Ah, sweater weather. Falling snow, frigid temperatures, and the holidays are an ideal recipe for weight gain. Whether it means eating more, exercising less, or a combination of the two, most people tend to pack on the pounds during the winter months. However, you don’t have to fall victim to the winter pudge. By making smart and conscious choices, you can still rock those more revealing clothes by summer without having to kill yourself in the gym to get there. Here’s how.

Stay Active

While the weather may not be inviting, staying active throughout the winter months is crucial for year-round fitness. Many people gain weight during the colder seasons due to a huge decrease in their activity levels. Sure, snow may not be conducive to many outdoor activities, but you can easily find other ways to stay active. Try parking farther away from your destination to encourage more walking, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. These small changes can help maintain activity levels. If you don’t enjoy exercising outside, consider joining a gym or studio. Doing so will allow you to remain active in a comfortable temperature, and you may even form new relationships that can keep you motivated to pursue your fitness goals.

Eat Consciously

Living in a cold climate can cause us to reach for more calorie dense foods, even though we may not realize we’re doing it. When it’s cold outside, the body burns through more calories just to maintain its normal internal temperature. Consequently, we end up reaching for more calorie-laden foods to compensate for the extra calorie burn. Hot chocolate, warm cookies, and heavy dishes all seem more appealing when the temperatures start to drop. Unfortunately, these eating habits, when coupled with decreased activity, can cause rapid weight gain.  

To avoid growing out of your favorite jeans, make conscious eating a priority throughout the winter. Instead of hot chocolate or flavored coffee drinks, reach for hot teas or black coffee with a small amount of cream and sugar, if any. Fill your plate with vegetables and protein, and include a reasonable amount of complex carbohydrates at each meal. By paying attention to what you eat throughout the winter season, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to fit into your favorite clothes in the spring.

Don’t Plan for Weight Gain

Many people simply succumb to the winter weight gain and even have two separate wardrobes — complete with larger sizes — to accommodate it. While sweaters and pants may help cover the extra pounds, constant weight fluctuations are not healthy psychologically or physically.

We no longer live in a primitive world where gaining weight during the winter is necessary to stay warm. Packing on the pounds when it’s cold outside is not only unhealthy, it may make it harder to lose the weight in the springtime. Yo-yo dieting sets the body up to hold onto fat and makes losing weight far more difficult than it needs to be. By adopting an eat-to-live mindset instead of a live-to-eat one, you can avoid unnecessary and unhealthy weight gain (and stay the same size year-round, too).

Winter weather doesn’t have to equal weight gain. While you may feel the urge to over-indulge on holiday fare, keep in mind the repercussions on your health. True health includes a healthy mentality when it comes to food, along with a consistent and dedicated approach to physical activity. Keeping a mindset of consistency and moderation can help you avoid the winter pudge and keep you feeling healthy, vibrant, and energetic all year long.

PumpFit Club can supplement your healthy eating habits with HIIT workouts in South Florida like no other. We specialize in HIIT group training which focuses on extended periods of increased activity interrupted by short rest periods. Commit to HIIT and you can expect an increased energy level, toned frame, and decreased body fat. Contact us today and discover how you can enroll in a free training class!