Winter weight gain is totally a thing. For survival, us mammals pack on a little extra padding to keep warm throughout the colder season, but since the invention of things like central heating and cashmere jumpers, we don’t really need to gain weight. The trouble is, come winter, we crave stodgier, warming foods. (And then there are all the festive delicacies that are hard to resist.) We want to (and should) be able to eat and enjoy it guilt-free, but if you’re prone to weight gain, it's time to get strategic.
We called on Daniella Boynton, Head Trainer at F45 Paddington to share her tips on how to avoid winter weight gain while still indulging.
Luckily, it’s totally possible. Keep scrolling to find out how.
Socialize Actively and With Good Intentions
Set yourself up for success this winter by making your social outings active ones. We all have that one friend who loves exercise, so take advantage and catch-up for a yoga class or F45 sweat session with them. While you’re not going to want to forgo those cocktails with your friends, why not arrange to walk to the bar together? A brisk walk is a great way to add in extra chat time, and it will get you in the mood for a warming glass of mulled wine. Which leads me nicely onto my next point.
The 80/20 Rule Is Not a Fad
In theory, always eating 100% clean and healthy is a great idea, but it’s far from easy. However, life is about balance, and over the festive season especially it becomes very difficult to stick to your strict eating plan or try to crash diet. Since you’re more likely to overindulge, using the 80/20 plan is beneficial. Here’s how it works: eat clean 80% of the time and indulge the other 20%.
For most people, a long-term diet of deprivation is not sustainable, so allowing yourself those indulgences from time to time will keep you from completing bingeing for an entire month and reversing all your hard work. Create a healthy relationship with your plate.
Often in the colder months, we find ourselves reaching less for our water bottles and more for those calorie-laden hot drinks. In order to avoid that unnecessary weight gain during this time, it is so important to keep our body hydrated. It not only helps to curb those sugary cravings but also helps burn calories, cleanses the body of toxins and keeps the brain fired up. Remember, when you’re thirsty, your body is already dehydrated, so regular water intake throughout the day will really improve your body’s ability to function at an optimum level.
In winter, drink hot water with lemon, ginger, and mint. This keeps you hydrated and also helps to keeps nasty colds at bay.
Don’t plod aimlessly through winter or use the cold weather as an excuse to treat your mind and body poorly. In cold weather, we have a tendency to sink into negative mindsets and create bad habits. Let’s put a spin on that and try to keep positive and practice mindfulness in day-to-day life. After all, summer bodies are made in winter. Try a meditation app or start a gratitude journal and focus on a well-rounded notion of health (mind and body combined). After doing this for a couple of months, you’ll start feeling strong, healthy, lean and mentally clear. I truly believe that what you think about, you bring about. It all starts with a healthy mind.
Set Yourself a Challenge!
When the festive season comes to an end and we all begin to think about our New Year's resolutions and getting those summer bodies ready, think about challenging yourself. Enter F45. Mix it up and find something that motivates you. If you’re tired of the same gym routine and the effort of designing your own workout, the 45 min HIIT sessions are for you. Because these workouts are different every single day and mix strength, cardio and combat training, F45 will have you burning those calories and building that muscle whilst loving every minute.
January 29 will see the start of the first F45 8-Week Challenge. If you’re looking to really amp it up and see truly life-changing results, this challenge will get you there. With a specialized nutrition portal at your fingertips and access to the best functional training systems in the world, weight gain won’t be an option.
If you don’t have an F45 near you, then look for a local boxing or circuits class or sign up for a challenge like a half marathon that you can train for.