Health & Wellness

Beating the Winter Weight Gain

John Praino

The winter season is upon us, along with the wind chills, comes the ever-dreaded winter weight gain. It’s all too easy to unconsciously pack on the pounds during winter.

After all, we’re likely to spend most of our time indoors taking part in sedentary activities and eating comfort foods. The best way to put a stop to winter weight gain is to combat its effects before it even begins.

Try these tips to stop winter weight gain in its tracks:

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1. Work out indoors. Whether you belong to a local gym, have a membership to a big-box gym, take yoga or stay at home and run on your treadmill, the key is to get moving every day throughout the winter.

• Take at least 30 minutes out of your day to exercise. Get it in any way you can. Brisk walk at lunch, push-ups and sit-ups before the shower, or make it a major priority and join a training and get in there three to four days a week.

• Make it a couple’s event. Working out with your partner is perfect way for couples to spend quality time together.

2. Make meals ahead of time. Sometimes, when the weather is depressing, your desire to cook will vanish. This causes you to reach for the phone and dial a pizza parlor or a Chinese restaurant for delivery. Instead, if you have pre-cooked meals in the fridge, you’ll naturally eat healthier and save money, too!

• On a Sunday afternoon, take the time to prepare two or three meals and freeze them. Make vegetable soup, turkey burgers, or your favorite casserole and tuck it away in the freezer. Before work, simply let the container defrost and pop onto the stove as soon as you get home.

• If you’re not in a cooking mood, plan several meals for the week and, at the very minimum, group your ingredients together to save a bit of time.

3. Stock healthy snacks. Snacking is inevitable, especially when you’re stuck indoors, evening after evening. You might as well prepare for your snack cravings and stock up on healthy and satisfying snacks.

4. Watch you portions and eat in moderation. Were you like most of us this holiday season, consuming heaps of eggnog, turkey, potato salad and tasty pies? You can’t eat like that if you’re trying to ward off the winter weight gain, refrain from eating like it’s your last supper.

• Have a glass of water before any big meals or dinner parties and load your plates with vegetables, lean meats, and a small amount of fatty foods. Eat slowly and listen to your body. If you feel full, stop eating.

• If you’re hosting a party or big dinner, take charge and prepare calorie-conscious meals. Bake a lemon herb turkey or chicken. Make a healthy soup, a huge kale salad or roast a casserole of seasonal vegetables. There are tons of healthy recipes out there. Eating healthy can be delicious and fun!

All it takes to combat the winter weight gain is attention to detail and some indoor activity to keep you fit. By keeping these pointers in mind, you’ll be beach-ready even before the spring season strikes!

John Praino is head coach for Training for Warriors Mahopac, a customized fitness program that combines small-group personal training with a complete nutrition program to guarantee results. To learn more, call 914-714-9068 or visit

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