The cold dark months are here to stay for awhile, and like it or don’t, the weather has succeeded in forcing us indoors where we inevitably just happen to stumble upon our favourite two spots—the kitchen and the TV. These winter days, the route between the two has never been more well-travelled. Because really, there’s no enjoying our must-watch shows without popcorn, chocolate and chips. Let’s face it, woman can’t survive on healthy snacks alone (at least, this woman can’t). That is, until the mid-section starts to bake into winter muffin top and despite ourselves, it’s time to regroup—aka panic. Bathing suit shopping just ain’t that far away.
So how do we make sure that this winter, weight gain doesn’t creep up on us?
Lean in close now. Hypnotherapist Colin Christopher has all the answers you’ll need (short of putting you into a trance) before you end up with your personal trainer on speed dial.
HOW TO COMBAT WINTER WEIGHT GAIN
1. Don’t skip meals
If you skip meals during the winter under the mistaken belief that fewer calories equals fewer pounds, you may find yourself in trouble. The problem with skipping meals is that it can lead to increased hunger, binge eating and depriving your body of necessary calories to convert to energy. You might lose weight, but what good is that if you are sluggish, dizzy and don’t feel like taking part in life?
Insider Tip: Do watch your caloric intake; don’t skip meals.
2. Learn to say NO
Think winter, think relaxing, think all kinds of bad foods that can lead to weight gain. From dinners out in your favourite restos, to dessert you feel like you deserve, food is everywhere you look. The solution: Just say No.
Insider Tip: When your best friend insists you try her world famous cheesecake, politely decline. Explain that you are on a diet and are very serious about getting healthy. She’ll understand.
3. Your diet is not a ‘give and take’ situation
Unfortunately, eating healthy now does not give you permission to indulge more later on. Living on a diet of fruits and salads doesn’t mean you can reward yourself with junk. Doing so will make you sorry. Of course, if you are at your ideal weight, and are healthy and in good shape, you may indulge from time to time.
Insider Tip: If you’re serious about avoiding winter weight gain, carefully monitor everything you put in your mouth, now and later on.
4. Exercise isn’t a fast pass
If you’re good at maintaining physical fitness such as riding the stationary bike or running on the treadmill to keep you fit during the winter months, that’s a great head start. Exercise is great for your cardiovascular health and will help burn calories, but it’s not an excuse for eating poorly. Avoiding winter weight gain is a combination of eating right and getting enough physical activity.
Insider Tip: Think of all the sugar, fat and calories in one piece of chocolate cake. That has the potential to add pounds no matter how much you exercise.
5. Take responsibility
Putting on weight is something that is caused by you and only you. While a small percentage of people does have a true medical condition that causes weight gain, but for most of us, the responsibility lies right here. If you make the commitment and eat right and exercise, you will avoid the winter weight gain. Know it, believe it.
Insider Tip: Blaming the winter season is no excuse.
6. Have a plan
Before you find yourself stuck in the kitchen for hours at a time, plan how you’ll get out of there before eating everything in the fridge. Start at the beginning. Before you go to the grocery store, make a list of the healthy options you’ll buy. Each day, plan to drink plenty of water, which is not only good for you but will fill you up. Learn to stop eating when your body feels satisfied.
Insider Tip: Without a plan you will never be successful.
7. Dig Deep
No matter what your winter craving is or what temptations are teasing you at this time of year (leftover Halloween treats, anyone?), dig deep and ask yourself just how badly you want to get fit and healthy this winter. Being partially committed never works.
Insider Tip: When it comes to avoiding winter weight gain, it’s as much a mental game as it is a physical game.
9. Only compare yourself to fit people
Your mother may be 100 pounds heavier than you, or maybe you’re the slimmest of all your friends, but that doesn’t give you permission to go on an eating spree this winter. Instead, get inspired by women more fit than you are. Doing so will keep you on course. In fact, daily exposure to pictures of fit, healthy and sexy people will remind you why you are in the fight with flab.
Insider Tip: When it comes to other people, follow those who are thin and toned.
10. It’s never too early to get fit
If you know you’ll freak out while bathing suit shopping in spring, now is the time to make sure that doesn’t happen. Avoiding winter weight gain can’t happen after the winter. It has to start now.
Insider Tip: Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Colin Christopher is a clinical hypnotherapist certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners and the author of Success Through Manipulation: Subconscious Reactions That Will Make or Break You. In addition to his professional practice, Colin is also a hypnosis stage performer and hypnosis trainer. Click to connect with Colin on Facebook and on Twitter.