5 Tips to Avoid Gaining Weight This Winter

how-to-avoid-holiday-weight-gainThere’s something about the cold weather that makes people start to crave their comfort food. Maybe it’s the chill in the air. Maybe it’s a biological remnant from our caveman days when cold weather usually brought about starvation and so people ate more to pad themselves a bit for the lean times. I love nothing more than curling up with a nice plate of macaroni and cheese when the snow begins to fly. But I’m always worried about putting on my ten pound winter coat. Here are some things I’ve come up with over the years to help me avoid gaining weight in the winter.

The biggest mistake you can make is fulfilling those cravings with fatty food. So, resist the urge to sit down with a plate of nachos for as long as you can. Yes, it’s true a little spice will warm up your innards more quickly than just about anything else but all that cheese will weigh you down like crazy. If you can’t resist the urge to splurge on those nachos and just want something hot, why not try a nice bowl of hot soup. Soup is a great food to eat in the winter. It fills you up and is loaded with good nutrition.

Resist the urge to be more sedentary when it’s cold outside. Yes, I know it’s hard to get out and play a round of tennis if there’s a foot of snow on the ground but you can always head to your neighborhood indoor track and run a few laps. Not as much fun you say? That’s probably true. Slip your iPod into your pocket before you head out the door. Running to your favorite tunes is a


Remember that when you are losing weight you are doing it on a gradual basis rather than on a daily basis. This is why it’s important to take ALL your daily exercise into account. Even just going through the motions of daily life can be part of your workout routine if you know how to structure it properly, always more fun than just running in a huge oblong for the sake of it. Listen to some salsa and that will really get you in the mood!

  • Tip #1: Cleaning the house can help you keep those pounds off
    • If you don’t want to turn into a couch potato during the winter, spend some time zipping around the house as you clean it. Though I’m sure you’d much rather hire a cleaning lady to come in and vacuum your floors, doing it yourself is actually much better for your waistline. Put your favorite music on the boom box (mine is Paul Simon’s Graceland CD) and move your booty while you dust and vacuum your heart out. You can burn about 250 calories with just one hour of vigorous housework including mopping, dusting and vacuuming. That’s the equivalent of what you’d burn if you were jogging for an hour. When you’re all finished, your house will sparkle!
  • Tip #2: Pack your lunch and take a lunch break
    • People are much more apt to gain weight during the winter because they tend to stay in the office and eat at their desks when the weather is not nice outside. If you pack your lunch, you will almost certainly be eating a more nutritionally balanced lunch than you get at any fast food burger joint. If you take 15 minutes to step out of the office even if you have to put your boots on, you will not only get some fresh air, a quick, brisk walk will invigorate you and oxygenate your blood. If you do this five days a week, you will burn about 300 calories by the time Friday rolls around.
  • Tip #3: Put your boots on and walk to work
    • If you can get to your workplace in about twenty minutes on foot, leave a little bit earlier in the morning and take a nice walk before you get to the office. If it’s really cold outside, bundle up with some layers and put on a nice pair of mitten. Walking to work each day, regardless of the season, will not only save you a lot of money in terms of bus fare/gas, it will help you reduce your risk for a stroke. Walking also helps reverse the inevitable signs of aging. You only need to do a brisk walk for 30 minutes or so about three times per week in order to derive this kind of benefit.
  • Tip #4: Take part in some virtual workouts
    • It is so easy to try to find almost any reason to skip going to the gym for a workout and bad weather is usually at the top of that list. If you really hate going out into the snow again after you get home from work, why not think about joining a virtual gym or a virtual health club. This is becoming much more popular for busy people. They can get on via their own television set in their living room for a nice aerobic workout. Some of these virtual gyms will even tailor your workouts to your own fitness level.
  • Tip #5: Buy some dumbbells
    • Working out three times per week with a set of dumbbells is a very easy way to build lean muscle in an almost painless way. Doing a thirty minute dumbbell workout will increase your metabolism and will help you build fat burning lean muscle. If you don’t want to spend the money on a pair of dumbbells (about $15.00 for a set of 3 lb. weights), you can use cans of beans or vegetables. Carrying your groceries home from the store is another painless way to get a strength building workout.

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