9 tips to avoid winter weight gain and blues
We are well and truly into the chilly season of the year, and while it may seem like the easy time to let things go a little, it’s important to not let your healthy habits slip.
So you might be wondering, how can I avoid winter weight gain?
We know that it might seem like a bit of a juggling act, especially with current lockdowns, but with these 9 tips it might be easier than you think…
1. Do 20 minutes of high intensity exercise in the morning
Keeping your body moving is a key way to avoid gaining weight in winter. 20 minutes of high-intensity exercise in the morning can feel energised and release endorphins, serotonin, reduce anxiety and is a highly effective way of burning fat.
Do this at least 2-3 times per week to see the benefits. Take a look at these high intensity on-demand sessions lead by our professional trainers; Full body workout with Sam and quick cardio workout with Rada.
2. Try out some yoga
Yoga is a great low impact form of exercise that can help engage your body and mind, and can be done from the comfort of your living room. Practicing it regularly will keep your body moving, as well as warm up and stretch your muscles – preventing injury and helping you burn fat.
Yoga can be incorporated in your everyday routine or can be done on alternative days to your high intensity workout. For some guided classes by our Yogi Tracy, check out her Grounding Yoga or Winter warming yoga.
3. Get moving at lunchtime
It’s true, during lockdown your regular exercise routine (like going to the gym) may not be available. But that’s where you need to make the best of what you’ve got because daily exercise is essential to physical and mental health.
By exercising in the middle of the day, whether that’s going for a walk, a run or even doing a workout at home, you’ll avoid that 3pm slump. Physical activity also helps boost cognitive function and thinking skills, which can help if you’re working or studying from home.
4. Eat 5 servings of veggie a day
Ever heard of eating the rainbow? Well, another way to avoid the winter weight gain and keep up healthy eating habits is to consume a range of colourful fresh fruits and veggies.
An easy way to make sure you are eating nutritious foods is to cook at home as often as you can, and avoid the temptation of take away. This way you can maximise the amount of freshness you pack into your meals. For some delicious healthy cooking ideas, take a look at our huge library of recipes for all the inspo you need.
5. Eat less processed foods
A key tip is to make sure you are staying balanced across the five main food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy (or alternatives). You can do this by eating less processed foods and opting for fresh instead.
During the colder months and while you spend more time at home, it’s important to try to steer clear of over-indulging on comfort foods and refined sugars. While it’s okay to have a treat every now and then, don’t let it turn into a bad habit – try and opt for something healthy instead like nuts or yoghurt.
6. Eat slowly and mindfully
By eating slowly and mindfully, not only can you pay more attention to what you’re eating but you can also take the time to enjoy it. By taking small bites, chewing thoroughly and eating slowly, you will be able to fully taste your food and also help prevent overeating by feeling fuller sooner.
As mentioned, when cooking at home you can plan out the ingredients that you put into your foods, as well as being mindful of your portion size for each meal.
You can check out Michael’s mindful eating meditation – he will show you how to control your portions!
7. Drink 8 glasses of water per day
Staying hydrated is also another way to keep up a balanced diet, and avoid weight gain. Drinking water helps the body absorb nutrients, stimulates digestion, helps the body move and regulates body temperature.
Also try and avoid drinking too much alcohol, or other high sugar options like soft drinks or processed juices.
8. Meditate for at least 10 mins per day
Feeling low or moody over the winter months is common for many people due to something called seasonal affective disorder. Common symptoms include low energy, losing interest in activities, feeling sluggish, concentration issues or even depression, which can lead to less exercise and overeating.
But there are ways to kick the “winter funk”, such as meditation. Meditation can help promote relaxation, reduce stress and help maintain good sleeping patterns.
9. Prioritise getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night
Mindfulness not only improves the quality of your sleep but also boosts how you feel during the day, helping you to get active and avoid eating too much. Try and get into a habit of waking up and going to bed around the same times each day.
Have a look at Michael’s meditation for a better sleep to help improve your sleep patterns and state of mind.
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Australian Government Department of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/physical-activity-and-exercise/physical-activity-and-exercise-guidelines-for-all-australians
Harvard Health Publishing: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110
BetterHealth Channel: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/healthy-eating
Sleep Foundation: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/treatment/meditation
Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651