Although seasonal weight gain varies from person to person, most of us are likely to be slightly heavier come spring.
The cooler temperatures and shorter days can often lead us to swap the exercise session for a night on the couch enjoying comfort foods.
So how can you achieve weight loss or maintain a healthy weight during the months that many of us find ourselves lacking motivation?
Australian dietitian Susie Burrell revealed her top five tips to stop us from piling on the kilos.
Australian dietitian Susie Burrell (pictured) cooler temperatures has many of us reaching for warm, comfort foods which can lead to weight gain over winter
1. Get rid of the pastry
‘Whether it is your favourite croissant, sausage roll at the footy or warm fruit pie on the weekend, high fat, high calorie pastry will quickly add on the kilos if you indulge too regularly,’ Susie said on her blog.
According to Susie, a single serve of puff pastry contains more than 600 calories and 30g of fat – much of which is saturated.
Eating foods containing saturated fat can increase the level of cholesterol in your blood. High levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood can then raise your risk of heart disease and stroke.
According to Susie, a single serve of puff pastry contains more than 600 calories and 30g of fat – much of which is saturated (stock image)
‘Often poor dietary choices are made when we are presented with tempting foods without any reference point about whether they are a good choice or not,’ said Susie.
‘Making a blanket rule about avoiding pastry altogether is an easy way to eliminate much extra fat out of your diet without the need to make the decision each time a tempting pastry treat comes your way.’
2. Try a kickstart
Intermittent fasting or minimising calories for a day or two during the week can really help kick start a better health regime.
Better yet, concentrating on eating healthy soups and salads for a week or two may result in weight loss.
‘Research suggests that when we commit to a relatively strict diet for a short period of time and drop a few kilos quickly, we are more likely to continue to lose weight,’ said Susie.
Nothing wards off the winter chills quite like a hot chocolate with marshmallows or delicious chai latte, but over time the calories could leave you heavier on the scales (stock image)
3. Quit the calories in drinks
Nothing wards off the winter chills quite like a hot chocolate with marshmallows or delicious chai latte, but over time the calories could leave you heavier on the scales.
‘You may love a chai Latte or a cheeky hot chocolate but the truth is that liquid calories, especially the sugars found in milk and juices add up; we do not eat less because we have consumed them and they result in rapid increases in blood glucose levels which can drive hunger,’ explained Susie.
Susie said even a small hot chocolate could contain as much as four teaspoons of sugar and a Chai Latte may have up to six.
‘It is easy to see why skipping these drink in favour of clear tea or black coffee can dramatically reduce your daily calorie intake,’ she said.
4. Change the times you eat
The first thing you may want to do when you get home after long day at work is to indulge in a hearty curry or meat pie, but refraining from eating a big meal before bed could help you maintain a healthy weight.
Susie said limiting the number of hours each day that you eat could pay off in the long run.
‘The simple shift of eating in just 10-12 hours of each day leaves up to 14 hours a day without food which has been shown to have the same benefits when it comes to weight control as formal fasting,’ she said.
‘So simply aiming for breakfast by 8am, lunch at 12 and your final meal by 6pm will support weight control, without any real limits on what you are eating at these times,’ she added.
Susie said forget early morning sessions that you are likely to skip when it is freezing outside and instead commit to a short training session or walk after dinner (stock image)
5. Exercise after dinner
It’s no secret that many of us lack motivation during the cooler months. Putting your trainers on when temperatures are close to zero degrees in the morning is a difficult task.
Susie said forget early morning sessions that you are likely to skip when it is freezing outside and instead commit to a short training session or walk after dinner.
‘All you need is 30 minutes and exercising at this time will help to burn off the food consumed at dinner and also keep you out of the house so you are less tempted,’ she said.
‘And even more powerful is the virtuous feeling you will have when you return, which in turn will help to motivate you to keep focused with your diet and weight loss goals.’