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With Winter coming up it can be hard to resist the incredibly warm comfort foods that come with it. Or resisting the urge to stay inside and push the workout for the next day because it is so cold outside! Don’t be discouraged though, here are 9 ways on how to not gain weight during the winter:

  1. Set up goals

If you come into this winter without a clear path in mind, you’re already set to fail. Winter is the time of year when you don’t feel like eating salad or any sort of cold foods. You’ll want cozy warm meals and comfort food that hug you like a blanket from the inside. If you don’t plan out how you want be at the end of winter you’ll gain a few pounds for sure.

Set up goals and write them out in your fitness journal. Just because it’s not summer anymore doesn’t mean you can stop all you fitness efforts. Remember this: summer bodies are built in the winter.

Decide what your goals are, not only in a matter of weight but also how much body fat and muscle mass you want to achieve in upcoming months. Set up milestones maybe once a month or once every two weeks and reward yourself.

Keep in mind that most holidays take place in the winter times so you’ll have to work harder and train harder so you can enjoy everything to the fullest. Plan out what you’re going to do so you can succeed at preventing weight gain.

 

  1. Keep a good sleeping schedule

If you’re not sleeping well then you’re going to have a harder time maintaining your weight. When you don’t sleep enough or don’t have a good sleeping schedule you’re going to off balance your hormones, especially the hormone that controls hunger.

You’ll feel hungry more often and have a lot more cravings for foods you shouldn’t be eating in the first place. Another important aspect of it is the fact that lack of sleep is cumulative. If you’re missing out on 1 or 2 hours of sleep every night you’re going to feel sleep deprived very soon.

Sleep deprivation is very real and can lead to mental health problems like stress, depression and anxiety. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night and preferably always at the same time. Your body likes routine, in fact, it thrives off of it. Don’t skip this important step in your day.

 

  1. Get you mental health in check

When you feel stressed, nervous, anxious or depressed you’re more likely to overeat. It’s a fact. Even dealing with breakups is portrayed in tv shows as eating a bucket of ice cream to make you feel better. This is such a wrong image that is being passed to so many people. When you feel bad about yourself or everything seems to be going wrong in your life don’t fix that with hot chocolate or wine. Get your mental health in check so that you can be reasonable and responsible about your diet choices.

Some people even suffer from season disorders which seem to reveal themselves during these colder months. Be aware of that and find other ways to feel better other than eating. This is such a big part of why so many people eat too much food. They don’t feel good about themselves so they don’t respect their bodies, or don’t know even what that means.

Understand that it’s your job to be caring and loving to yourself. No one else can take care of yourself the way you can.

 

  1. Understand why you’re eating

Some people tend to overeat or eat all the wrong foods even if they aren’t stressed or depressed. This usually means that the motivation to keep eating like this and disrespecting their bodies in such way comes from a much deeper level.

If you’ve suffered from some kind of trauma in your life that has lead you to false beliefs and a low self-esteem that is probably the main cause for the way you’re eating. You need to seek help and understand why you’re eating in the first place. If you view food as a source of comfort and not as a source of fuel and energy to a point where it’s affecting your life then you need to see this through.

It may not be an easy process but it is a necessary one. Don’t underestimate the power of our mind and how it shape our lives. Prevent winter weight gain by having a new perspective about food and diet.

 

  1. Load up on healthy foods

If you feel hungrier during winter times it is totally normal. Your body asks you for more food since it is burning off more energy to heat you up. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll get to have twice as much food as you normally do. It’s fine to eat a little more but if you are still craving a lot more food then you might want to trick your brain.

Instead of eating high calorie foods, switch them for high volume foods. What that means is that instead of have a slice of pizza that can have about 250 calories per slice, try a vegan tortilla pizza which can have 250 calories for the whole entire pizza. There are so many recipes out there that you can make that actually healthy and low in calories.

The trick here is to load up on healthy foods with fresh ingredients that you can easily keep on the low calorie side but still feel like you’ve had an awesome meal. If you want to check out some recipes under 400 calories then check out our post about 12 lunch ideas under 400 calories.

 

  1. Keep a food journal

Another great idea is to keep a food journal and record all your meals. It’s not just important to set up fitness goals in you fitness journal like we’ve said previously, but also it’s important when it comes to food. If you don’t track what and how much food you’re eating then you are not going to know if you’re on the right path.

What can happen if you skip this is that 3 months down the road and you’ve been working so hard to keep the weight off but you don’t see any results. It’s actually quite scary to think you’re doing something wrong and not know what is is.

If you journal all your meals then you can always get a better sense of how much food you should be eating and can catch any mistakes early on. If you want an awesome fitness/food journal check out this one!

 

  1. Exercise is Key

I know we’ve been talking about food so far, which is about 80% of the journey. But the other 20% isn’t negotiable either. That is exercise! Exercise is a massive must-do in your everyday routine. In fact, you don’t have to hit the gym every single day, but you should engage in light physical activity of some sort on a daily basis. Even if it’s just taking a walk or doing some yoga poses at home, it all helps to stay active. This will not only help you burn fat and lose weight but it will also improve your muscles and help you keep the weight off for longer.

Exercising at the gym 2 to 3 times a week can already accomplish major milestones for you, so you shouldn’t skip it.

Exercising isn’t just good for losing weight, it’s also good for your sleep, your mental health and you skin. In days when you exercise and break a sweat you fall asleep more easily. Your state of mind is also improved due to the release of serotonin and adrenaline. And lastly, your skin will be glowing. Don’t underestimate the power of exercise as it can really make a difference in your life.

 

  1. Don’t Over Drink

It’s easy to over drink during winter, especially because of the holidays. However, you shouldn’t get used to it. When you drink too much you are taking in empty calories. This will not only be the secret villain in your weight gain but it also doesn’t help you in any way. When you drink too much it also triggers anxiety and depression. You may be drinking out of sheer happiness but it actually has the opposite effect on your mindset. Drinking will make you more anxious in the long run and this can lead to overeating and uncontrollable cravings.

At the same time, you should remember that alcohol is basically sugar. The more you ingest it, the more your body will be addicted to sugar. So you’re not only filling your body with empty calories but you’re also setting yourself up for failure in the future.

 

  1. Accept your mistakes and move on

If you’ve been taking care of your diet and exercising, and actually been doing a good job, then give yourself a break. You need to reward yourself for all the progress you’ve made. Making a mistake with an unplanned treat or meal is normal and we all fall victim to it. Maybe it was a family gathering, or a dinner out with friends. It is ok to fall off the wagon once in a while. You need to accept your mistakes and move on, guilt free.

Sometimes you just want a chocolate muffin or a hamburger, and it’s fine. Understand that you are only human, and have some fun.

Just don’t that mistake a daily habit, and you should be fine.