6 ways to outwit winter weight gain

Beat the chilly weather, comfort food and consequent winter bulge with expert tips from a dietician.

06 August 2015
by Jennifer Campbell

As the weather cools down, it becomes more and more tempting to abandon our exercise regimes in favour of a warm bed, and comfort food. But, believe it or not, winter weight gain can be avoided. Registered dietician Lila Bruk offers her top tips for beating seasonal spread:

1. Avoid alcohol

Alcohol – especially liqueurs and cocktails – is very high in kilojoules. “A strawberry daiquiri, for example, can have the same number of kilojoules as a full meal,” warns Bruk. She suggests rather choosing wine or spirits like whiskey, gin or vodka, if you do have the occasional drink.

2. Weigh yourself regularly

It’s important to weigh yourself regularly to make sure you stay on track. Bruk explains: “Especially over the winter months, the extra kilos can creep up before you know it. By weighing yourself regularly you can keep yourself in check and deal with any weight gain before it becomes a problem.”

3. Schedule exercise into your routine

“Often we put off exercising during winter because it's cold outside, but don't forget that it's warm inside the gyms! Winter really shouldn't be a reason not to be active and exercise is an important way to keep your weight down when the temperature drops,” says Bruk. If you can, schedule your workouts for warmer times in the day to make it easier.

4. Rethink comfort foods

“Redefine your version of comfort foods,” suggests Bruk. “You don't have to eat stodgy pies and puddings. Stews, soups, fruit compotes or baked fruit with light custard can all form part of a healthy diet.”

5. Stock up on healthy snacks

Foods like fruit, yoghurt, popcorn, dried fruit, cottage cheese, nuts and whole-wheat crackers are all ideal snacks. Just watch the portion of nuts and dried fruit, warns Bruk. “These are quite kilojoule-dense and should be kept to small amounts at a time.”

6. Keep a record of what you eat

Bruk suggests keeping a food diary so that every extra nibble is taken into account. A diary can also help you to pinpoint the times of day that may be difficult for you to stick to a healthy eating plan.

Stay on track with Clicks Clinics

Want to stay on track with your health? Every one of our Clicks Clinics offers a range of wellness consultations and primary healthcare services. The Comprehensive Health Risk Assessment includes a blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol test, as well as a Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement, lifestyle report, and meal and exercise plan.

Don’t forget that ClubCard Members earn Points on clinic services and that the services are covered by most medical aids. To make an appointment, call 0860 254 257 or visit Clicks Clinics Online.

Shop online at Clicks.co.za for healthy snacks

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