the scale, Heather suggests weighing yourself every week. This helps you notice weight gain sooner, so you can change your habits. It also helps you keep moving forward on any New Year’s resolutions.

“This is a great time to begin an exercise log,” Heather says. “Or start using a nutrition app to log your daily food and beverage intake.”

Exercise inside and outside

If you get most of your exercise through yard work or outdoor fitness, bring your workout inside. Although you may prefer biking or running outside, keep moving in the winter with strength training equipment or group fitness classes.

“Your body can’t afford to stop exercising just because it’s cold or snowy,” Heather says. “By bringing your exercise indoors, you’re less likely to use the cold weather as a reason to skip exercise.”

Use your thumb (and your head)

The winter season can bring many tasty temptations. Avoiding them altogether can be difficult. Instead, remember Heather’s rule of thumb.

“When staring at a table full of sweet treats, find one that looks best to you,” she says. “Then, enjoy a thumb-sized bite.”

If asked to bring food to a party, keep your waistline in mind. Instead of a typical dessert, bring a veggie or fruit tray or a lean meat option. As you build your plate, start with colorful, healthy foods and a glass of water. This gives your body essential nutrients and fills you up.

Warm up to accountability

Tracking healthy behaviors, such as exercise, nutritional habits and sleep, is a good idea. Having an accountability partner is even better.

“Choose a friend, coworker or family member to be your accountability partner,” Heather says. “Every week, look over your exercise and diet logs, and hold each other accountable to a weekly weight check.”

No more yo-yo dieting

Do you tend to gain weight in the winter and then scramble to lose it in the summer? Going through this annual cycle has consequences. Your weight-gaining period my result in even more added pounds. Additionally, heart rate and blood pressure changes can increase your risk for heart disease. By avoiding season weight gain, body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio have a better chance of staying consistent or even improving.

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