Weight gain occurs more commonly during winter season due to the cold air and hazardous weather that prevents most people from being able to get in their normal exercise. The season disrupts exercise habits as well as consistency.
What complicates matters even more is the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is when many people interested in weight loss consume more calories than usual due to celebrations and festivities. In addition, many people cope with the cold and snow by experiencing pleasure through eating their favorite junk foods.
So how do you offset this common occurrence of weight gain and fat storage through the cold winter months?
The best way to manage your weight and stay in shape during winter is to do three things: stay motivated, develop a plan, and execute.
It is all too easy to get lazy and sit on your couch watching tv. If you find yourself becoming less motivated due to the cold, you may need to remind yourself to keep up with your goals. Placing motivational quotes somewhere out in the open or hanging a big sheet of paper with your fitness goals on them somewhere you encounter on a daily basis can be just what you need. You don’t want to fall behind and have to catch up in spring and summer. Look at winter instead as preparation for beach season and the warmer weather.
Develop a Plan
Summer exercise plans are easy. There’s virtually nothing that can stop you from getting consistent outdoor activity and exercise in. However, winter poses a greater challenge. This is why it’s so important to have an answer for it.
If you know you are someone who is prone to pleasure eating, laziness, or loss of motivation during the winter, writing down a plan is the key. For example, break down your exercise regimen and diet into a week by week system. Be proactive by doing all of your healthy grocery shopping on the weekend so the good diet foods you need to eat are readily available and conveniently stored in the event you crave unhealthy alternatives or eating out at restaurants, whether it be fine dining or fast food as either one can lead to binge eating and increased fat and sugar consumption.
In addition, set a standard for each week that you must reach with both cardiovascular training and weight training for exercise. You could put a minimum on your cardio such as 120 minutes and make sure you train each muscle group at least once a week or twice a week. If you fall short of your minimum plan requirements, then you need to make them up on your “off days”, which are usually the weekends. This is a great strategy for weight management, and at the very least it should prevent weight gain throughout a long range and short term period of time. How hard you work when you train will determine how much weight you lose.
Once you have your motivational strategy and exercise plan, now it is time to execute and put it all into action. This can be the hardest and most erratic of the steps because of unpredictable weather such as snow and ice which can make it harder to get to the gym. However, you can’t let cold air and a little snow deter you from staying healthy and reaching your fitness goals.
You’re going to need a gym or a sufficient in-home exercise equipment, both well worth the investment. When exercising, don’t carry the winter weather into your workouts. Train like you would in the spring or summer. This isn’t time to slack. It’s time to turn it up a notch.
While many will gain weight and store lots of fat during the winter months, you must recognize this effect and find the resolve, will, and determination to not allow it to happen. While winter training season may be challenging and grueling, it us an opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead on the journey to your fitness goals. By sticking to this approach, you’ll enjoy one of your fittest and healthiest winters ever. It all starts with you.