How To Battle Winter Weight Gain!

  • What is it besides a warm coat many of us wrap ourselves in once the temperatures drop? Added weight! On average Americans gain between five to seven pounds in winter months. And unlike a coat, they’re not so easy to take off. But there are ways to avoid gaining weight once the weather turns colder. Here’s how:

    Keep Healthy Comfort Foods Handy

    Instead of stocking up on hot chocolate and fattening soups like clam chowder, or ordering in pizza, fill your cupboards with healthy and satisfying options: rice, beans, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, dried fruit, vegetables, and plenty of cans of low-fat, low-calorie soups. Read labels carefully for calorie, fat and sodium content.
  • Get More Sleep The more sleep you manage to get, the less likely you’ll be to gain weight. That’s the conclusion of a recent study of dieters published in the "Annals of Internal Medicine." When dieters got adequate sleep (seven hours, 25 minutes), more than half of the weight they lost was from fat, and when they slept less (five hours, 14 minutes), only one-fourth of the weight dropped was fat.
  • Drink Moderately At least you won’t be tempted to order a sugary cocktail to sip poolside, but surveys show the cold weather brings its own alcohol temptations. While moderate wine consumption may provide some health benefits, such as reducing heart disease risk, alcohol can pack on empty calories and diminish your resolve when it comes to resisting high-calorie foods. If you do drink, order just one, and avoid hot toddys or other “warmers” like cognac, whisky or scotch. Instead, stick with lower-calorie light beer or white wine.
  • Feast Realistically Cold weather also heralds fat-favoring holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Allow yourself an occasional indulgence but keep it reasonable. If you’re craving pumpkin or pecan pie, for example, take a forkful or slim slice. Also, eat slowly, savoring every bite. You’ll enjoy your meal more and give your brain time to pass the news to your stomach that you’re full. It usually takes twenty minutes for your mind to get the message.
  • Stick To Basic Coffee Rich lattes and other specialty hot drinks are yummy, but they’re also calorie nightmares. For example, a 16-ounce Starbucks White Hot Chocolate has a whopping 410 calories and 12 grams of fat. Stick to plain coffees -- a measly 5 calories per 16-ounce cup. Or brew your own coffee or tea at home and save calories and money.