Winter…it seems to have come early this year hasn’t it? Winter weight gain seems to be a common problem encountered by people I speak to. Comfort foods step in, exercise slows down and then people wonder why the weight has crept on…you do not need to be a dietitian to do the maths here. I will give you a few of my key tricks to making sure you stay on top of the energy equation this winter.

1. When your feeling the cold make a pot of tea and save the chocolate for a special occasion. A simple small fun size chocolate can have around  500kJ and if you move up in size you will be consuming around 1000kj in one hit. Unless you have 30 minutes to 1 hour to walk it off, be warned, this will contribute to excess kilojoules consumed that leads to weight gain over time!

2. Before eating rug up warm with a blanket, add an extra layer of clothes or have a hot shower so that when you sit down to eat you are not just eating for warmth, but actually for taste, hunger and enjoyment!

3. Add some spices into your food- chillies and paprika both contain capsicum, this spice slightly revs up your metabolism and heat is a byproduct of energy production in our body (so you actually feel slightly warmer!)!

4. Keep your jeans on and save your trackies for sleep and exercise only! If you feel too comfortable in your stretchy pants you may be more likely to overeat! Similarly, keep your gym gear near your bed so that when you wake up there is no excuse not to get going on a cold morning! Another trick I always stick to is having gym gear in the car, this way if the weather clears up after or during work you can just make a dash for the park and get some unplanned exercise into your day (make sure you have a waterproof jacket with a hood too!)

5. Throw away your remote. Yes this may sound a bit rash, but even if you indulge in a little television throughout the day, this will remove the temptation to sit still for hours on end! Another great idea is to keep moving when on the phone around the house. Catching up with friends and loved ones, and burning kilojoules- win: win! I like to put on a warm coat and actually go for a walk whilst on my phone, I find the hour can just pass instantaneously and the tracks are easily covered.

6.    Move. Move. Move! Incidental exercise is the key when its cold outside and you want to squeeze some physical activity into the day. Walking around a shopping centre for 15 minutes or parking your car in the furthest car park from the entrance of the shopping centre are simple ways to fight the weight piling on!

If nothing else seems to work, try on your bathing suit once a week to remind yourself that in a matter of months it will be coming back into season! I know some people even have a pair of “skinny jeans” or some item of clothing they keep in the back of their cupboard with the hope that one day they will fit into it again..if that’s you (do not feel ashamed, you are definitely not alone!), pull out that item, try get it on, and if it simply is not happening, maybe use that as your motivation to keep trying on each fortnight to see if by summer you have gotten there!

If you would like more information head to this site, it also has a great healthy recipe for winter!

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