It seems that the moment the temps start to fade into the distance, cravings for hot chocolate and comfort foods start coming in strong. For some, it’s pumpkin spice everything – that’s not me, but no shame for those who love it. While it’s okay to eat and drink these things in moderation, the cooler temps keep us indoors and reaching for our favorite foods more frequently. So, in order to avoid winter weight gain, it’s important to keep yourself busy doing other things with your hands, so you’re less tempted to consume more out of boredom.
Being from Michigan, I know full well how boring winters can be. The days are short and it’s uncomfortable to walk outside even if bundled up like an eskimo. The activities are limited to the indoors and the options are limited unless you spend an arm and a leg keeping a family busy. Add Covid to the mix and options are even less. It’s so common every year when April rolls around that people start questioning “how did I do this to myself again?” as they barely squeeze into the shorts that effortlessly slipped on last year.
For me, I was tired of the emotional battle I had internally because of the yo-yo cycles I inflicted not only on my body, but my mental health. I had no one to blame but myself every time this happened and I made a conscious decision in September 2013 that I wasn’t going to let it happen again and I vowed to myself that come spring 2014, I would fit into my shorts from last year and feel good about myself…. not worse. Ever since the personal vow, I have never had to worry about fitting into my clothes. And I know, without a shadow of a doubt that if you want to experience this freedom, you can! You are capable!
In order to avoid over-eating and aimless snacking it’s imperative to keep structure and good habits of the summer and not let it go out of the window just because cold temps are uncomfortable and a pumpkin spice banana sounds good every 45 minutes. I know temptation is hard – I battle it every holiday season just like you. It’s important to enjoy treating your taste buds to the flavors that make you tick but doing so consciously and with joy.
5 Tips to Avoid Winter Weight Gain
1. Find a hobby that keeps hands busy
Keeping your hands busy, keeps your mind busy, making it harder to think about food. When you’re distracted, it’s hard to reach for that bag of chips. You’ll find fulfilling yourself with joy in new hobbies to pass time eliminates unnecessary snacking and you’ll only need something to eat when you’re truly hungry. It seems like a no-brainer but I truly believe much of the snacking that occurs is done so subconsciously and we don’t even realize it.
2. Workout More
This tip right here lights a fire under me! Winter typically means less social activities – especially in the middle of a pandemic. Take advantage of this extra time and push yourself to new heights. Allow yourself the opportunity to explore and find something new you love doing. Embrace the discomfort of working out and find joy in it. Get off yo’ ass and crush it.
3. Snacking Mindfully
Healthy snacks when you’re truly hungry are key. Like I said earlier; winter brings boredom and a feeling of hunger that isn’t really hunger. Aimless snacking is one of the easiest go-to activities because there isn’t anything else to do and humans love to eat. However, it’s imperative to be more mindful of your snacking habits to avoid winter weight gain. Be sure you’re snacking because you’re hungry and pay attention to your nutrition labels. You don’t need to count, just be aware of what the nutrition facts say.
Related Post: http://www.ahumbledelight.com/mindful-vs-intuitive-eating
4. Healthy Meals
More time indoors means more time to meal prep, right? Maybe. Haha. I’ll be honest. As a mom, I know how time goes – it can be hard to meal prep. Just be mindful of the meals you are preparing. Stay away from too many comfort foods. Find meals that are healthy that you enjoy and can eat frequently. Get used to eating stuff on repeat and create a healthy rotation so you don’t get burned out on the same thing too quick.
5. Junk Food in Moderation
I will never tell anyone they need to cut out their favorite treats. It’s important for mental health & success to eat these things. I just tell you to do it in moderation. Moderation will vary from person to person to reflect their goals. For example, if you want to maintain weight, your moderation has more leeway than someone that wants to lose weight. For the person that wants to lose weight, they need to have a narrower window of moderation. But never cut it completely unless it’s imperative to health conditions that you do.
Keep these simple tips in mind to avoid winter weight gain. Don’t make it more difficult than it needs to be. Avoid overthinking it and putting too much pressure on it. Just know that your daily choices affect your results. If you want to avoid that weight gain, it will be easy to make the choices and create the change.