Avoid Winter Weight Gain with Healthy Habits and Motivation

Staying active during the winter is a good way to avoid winter weight gain

Staying active during the winter is a good way to avoid winter weight gain

Winter weight gain is something most people dread. Even though black bears more than double their weight by late fall in preparation for a winter hibernation, that’s not something many humans aspire to!

Research has shown most people gain one to two pounds during the winter months. Less motivation to exercise, breaking healthy habits, and sedentary behaviour can all contribute to winter weight gain.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are four tips for keeping weight off this winter:

1) Don’t Lose Your Motivation

Yes, there’s snow on the ground, it’s cold, and you need to bundle up before you leave the house. But this is no reason to become sad and lose your mojo. Show winter you have what it takes by keeping your motivation. That means going for walks, skiing, or taking up another winter activity. Getting out of the house will help you feel better and keep your body burning calories – both good things for keeping weight off this winter.

2) Junk Food Be Gone!

Apple pies, sugar cookies, cinnamon buns and more; the list of holiday treats is probably longer than Santa Claus’s naughty and nice lists combined. There’s no reason you can’t indulge in these, just make sure to do so in moderation. Also, it’s probably not a good idea to keep stores of sweet holiday treats in your kitchen (or anywhere else in your house). You are more likely to eat what’s close at hand, and if that happens to be cookies…

Try giving extra holiday treats away to family or to food drive initiatives. It’s an easy way to make sure you don’t stray from your healthy habits this season. Know that it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to burn off the hundreds of extra calories from sweets through exercise alone. All the more motivation to get these sugary snacks out of the house – just another way to help avoid winter weight gain.

3) Drink Water

While it’s not a miracle for weight loss or maintenance, water is definitely something to make sure you’re drinking enough of. An average adult body is made up of 55 % to 75 % water. That’s a lot of H2O! Water in your body carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, removes toxins, and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Aim to drink 6 to 8 glasses per day, while limiting your caffeine intake because it dehydrates the body. Drinking enough water is one of the easiest healthy habits to stick with.

4) Enjoy Exercise Either Indoors or Outdoors

Exercise helps your body burn calories, increases your stamina, may improve your mood, and just feels good! If you’re the kind of person who really doesn’t like the cold, you can get your exercise indoors during the winter. There’s the gym, yoga classes, swimming; you can even buy simple fitness equipment to exercise at home with! Aerobic exercises are particularly useful during the cold winter months as they keep your metabolism going strong.

As well, for anyone who enjoys winter camping, there’s always chopping wood to get the blood moving! Here’s to an active, enjoyable winter spent practicing healthy habits.

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