Top Tips for Beating Winter Weight Gain and Keeping Fit as the Seasons Change

Hibernation is not just for bears. Or is it?! Anyone who has gained a few pounds as the winter months start to settle in can attest to the inevitability of the winter waistline. Definitely Halloween and Thanksgiving contribute to that little sumpin’ sumpin’ extra; upcoming holiday parties will push some of us over the edge. But is there something else going on? Are we biologically predisposed to tighter jeans in winter? Do we have to gain weight as winter approaches?

For many of us, winter weight gain starts with Halloween candy – think of it as a kind of gateway treat. Those adorable little Snickers Bars are as cute as the little goblins who come to your door asking for them. Who can resist? As it turns out, all of us can, unless you’re a bear. Though a few researchers disagree, there is not much definitive scientific evidence proving that winter weight gain is biologically induced. It would make sense that cro-magnon man and Neanderthal Man and his respective families would bulk up in winter to protect the future of mankind, but science tends to tell us otherwise.

Without science to blame for our bulges, we must take matters in hand (is this why they are called love handles?). Put down that Milky Way and take action! Here are a few steps to help you keep your girlish (or boyish) figure into the new year.

Exercise
Duh! You might say. But exercise is the magic bullet, which is to say there is no magic bullet. You’ve got to work at it.  So have fun! Try something new! Whether it’s yoga or boxing, try something that gets you out of your comfort zone and excited. Switch your workout schedule or recruit a friend to join you; you’ll be more successful and have more fun.

Do Not go to a Party Hungry
Eat fruits and veggies, drink a few tall glasses of water before you head to that Halloween party or company holiday party (or any party for that matter). You’ll feel sated and less inclined to dip into foods that will tilt the scales.

Drink Less Alcohol
Seasonal drinks can be extremely tempting, but they tend to have a gadzillion calories. Eggnog fro example has 390+ calories, hot buttered rum tips at 418, a white Russian (sorry, Dude) has 355. Drink a glass of pure water (or a bottle of Blossom Water – only 45 calories) between cocktails (or Pumpkin Lattes). Start drinking later in the evening.
Bring Healthy Treats to the Party
We’re not talking strictly raw carrots and cauliflower, although these are not all bad, but sushi-grade tuna on a slice of English cucumber or spicy grilled shrimp. Be creative, think protein and flavor.

Do not Deprive Yourself
Give yourself a treat now and then. A small indulgence will feel like a reward for good behavior. Go with something incredible – like a locally made organic chocolate truffle instead of that Snickers Bar.