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How to Overcome Winter Weight Gain

Today, we’re taking a hard look at winter weight gain. It’s a common problem - people tend to pack on a few kilos during the winter months.

But we want to fight back, and we hope you will join us. Let’s be a winner through Winter this year! We’ll have less to deal with when the warmer weather comes and we can shed the bulky winter clothing.

The good, the bad…and the solution

Although winter weight gain varies from person to person, research shows the average gain to be 2.5-3.5 kilos!

Some people gain this extra weight because they have Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD)—a type of winter depression. But most of us can’t blame winter depression for our tendency to pick up extra weight during the winter months.

So, why does winter weight gain happen? According to Lawrence J. Cheskin, MD, founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, it happens because we eat more and move less during the winter months1. We generally skip workouts, because the warm doona on the couch is more appealing, we sip hot chocolate, have shortened daylight hours, there's no question that winter creates a perfect storm for weight gain. Even the most motivated people become side-tracked during the colder months. But don't let the odds get you down! A little motivation and willpower can get you through this rough patch of the year without derailing your healthy lifestyle efforts.

So let’s celebrate by tackling winter weight gain with our weapon of choice here at Active Mum: discipline.

Hour of decision

According to Merriam-Webster, discipline is a “rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity2.” This is perfect. In order to fight winter weight gain, we have to discipline ourselves to follow some rules.

Here we go…

1. Banned language

For the next several weeks, do not allow yourself to say, “Just this once.” If you pay close attention, a ‘just this once’ situation comes up practically every day. You go to a retirement party. You take spouse out for a birthday dinner. Someone brings a meal by your house because you’ve been sick. Your co-worker brings in the leftover pizza from last night’s party. Your child has leftover party treats. You have to say no every single time. Otherwise, you will never get ahead.

Just grit your teeth, resist what others are having and make good food choices. I’m not saying it is easy. I am saying it is necessary.

2. Plan your occasional splurge........

and do not deviate from the plan. Up-ending deprivation is never a good idea, but you have to be intentional about the time, place and food that you let yourself splurge on.

Love the hot wings at your favorite restaurant? Then let’s make a deal. Eat clean for ten days. No cheating. And then at the end of those ten days, go have the wings. Guilt free. Just enjoy them. Then set the next goal. But you are not allowed to deviate from your plan in the meantime.

If you do, you lose the wings. Don’t waste your fun calories on something that doesn’t compare to those wings!

3. Keep moving

Exercise is not an optional activity. Now more than ever you have to get your body in motion. Exercise is very effective at preventing weight gain—and that is what we’re after right now. Don’t even worry so much about losing kilos; just work to keep the winter scale-creep from happening to you.

Try to get some for, of cardio in at least six days a week. Although frequent physical activity should be a year-round goal, try even harder to put exercise at the top of your to-do list during the winter. Not only will it keep the kilos from creeping on, but it will also get your brain circulating feel-good endorphins to prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the months of cold weather and sparse sunlight. (And let’s face it, feeling down or depressed isn’t going to do anything to help your motivation to eat well or exercise.) You can also seize this opportunity to switch up your workouts and enjoy the winter sports (think snow skiing) that aren't available during the rest of the year. As a bonus, many wintertime activities tend to be group-oriented and family-friendly, so participating in them is a great way to bond with friends and loved ones while keeping fit.

Remember: Spring is coming. Let’s be ready for it, and leave winter weight gain behind!

Julie

Sources

1http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/5-tips-to-avoid-winter-weight-gain

2http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discipline

  1. About pelvic floor muscles.pdf
  2. 10 Step Guide to Pelvic Floor Safe Exercise.pdf
  3. 06 Pelvic Floor Muscle Training for Women.pdf
  4. Abdominal seperation hand out.pdf




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